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How is costochondritis treated ?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1998
Answered : 1579 Questions
Hello. Im a 39 y/o, healthy male. non -smoker. I have a history of strange chest pains. However, after numerous tests, ( echo, several ekg's, chest x-ray,Holter monitoring and cardiac calcium scoring) nothing has came up as serious. Typical pains are quick, fleeting pains that are localized and only last 30 seconds or so. However, for the last 4-5 days, several times per day I get these sharp stabbing pains that last seconds but a flare up can last severl minutes. They are in my upper left chest ( pectorial area) and go into my left side. Same area every time. There are no other obvious symptoms that go with them. Any ideas?
Posted Mon, 16 Apr 2012 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 54 minutes later

Thanks for posting your query. Based on your symptoms and the investigation reports when all tests have come out clear, I have 2 possibilities in mind which need to be ruled out. These are:

1) The first possibility is of costochondritis which is an inflammation of the joints in your chest. There is no specific test or investigation for costochondritis. The diagnosis can only be reached after excluding more serious causes of chest pain that are related to the heart and lungs. It is completely curable and treatment involves conservative local care with careful use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen as prescribed. Application of warm compresses may also help. If there is no relief even with medications, then steroid injections may be needed.

2)     Second possibility is of esophageal spasm which causes non cardiac chest pain. Manometry studies and an upper GI endoscopy can confirm the diagnosis.

It will also help me in understanding your condition better if you could let me know if you have any additional history and symptoms of nausea, heart burns or difficulty in swallowing.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.

Wishing you good health.

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