The condition in which there is swelling of the junction in which the upper ribs fuse with the cartilage tissue holding the breast-bone is called as costochondritis. It may push the cartilage tissues covering the chest and cause chest pain.
The exact cause of costochondritis is not known. Prolonged viral infection, upper respiratory tract infection can cause chest pain. Sometimes, bacterial infection can also induce chest pain in adults. The pain also occurs to people who have recently undergone heart surgery. Viral infection in the cartilage can produce costochondritis.
The prominent symptom of costochondritis is moderate to severe chest pain. Generally the pain is felt after some traumatic incidents, before doing exercise and sometimes after the patient recovers from respiratory tract infection. Feeling of intense pain on the chest wall which may shift towards back and abdominal area, tenderness in the affected ribs ( very often it is felt on 4th or 5th rib) and steady increase of pain while the person takes deep breath are some of the common symptoms of costochondritis.
When the person gets infected by Tietze syndrome it can be in the form of swelling of ribs and cartilage causing intense pain. There may be inflammation and redness with or without pus if the pain is after the heart surgery.
No treatment is required for costochondritis since the pain is short lived. Applying ice on the affected area of swelling can alleviate the pain. It would help in relieving the symptoms of inflammation. Taking anti-inflammatory medicines such as Ibuprofen, Naproxen will help to give relief from pain. Stop doing regular exercise if you are getting pain. In Very often the antibiotics are given by starting intravenous fluids and later it will be shifted by taking drugs orally.
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