There are a lot of people who are not aware what costochondritis actually is. The ribs are connected with the breastbone through certain rubbery cartilage. When that very cartilage gets inflamed and certain symptoms can be seen, a person is considered to be suffering from costochondritis. The doctor may tell a person that he is suffering from chest wall pain or even costosternal syndrome, but these are all the same thing. Some experts may even refer to this particular inflammation as the costosternal syndrome. In cases when a person experiences swelling as well, then the case is known as Tietze syndrome.
Costochondritis symptoms and treatment in children
There is still no sure proof what the actual cause of this ailment is. That is the main reason why most treatment options and plans focus on lessening the pain that this ailment causes. While a person tries to ease the symptoms, he or she is literally waiting to see whether the state will get better or worse. The symptoms of this ailment are basically the same for both children and the adults.
Symptoms of costochondritis in children and adults
When the cartilage gets inflamed, a person will experience sharp pain which arises in the costosternal joint. This joint is the thing that joins the ribs and the breastbone. Apart from the pain, people will experience tenderness as well. There are a few cases when the pain will not be sharp but dull and gnawing. Even though the pain may be felt on both sides of the breastbone, in most cases people experience pain on their left side of the breastbone. Some of the other symptoms of this ailment are pain when a person tries to breathe deeply or when coughing. Problems with breathing are considered to be a symptom of this ailment as well.
These symptoms are quite similar to those when a person is about to suffer from a heart attack. However, there are a couple of differences. In case of a heart attack, the pain is widespread. On the other hand, in case of costochondritis, the pain is located in a small area. Also, in case of a heart attack the pain comes from under the breastbone, while patients suffering from costochondritis feel the pain in the breastbone.
Most treatments involve the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. In some cases, a person will be given a local anesthetic or a steroid injection. Antibiotics, antidepressants and muscle relaxants are also used in some cases. Applying heat and ice packs also helps. A child should not participate in any contact sports until the symptoms go away. In cases when the symptoms remain for some time, surgery is an option.