Saturday, 18 August 2018

Costochondritis is the medical term for inflammation

Costochondritis is the scientific term for irritation of the cartilage that joins your ribs on your breastbone (sternum). This area is known as the costochondral joint.

Cartilage is difficult but bendy connective tissue found during the frame, including in the joints between bones. It acts as a surprise absorber, cushioning the joints.

Costochondritis may enhance on its own after some weeks, although it is able to final for several months or greater. The situation does not result in any everlasting issues, however can also from time to time relapse.Costochondritis is the medical term for inflammation of the cartilage that joins your ribs to your breastbone (sternum). This area is known as the costochondral joint.

Cartilage is tough but flexible connective tissue found throughout the body, including in the joints between bones. It acts as a shock absorber, cushioning the joints.

Costochondritis may improve on its own after a few weeks, although it can last for several months or more. The condition doesn't lead to any permanent problems, but may sometimes relapse.

Tietze's syndrome
Costochondritis may be confused with a separate condition called Tietze's syndrome. Both conditions involve inflammation of the costochondral joint and can cause very similar symptoms.

However, Tietze's syndrome is much less common and often causes chest swelling, which may last after any pain and tenderness has gone.

Costochondritis also tends to affect adults aged 40 or over, whereas Tietze's syndrome usually affects young adults under 40.

As the conditions are very similar, most of the information below also applies to Tietze's syndrome.

Signs and symptoms
When the costochondral joint becomes inflamed it can result in sharp chest pain and tenderness, which may develop gradually or start suddenly.

The pain may be made worse by:

a particular posture – such as lying down
pressure on your chest – such as wearing a seatbelt or hugging someone
deep breathing, coughing and sneezing
physical activity
When to seek medical help
It can be difficult to tell the difference between the chest pain associated with costochondritis and pain caused by more serious conditions, such as a heart attack.

However, a heart attack usually causes more widespread pain and additional symptoms, such as breathlessness, nausea and sweating.

If you, or someone you're with, experiences sudden chest pain and you think there's a possibility it could be a heart attack, dial 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance.

If you've had chest pain for a while, don't ignore it. Make an appointment to see your GP so they can investigate the cause.

Causes of costochondritis
Inflammation is the body's natural response to infection, irritation or injury.

It's not known exactly why the costochondral joint becomes inflamed, but in some cases it's been linked to:

severe coughing – which strains your chest area
an injury to your chest
physical strain from repeated exercise or sudden exertion that you're not used to – such as moving furniture
an infection – including respiratory tract infections (RTIs) and wound infections
wear and tear – your chest moves in and out 20 to 30 times a minute, and over time this motion can lead to discomfort in these joints
Diagnosing costochondritis
If you have symptoms of costochondritis, your GP will examine and touch the upper chest area around your costochondral joint. They'll ask you when and where your pain occurs and look at your recent medical history.

Before a diagnosis can be confirmed, some tests may need to be carried out to rule out other possible causes of your chest pain.

These may include:

an electrocardiogram (ECG) – which records the rhythms and electrical activity of your heart
a blood test to check for signs of underlying inflammation
a chest X-ray
If no other condition is suspected or found, a diagnosis of costrochondritis may be made.

Treating costochondritis
Costochondritis often gets better after a few weeks, but self-help measures and medication can manage the symptoms.

Self-help
Costochondritis can be aggravated by any activity that places stress on your chest area, such as strenuous exercise or even simple movements like reaching up to a high cupboard.

Any activity that makes the pain in your chest area worse should be avoided until the inflammation in your ribs and cartilage has improved.

You may also find it soothing to regularly apply heat to the painful area – for example, using a cloth or flannel that's been warmed with hot water.

Painkillers
Painkillers, such as paracetamol, can be used to ease mild to moderate pain.

Taking a type of medication called a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) – such as ibuprofen and naproxen – two or three times a day can also help control the pain and swelling.

Aspirin is also a suitable alternative, but shouldn't be given to children under 16 years old.

These medications are available from pharmacies without a prescription, but you should make sure you carefully read the instructions that come with them before use.

NSAIDs aren't suitable for people with certain health conditions, including:

asthma
stomach ulcers
high blood pressure
kidney or heart problems
Contact your GP if your symptoms get worse despite resting and taking painkillers, as you may benefit from treatment with corticosteroids.

