During the physical exam, your doctor will feel along your breastbone for areas of tenderness or swelling. The doctor 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 might order certain tests — such as an electrocardiograph, X-ray, CT or MRI — to rule out other conditions.
March 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.
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