How to Relieve Costochondritis Pain

Costochondritis (kos-toe-kon-DRY-tis) is an inflammation of the cartilage that connects a rib to the breastbone (sternum). Pain caused by costochondritis might mimic that of a heart attack or other heart conditions.

It can be painful, but it's not dangerous. It usually goes away in 1 to 2 weeks. But it may happen again. 

  • Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs pain relievers
  • Heat therapy. Try placing hot compresses or a heating pad on the painful area several times a day. It boosts the blood flow and improves circulation, which in turn relaxes the muscles. While cold therapy numbs the tissue, slowing down the pain receptors. We NOT recommend cold therapy for Costochondritis or Tietze
  • Doing stretching exercises. The sustained stretch can effectively free up the tough shortened collagen surrounding the immobile posterior rib joints, enabling hinge movement. 
Costochondritis should be a diagnosis of exclusion. Rule out other causes of chest pain that are associated with increased morbidity and mortality.