Corticosteroid injections
Corticosteroids are powerful medicines that can help reduce pain and swelling. They can be injected into and around your costochondral joint to help relieve the symptoms of costochondritis.

Corticosteroid injections may be recommended if your pain is severe, or if NSAIDs are unsuitable or ineffective.

They may be given by your GP, or you may need to be referred to a specialist called a rheumatologist.

Having too many corticosteroid injections can damage your costochondral joint, so you may only be able to have this type of treatment once every few months if you continue to experience pain.

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
TENS is a method of pain relief where a mild electric current is delivered to the affected area using a small, battery-operated device.

The electrical impulses can reduce the painA cough will usually go away within 3 weeks on its own.

How you can treat a cough yourself
Most coughs go away on their own within 3 weeks. There's usually no need to see a GP.

You should:

rest
drink plenty of fluids
drink hot lemon with honey (not suitable for babies)
Hot lemon with honey has a similar effect as cough medicines.

How to make hot lemon with honey at home
A pharmacist can help with a cough
Speak to your pharmacist if you have a cough. They can give you advice or suggest treatments to help you cough less, like cough syrups and lozenges. These won’t get rid of the cough.

Some cough medicines shouldn’t be given to children under 12.

Find a pharmacy

See a GP if:
you've had a cough for more than 3 weeks (persistent cough)
your cough is very bad or quickly gets worse, for example – you have a hacking cough or can't stop coughing
you have chest pain
you're losing weight for no reason
the side of your neck feels swollen and painful (swollen glands)
you find it hard to breathe
you have a weakened immune system, for example because of chemotherapy or diabetes
See a GP urgently if you're coughing up blood.

What happens at your appointment
To find out what's causing your cough your GP might:

take a sample of any mucus you might be coughing up
order an X-ray, allergy test, or test to see how well your lungs work
refer you to hospital to see a specialist, but this is very rare
What causes coughs
Most coughs are caused by cold or flu.

Other causes include:

smoking
heartburn (acid reflux)
allergies – for example, hay fever
infections like bronchitis
mucus dripping down the throat from the back of the nose
A cough is very rarely a sign of something serious like lung cancer. signals going to the spinal cord and brain, which may help relieve pain and relax muscles.

They may also stimulate the production of endorphins, which are the body's natural painkillers.

Although TENS may be used to help relieve pain in a wide range of conditions, it doesn't work for everyone.

There isn't enough good-quality scientific evidence to say for sure whether TENS is a reliable method of pain relief. Speak to your GP if you're considering TENS.



Tietze's syndrome
Costochondritis may be harassed with a separate situation called Tietze's syndrome. each conditions involve irritation of the costochondral joint and can reason very similar symptoms.

but, Tietze's syndrome is a lot much less not unusual and regularly reasons chest swelling, which may closing after any ache and tenderness has long past.

Costochondritis also has a tendency to affect adults elderly 40 or over, whereas Tietze's syndrome normally influences young adults under forty.

as the conditions are very comparable, maximum of the facts underneath additionally applies to Tietze's syndrome.

signs and signs
whilst the costochondral joint becomes infected it may result in sharp chest ache and tenderness, which may additionally increase gradually or begin abruptly.

The ache can be made worse through:

a selected posture – which include lying down
stress in your chest – along with carrying a seatbelt or hugging a person
deep respiration, coughing and sneezing
physical pastime
while to seek medical assist
it may be tough to inform the distinction among the chest ache related to costochondritis and pain because of extra serious conditions, consisting of a coronary heart attack.

however, a coronary heart assault typically reasons extra great ache and additional symptoms, together with breathlessness, nausea and sweating.

if you, or a person you are with, studies unexpected chest ache and you watched there's a opportunity it is able to be a coronary heart assault, dial 999 straight away and ask for an ambulance.

if you've had chest ache for some time, do not forget about it. Make an appointment to see your GP if you want to inspect the cause.

causes of costochondritis
irritation is the body's herbal reaction to contamination, infection or damage.

it's not recognised precisely why the costochondral joint becomes infected, but in some instances it's been related to:

excessive coughing – which strains your chest place
an damage for your chest
bodily stress from repeated exercise or sudden exertion which you're not used to – along with shifting furniture
an infection – along with respiration tract infections (RTIs) and wound infections
put on and tear – your chest movements inside and out 20 to 30 instances a minute, and over the years this movement can lead to soreness in those joints
Diagnosing costochondritis
when you have symptoms of costochondritis, your GP will observe and contact the upper chest region round your costochondral joint. they will ask you while and where your pain takes place and look at your latest scientific history.

before a diagnosis may be showed, some checks may additionally want to be completed to rule out different feasible causes of your chest ache.

these may additionally consist of:

an electrocardiogram (ECG) – which information the rhythms and electrical hobby of your heart
a blood test to test for signs of underlying irritation
a chest X-ray
If no other condition is suspected or found, a diagnosis of costrochondritis can be made.

