Costochondritis is a typical chest pain often confused with the heart pain. It is actually an inflammation of joints where the upper ribs join the cartilage. The pain mostly occurs on the left side of the chest where the heart is located. Hence, at the first instance, it seems to be a pain radiating from the heart. But, it’s a localized pain, likely to happen for increased use of arms and other infections. Usually goes away without any treatment.
The definite cause for costochondritis is not known yet. But, studies suggest that respiratory viral infections, the frequent trauma of chest walls and often increased use of arms lead to it. Of course, a bacterial infection also results the same. It is mostly found among those who had surgery in the chest. Sometimes, fungal infection also leads to this.
There is no specific diagnosis to identify the disease but medical history and reproducible pain in the chest area are often taken into account. It is important to rule out any heart disease for any kind of chest pain with the due diagnosis. Reproducible tenderness can be observed over the fourth, fifth and sixth ribs. Usual blood tests and X-rays are of no help in diagnosing the costochondritis.
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