What Is the Diagnosis and Treatment of Costochondritis?

Q:
What is the diagnosis and treatment of costochondritis?

A:
In order to diagnosis, your doctor will do a physical exam, pressing on your chest to check for areas of tenderness. He will also take a look at your range of motion and listen to your breathing. While there is no laboratory or imaging test to confirm a diagnosis of costochondritis, order additional tests like a chest X-ray.

The treatment will be focused on pain relief, and doctors will probably recommend one or more of the following:

  • Antidepressants.
  • Anti-seizure drugs.
  • Narcotics.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Other treatments might include:

  • Stretching exercises. Gentle stretching exercises for the chest muscles may be helpful.
  • Nerve stimulation. In a procedure called transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), a device sends a weak electrical current via adhesive patches on the skin near the area of pain.
  • Surgical and other procedures.
* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.