This is an inflammation of cartilage in your chest. Cartilage is a flexible tissue found in joints throughout your body. Costochondritis involves the cartilage that connects your ribs to your sternum. The sternum is also known as the "breastbone."


What causes this condition? It may be linked to a chest injury or something that strains your chest, like severe coughing. It may be linked to arthritis. It may result from a joint infection. It could be linked to a tumor. And in many cases, we don't know the cause.


What are the symptoms? You may feel sharp or achy pain that involves one or more ribs. It's more intense when you take a deep breath or cough. You may feel pressure in your chest. For many, the pain is on the left side of the sternum. Some people who have this pain think they're having a heart attack.


How do we treat costochondritis? Most commonly, it goes away on its own without treatment. While it heals, you may need to rest. Medications, heat and ice can help with pain. You may also benefit from stretching exercises and other methods. Your doctor will create a care plan that's right for you.