Costochondritis & Tietze's Syndrome

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What is costochondritis?

Costochondritis is a common form of inflammation of the cartilage where ribs attach to the breastbone, the sternum. The inflammation can involve multiple cartilage areas on both sides of the sternum but usually is on one side only.

What causes costochondritis?

The causes of costochondritis are not known and may involve several factors. Possible causes include heredity (genetic predisposition), viruses, and trauma (injury).

Costochondritis can be an independent condition by itself or sometimes can be a feature of a more widespread disorder. Examples of illnesses that can feature costochondritis include fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, reactive arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and inflammatory bowel disease (such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/13/2012

Patient Comments

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Costochondritis and Tietze's Syndrome - Treatments Question: What was the treatment for your costochondritis and Tietze's syndrome?
Costochondritis and Tietze's Syndrome - Symptoms Question: What symptoms did you experience with your costochondritis and Tietze's syndrome?

What causes costochondritis? Is there anything that aggravates it (like exercise or diet), or is it possibly viral?

Medical Author: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

Costochondritis can be aggravated by any activity that involves stressing the structures of the front of the chest cage. It is generally best to minimize these activities until the inflammation of the rib and cartilage areas has subsided.

I am unaware of any particular diet causing worsening of costochondritis. On the contrary, it is known that fish oilscan have a degree of antiinflammation effect. Theoretically they could be of some benefit. This effect is probably minor, however.

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