Did you know that the cartilage in your ribs can also become inflamed?
Did you know that most inflammation of the rib cartilage occurs at the junction of your front ribs with the sternum?
Doctors call inflammation of the rib cartilage at the junction with the sternum costochondritis
Costochondritis or inflammation of the rib cartilage at the junction with the sternum is one of the causes that can cause chest pain.
Stay tuned for more on Costochondritis or rib cartilage inflammation:
One of the most important and in fact the most common manifestations of rib cartilage inflammation or costochondritis as mentioned above will be chest pain.
Chest pain due to inflammation of the rib cartilage or costochondritis is classified by physicians as a subset of chest pain of musculoskeletal origin or the so-called musculoskeletal pain group.
If the inflammation of the cartilage of the ribs at the junction with the sternum is mild, there will be a tenderness to the touch of the skin and a point of pain when pressed on the site.
In more severe inflammations, discoloration of the skin surface is also evident, and much more severe chest pain, which is sometimes very difficult to bear. Most cases of rib cartilage inflammation go away within a few weeks
What are the symptoms of rib cartilage inflammation or costochondritis?
How to find out about costochondritis?
If the cartilage of your ribs is inflamed, you have pain in the area of your upper and middle ribs and on both sides of the sternum.
You can identify the pain by placing your finger on a limited area. The severity of pain increases with changing position and creating tension in the chest muscles and rib movements, as well as dilation of the lungs during inhalation.
Deep breathing, coughing and sneezing will greatly increase the pain
The pain may sometimes spread to the abdomen or back
In some cases, chest pain caused by inflammation of the cartilage of the ribs can be similar to chest pain of cardiac origin. In case of suspicion or if there are symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath and excessive cold sweating and changes in tone, number and rhythm of heartbeat, go to the emergency room immediately.
The most important characteristic of rib cartilage inflammation is regional and point pain, which means that you can point to the inflamed and painful area with your fingers.
Why is there inflammation of the cartilage of the ribs?
Who is more likely to develop costochondritis or inflammation of the rib cartilage?
- Women over the age of 40 are more likely to develop costochondritis.
- Doing heavy and hard physical work
- Lifting heavy objects
- Heavy sports
- Existence of allergies
- Exposure to stimulants and allergens
The presence of the following disorders also increases the risk of infection:
- Reactive arthritis, formerly known as Reiter syndrome
- Ankylosing spondylitis, of course, AS is more common in men than women
Be aware that carrying heavy loads by mistake or using a heavy backpack or bag and lifting heavy weights exposes people to inflammation of the rib cartilage and costochondritis.
How is rib cartilage inflammation diagnosed?
By rejecting cardiac causes, the diagnosis of rib cartilage inflammation is given.
The doctor will examine you after taking an accurate history, history of individual and family disorders, and a list of medications you are taking. An x-ray of the chest is sometimes requested, and in suspected cases, a blood test may be performed to assess for infection and inflammation and to measure the blood levels of cardiac enzymes. It is better to take an ECG.
When should we see a doctor?
In the following cases, immediate emergency room visit is required:
- Existence of shortness of breath
- Severe and increasing chest pain
- nausea and vomiting
- Changing the number and quality of heartbeat
In the above cases, immediate examination is necessary and will avoid complications.
What to do to treat rib cartilage inflammation?
Mild to moderate pain can usually be relieved by resting and taking NSAIDs drugs such as ibuprofen / Advil and naproxen / Aleve.
Sometimes antidepressants such as amitriptyline are effective in reducing stress and muscle pain.
In some moderate to severe cases, narcotic analgesics or intralesional corticosteroid injections are sometimes used.
The following will be recommended by your doctor for better pain control:
- Rest in bed
- Cessation of heavy activities
- Alternating hot and cold compresses
Sometimes your doctor uses a method called TENS or percutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. This method uses very small amounts of electricity to prevent the transmission of pain signals and messages from the nerves to the brain and reduce pain.
Sometimes one of the causes of rib cartilage inflammation is an unknown and common disorder called fibromyalgia.
Symptoms of a person with fibromyalgia include the following:
- Full body pain, excessive physical fatigue despite rest
- Difficulty concentrating
- Decreased accuracy and attention
- Sleep disturbance due to pain
In general, the inflammation of the rib cartilage will be transient and temporary, and in mild cases, it will completely disappear within a few days.
In some cases, it can take weeks or even longer, but doctors believe it will not take more than a year.
How to prevent costochondritis
To prevent costochondritis, it is better to pay attention to the following points:
- Do not lift heavy loads all at once.
- Do the lifting of objects in a principled and correct way
- Do not do heavy exercise and do not lift heavy weights
- Carry your bag and backpack properly.