What is Costochondritis?
Costochondritis is a condition cause by the inflammation of joints between your ribs and sternum (breastbone), usually called chest wall pain. This pain can commonly be mistaken for lung or heart pain, but if the pain stems from costochondritis, there is no need to panic.
The condition can go away on its own, but could last up to or more than several weeks. Primarily, physiotherapy treatment is focused on pain relief and tailored stretching exercises for your needs.
What causes Costochondritis?
There usually isn’t a definite cause to develop costochondritis, however, it can occur from:
- Injuries or blows to the chest/ribs
- Joint or chest infections
- Physical strain
It commonly occurs in those over 40, and mostly affects women. It can also present in children, teenagers and adults. Additionally, if you regularly perform repetitive movements that strain your chest wall, you may be prone to developing this condition.
Symptoms of Costochondritis
- Chest pain in upper & middle rib area, on either side of the breastbone
- Sudden onset or gradual pain
- Feeling of tenderness in the chest/rib area
- Pain can become worse when lying down, coughing, exercising
- Pressure on chest increases pain (e.g. seatbelt)
It is important to note that some of these symptoms are also common with heart attacks and other serious conditions. If you experience any of these symptoms and are unsure of its cause, always seek medical attention.
Treatment is aimed at relieving pain and restoring functionality. At Vitalis Physiotherapy, our physios use a variety of methods, including:
- Soft tissue mobilisations
- Joint mobilisation
- Stretching exercises
- Relaxation and breathing techniques
- Cold and hot therapy
- A tailored home exercise program
- Nervous system desensitization
You can also take simple painkillers, like paracetamol or ibuprofen to help the pain.
How to book an appointment?
All you need to do is just give us a call on 0410 559 856 and request an initial appointment. Please let our friendly reception staff know the background and severity of your condition.
You can visit our FAQs for more information about appointments at Vitalis Physiotherapy.