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Costochondritis Support Forum
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Last Message  3 years ago

This forum is dedicated to support and discussion on Curing Costochondritis: Inflammation Of Rib Cartilage.

What is costochondritis (Tietze's Syndrome)?

Costochondritis is a syndrome of chest wall pain that is due to inflammation of the cartilage and bones in the chest wall. Also called Tietze's Syndrome, costochondritis occurs when there is inflammation at the junction of the rib bone and breastbone (sternum). At this junction, there is cartilage joining these bones. This cartilage can become irritated and inflamed. Depending on the extent of the inflammation, this condition can be quite painful.

The most frequently affected age group is young adults between 20 and 40 years old.

What causes costochondritis?

The most common cause of costochondritis that can be attributed to a source is costochondritis as the result of a traumatic injury. For example, a car accident where the driver's chest strikes the steering wheel can cause costochondritis by injuring the ribs and cartilage on the front of the chest. Viral infections, usually upper respiratory infections, have also been identified as a cause of costochondritis.

What are the symptoms of costochondritis?

The most common symptom is pain over the front of the upper chest (the area of the sternum). Because of serious conditions, most importantly conditions related to heart problems, costochondritis should only be diagnosed after excluding other more serious problems.

Costochondritis pain is usually worsened by activity or exercise. One of the most common symptoms is that the pain is present when taking a deep breath. This stretches the inflamed cartilage and can cause exquisite pain. Often simply touching the area involved will be extremely painful for the patient.

Because of the many nerves that branch away from the chest, pain may be experienced in the shoulder or arms as well. When called Tietze's Syndrome, the pain is accompanied by redness and or swelling in the areas most tender.

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