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What causes costochondritis?

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Posted on Tue, 5 May 2015
Question: Hello, I am a healthy 34 year old male and am having some minor chest pains on the upper right hand side around my breastplate. A bit of history - I went snowboarding about 4 years ago and found it quite hard on my upper chest muscles(getting upright on the board - Alot!) as I was slightly overweight and unfit. When I came back after the holiday I used to get these niggly pains on my chest wall if I lay in bed too long with my neck propped up and my chest slightly curved(I was reading). This slight pain would come and go over the next few years especially if I was sitting driving for long periods of time, lying down like I mentioned before or sometimes when I an a bit run down after a heavy night on the town. In the past year I have become fit from running alot but am now injured and the chest pain has resurfaced. I went to A + E, they ran an EKG which said my heart was strong, did blood test which came back fine too. My own doctor send me in for an ultrasound and that came back fine too, my own doctor thinks its a thing called costochondritis and I will probably have to deal with it until it goes away on its own. One more thing, when I was flying fit from running, I think the endorphins released would counteract the pain and I generally had no big issue with it but since my knee injury it jest seems to have resurfaced.
Thanks,
Shane
doctor
Answered by Dr. T Chandrakant (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Costochondritis is treatable.

Detailed Answer:
Hi.
Thanks for your query and an elucidate history.
Your history and chronology of events is really self-explanatory and I would go by your Doctor for the classical diagnosis which is necessarily a clinical one as all the tests will be negative as you have.

This is so much suggestive of a condition called costochondritis. And the reason here is known to be an indirect trauma.
I would advise you to get an MRI of the painful area, telling the Radiologist to be specifically see for the painful- tender area. This may help confirm the diagnosis if there is sufficient edema at the time of examination.

I would suggest the following treatment.
-Rest to the area by means of strapping with the Adhesive tapes during the deep Expiration phase. This will limit the movement, reduce the pain and give rest for healing to occur.
-Anti-inflammatory medicines in full dose as per the weight.
-Steroids if required for its strong anti-inflammatory role.

-There is a direct relationship of stress and anxiety in some patients with costochondritis. Good control over these may help a lot.

Please discuss these issues with your Doctor, I am sure will help you.

This sort of a treatment helps all my patients. and should help you too.

I hope this answer helps you to get a proper diagnosis, and get a proper further treatment. Please feel free to ask for more if you need to or if you feel that there is a gap of communication.

Take proper consultation and treatment for the knee problem too.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. T Chandrakant

General Surgeon

Practicing since :1984

Answered : 18102 Questions

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What causes costochondritis?

Brief Answer: Costochondritis is treatable. Detailed Answer: Hi. Thanks for your query and an elucidate history. Your history and chronology of events is really self-explanatory and I would go by your Doctor for the classical diagnosis which is necessarily a clinical one as all the tests will be negative as you have. This is so much suggestive of a condition called costochondritis. And the reason here is known to be an indirect trauma. I would advise you to get an MRI of the painful area, telling the Radiologist to be specifically see for the painful- tender area. This may help confirm the diagnosis if there is sufficient edema at the time of examination. I would suggest the following treatment. -Rest to the area by means of strapping with the Adhesive tapes during the deep Expiration phase. This will limit the movement, reduce the pain and give rest for healing to occur. -Anti-inflammatory medicines in full dose as per the weight. -Steroids if required for its strong anti-inflammatory role. -There is a direct relationship of stress and anxiety in some patients with costochondritis. Good control over these may help a lot. Please discuss these issues with your Doctor, I am sure will help you. This sort of a treatment helps all my patients. and should help you too. I hope this answer helps you to get a proper diagnosis, and get a proper further treatment. Please feel free to ask for more if you need to or if you feel that there is a gap of communication. Take proper consultation and treatment for the knee problem too.