Costochondritis is one of a series of ailments that come without much warning. In the same way that we deal with things such as TMJ issues and colic, costochondritis is a nuisance, but the annoyance takes on a bit more of a critical tone.
Essentially, there is inflammation of the cartilage that connects a rib to your breastbone. The pain and discomfort can often be characterized by some as feeling like a heart attack because of the proximity to the heart. This is especially scary because some people will willingly pass on seeking medical treatment, assuming that nothing is actually wrong. However, this can be devastating if indeed you are having a cardiac event of some kind. As such, you always want to seek medical attention if you feel pain in your chest.
So, what things can we be on the lookout for when it comes to identifying costochondritis? Here are three symptoms of the condition:
1. The pain occurs on the left side of the breastbone. Considering your heart is in the same area, it’s no coincidence that some do fear they are having a heart attack. It comes as a sharp pain and pressure on that left side.
2. Normally, more than one rib is affected by the inflammation and subsequent pain.
3. The pain feels as though it gets more pronounced when you take deep breaths. Considering the inflammation resides right over where your chest expands, it’s no wonder that breathing deeply can be painful.
Though frustrating, your doctor may not be able to do much to treat costochondritis. Still, do not hesitate in seeing your doctor to rule out any possible serious conditions. It isn’t uncommon for the condition to appear without warning and remain for a few weeks. That said, you can avoid strenuous activities that can irritate the painful areas, alternate between heat and cold to help with the swelling, and ask your doctor about OTC medication that can help you manage the pain.
For more information on costochondritis and other similar ailments, click here today.