There are a lot of things that can cause chest pain. Some of the most common and known to people are heart attack, acid reflux, lung problems and ulcers. However, there are certain medical conditions that cause chest pain but people are not that familiar with them. One such condition is costochondritis. A lot of people often make the mistake of mixing symptoms of these problems with those of heart attack or some other heart condition. This particular ailment mainly happens to women and especially those women older than 40 years of age. When women are considered, this particular pain is seen as breast pain and as a symptom of breast cancer.
What is costochondritis?
When the cartilage, which connects the upper end of a rib bone to the sternum, gets inflamed, a person is considered to be suffering from costochondritis. Some people might know this ailment as costosternal syndrome, costosternal chondrodynia or some other name. In cases when there is swelling as well, then it is the case of a Tietze syndrome. A lot of people believe that these two conditions are the same. However, the truth is that they are pretty much different. In most cases there is no known cause of costochondritis but in some cases the cause is known. Some of the known causes are trauma or injury to the chest wall, respiratory infections or infections caused by surgery on the upper chest, fibromyalgia, physical strain caused by an exercise and so on. Fungus can even cause this ailment but these cases are very rare.
What are the main costchondritis symptoms?
Chest pain is the most common symptom of costochondritis. However, the problem is that chest pain is a symptom for various ailments. This is why it is important to rule out some of the more serious ailments like heart attack before diagnosing costochondritis. People need to know the importance of being able to know when the pain they are experiencing is caused by costochondritis.
The chest pain a person will experience will most likely be sharp but in some cases it can be dull and gnawing. However, it will always be located in the upper chest wall. Coughing can worsen the pain. Breathing problems are also possible.
Costchondritis symptoms in women
Certain studies claim that 70% of all costochondritis patients are women. Studies also prove that most patients with fibromyalgia also suffer from costochondritis and 90% of all fibromyalgia patients are women. Symptoms of this ailment are very similar for both men and women. However, when people experience chest pain, they should seek medical attention.