Chest pain is the main symptom of costochondritis, most commonly caused or followed by a respiratory infection, injury or trauma, or intense exercise.
Symptoms of costochondritis include:
- Sharp pain or tenderness in the chest, specifically where the rib attaches to the breastbone
- Pain more common on the left side
- Pain may occur in multiple locations on one side of the chest
- Pain usually gets worse as you press on the cartilage or stretch the nearby muscles
- Pain is most commonly in the 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th ribs
- Pain may increase with deep breathing, coughing, or laughing
There should be no noticeable swelling with costochondritis, unless it has occurred as a result of surgery. There is a similar condition (though much more rare) called Tietze syndrome that includes swelling a symptom.
Costochondritis does not involve symptoms such as high fevers, signs of infection (e.g. pus, redness), trouble breathing (though it may hurt to breathe deeply with costochondritis) or sweating/nausea/dizziness. It’s important to see a doctor if you have chest pain or any of those symptoms.
There are many conditions that can cause chest pain. See a physician if you have any questions related to your costochondritis symptoms.
The Costochondritis.com writing team works hard to provide you with fact-based, properly researched information. Some of our staff actively work in healthcare, providing care to patients at some of the largest hospitals in their countries. Our team includes physicians and surgeons as well as specialists with experience in nutrition, exercise, and mental health. Please note: Our writing team does not provide medical advice or treatment.