The pain associated with costochondritis usually:
- Occurs on the left side of your breastbone
- Is sharp, aching or pressure-like
- Affects more than one rib
- Worsens when you take a deep breath or cough
When to see a doctor
If you have chest pain, you should seek emergency medical attention to rule out life-threatening causes such as a heart attack.
Mar. 20, 2015
- Ferri FF. Costochondritis. In: Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2015: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2015. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Feb. 4, 2015.
- Phillips K, et al. Treatment of musculoskeletal chest pain. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 4, 2015.
- McMahon SB, et al. Thoracic pain. In: Wall & Melzack''s Textbook of Pain. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 20015. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Feb. 4, 2015.
- Wise CM. Major causes of musculoskeletal chest pain in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 4, 2015.
- Frontera WR, et al. Costernal syndrome. In: Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 20013. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Feb. 4, 2015.
- AskMayoExpert. What are the most common causes of chest wall pain? Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
- McConaghy JR, et al. Outpatient diagnosis of acute chest pain in adults. American Family Physician. 2013;87:177.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.