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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What causes pain around sternoclavicular joint while taking breath?

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Dr. Ivo Ditah

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :2002

Answered : 3922 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 25 Aug 2014 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Question: My daughter is 15, almost 16. She is very athletic, runs, plays field hockey, martial arts, swims, scuba dives. She can not recall any injury to the area but is complaining of pain on around the area of her right sternoclavicular joint which is painful when she takes a deep breath, increases when she lies supine and when she raises her arms over her head. The pain feels better when she lies on her right side. She runs daily. She hasn't been swimming for 5 days or diving for about 2 weeks. She flew home 6 days ago. She woke up with the pain yesterday morning. She did run with our dog who is a little boisterous on the leash. I was thinking the dog may have pulled that arm a little bit but no pain anywhere else on her arm. She is taking ibuprofen which provides some relief. Do you have any suggestions or thoughts on what the next steps should be? I should also have told you that it IS NOT painful to the touch or with pressure. Sorry about that!
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Answered by Dr. Ivo Ditah 22 minutes later
Brief Answer:
probably costochondritis!

Detailed Answer:
Hi and thank you so much for this query.

I have reviewed this information fully. With this area not being tender to touch, it makes the possibility of an inflammatory reaction going on very unlikely. However, the description of the symptoms is typical for costochondritis which is inflammation of the cartilage joint that joins ribs to the breastbone.

I will want to manage this at this time as costochondritis. Treatment consist in pain medications(Ibuprofen is good) and resting. I will recommend that she continues with this treatment and also keep her exercises to minimal levels, especially those that warrant the use of this area and joints.

For now, there is no need fr aggressive medical intervention. should she fail to get better within a week or develop more concerning symptoms, only then should she seek further medical attention for examination and investigations. Also, addition of tylenol would make pain control better.

In all, possible costochondritis. Pain medications and rest would prove helpful No urgent and aggressive medical attention required at this time.

I hope this helps. I wish you well. Thank you so much for using our services and do feel free to ask for more information and clarifications if need be.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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