Your health care provider can diagnose costochondritis by pressing on the area where the ribs meet the chest bone (sternum). If this area is tender and sore, costochondritis is the most likely cause of your chest pain. However, your doctor should make this diagnosis only after speaking with you and examining you.
Pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetiminophen, are used to treat costochondritis.
Costochondritis pain usually goes away in a few days or weeks.
Cannon CP, Lee TH. Approach to the patient with chest pain. In: Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Zipes DP, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa; Saunders Elsevier; 2007: chap 49.
Imamura M, Cassius DA. Costosternal syndromes. In: Frontera WR, Silver JK, Rizzo Jr TD, eds. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2008: chap 98.
Proulx AM, Zryd TW. Costochondritis: Diagnosis and Treatment. Am Fam Physician. 2009;80(6):617-620.
Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.