During the physical exam, your doctor will feel along your breastbone for areas of tenderness or swelling. He or she may also move your rib cage or your arms in certain ways to try to trigger your symptoms.
The pain of costochondritis can be very similar to the pain associated with heart disease, lung disease, gastrointestinal problems and osteoarthritis. While there is no laboratory or imaging test to confirm a diagnosis of costochondritis, your doctor may order a variety of tests — such as a chest X-ray or an electrocardiogram — to rule out other conditions.
May. 05, 2012
- Wise CM. Major causes of musculoskeletal chest pain. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed March 5, 2012.
- Frontera WR, et al. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1678/0.html. Accessed March 5, 2012.
- Proulx AM, et al. Costochondritis: Diagnosis and treatment. American Family Physician. 2009;80:617.
- Stochkendahl MJ, et al. Chest pain in focal musculoskeletal disorders. Medical Clinics of North America. 2010;94:259.
- Wise CM. Clinical evaluation of musculoskeletal chest pain. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed March 6, 2012.
- Phillips K, et al. Treatment of musculoskeletal chest pain. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed March 6, 2012.
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