Costochondritis is a medical condition that causes pain in the chest. It is caused by inflammation in the areas where the ribs connect to the breastbone, or sternum, by cartilage. Costochondritis can occur in children and adults. It is more common in women versus men. Although costochondritis is not serious, all cases of chest pain should be evaluated by a doctor to rule out a more serious problem. There are many treatment options which may be used.
Heat and ice. Heat and ice can be helpful in managing the pain of costochondritis. Both are easy, inexpensive home remedies. Heat can help to increase circulation and relax sore, tight muscles. It can be applied for 20 to 30 minutes every two hours. Application choices for heat include hot compresses or a heating pad. Use low heat and monitor the time the heat pack is in use to prevent injury. Ice can be useful in decreasing inflammation and reducing pain. It can be applied to the painful area for 15 to 20 minutes every hour. Ice packs can be purchased or made at home by placing crushed ice in a Ziploc bag or using a frozen bag of vegetables. Always place a towel between the ice pack and the skin to prevent injury.