Treating costochondritis
Costochondritis often receives better after a few weeks, however self-help measures and medication can manipulate the symptoms.

Self-help
Costochondritis may be irritated with the aid of any interest that places pressure to your chest area, inclusive of strenuous exercise or maybe simple movements like attaining as much as a high cabinet.

Any activity that makes the ache to your chest area worse need to be prevented until the inflammation for your ribs and cartilage has advanced.

you can also locate it soothing to frequently practice warmth to the painful location – for instance, the use of a cloth or flannel it's been warmed with warm water.

Painkillers
Painkillers, along with paracetamol, can be used to ease mild to slight pain.

Taking a kind of medicinal drug referred to as a non-steroidal anti inflammatory drug (NSAID) – including ibuprofen and naproxen –  or three times an afternoon also can assist manipulate the ache and swelling.

Aspirin is also a appropriate alternative, but should not be given to children beneath sixteen years antique.

those medications are available from pharmacies without a prescription, but you must make certain you cautiously study the commands that include them before use.

NSAIDs are not appropriate for people with sure health situations, such as:

bronchial asthma
stomach ulcers
high blood stress
kidney or heart troubles
contact your GP in case your signs worsen despite resting and taking painkillers, as you can benefit from treatment with corticosteroids.

Corticosteroid injections
Corticosteroids are effective drug treatments which could help reduce pain and swelling. They may be injected into and round your costochondral joint to assist relieve the signs and symptoms of costochondritis.

Corticosteroid injections may be encouraged in case your pain is excessive, or if NSAIDs are fallacious or useless.

they will take delivery of through your GP, or you can want to be referred to a expert referred to as a rheumatologist.

Having too many corticosteroid injections can damage your costochondral joint, so you may additionally simplest be able to have this type of treatment as soon as each few months if you hold to revel in ache.

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
TENS is a technique of pain alleviation wherein a slight electric modern is introduced to the affected area using a small, battery-operated tool.

the electric impulses can lessen the painA cough will commonly depart inside 3 weeks on its personal.

How you can deal with a cough yourself
maximum coughs depart on their own inside three weeks. there is normally no need to see a GP.

You should:

relaxation
drink plenty of fluids
drink hot lemon with honey (not suitable for babies)
warm lemon with honey has a comparable impact as cough drug treatments.

a way to make warm lemon with honey at home
A pharmacist can help with a cough
communicate for your pharmacist if you have a cough. they could come up with advice or endorse treatments to help you cough less, like cough syrups and lozenges. these received’t cast off the cough.

a few cough drugs shouldn’t take delivery of to youngsters under 12.

find a pharmacy

See a GP if:
you have had a cough for greater than 3 weeks (chronic cough)
your cough may be very terrible or speedy gets worse, for example – you have got a hacking cough or cannot forestall coughing
you have chest ache
you are dropping weight for no motive
the side of your neck feels swollen and painful (swollen glands)
you discover it difficult to breathe
you have got a weakened immune device, as an instance due to chemotherapy or diabetes
See a GP urgently in case you're coughing up blood.

What happens at your appointment
To discover what is inflicting your cough your GP would possibly:

take a sample of any mucus you might be coughing up
order an X-ray, allergic reaction take a look at, or take a look at to peer how well your lungs paintings
refer you to hospital to look a specialist, but that is very uncommon
What reasons coughs
maximum coughs are resulting from bloodless or flu.

different reasons consist of:

smoking
heartburn (acid reflux)
hypersensitive reactions – as an instance, hay fever
infections like bronchitis
mucus dripping down the throat from the lower back of the nostril
A cough is very not often a signal of some thing serious like lung most cancers. indicators going to the spinal cord and mind, which can also assist relieve pain and relax muscle groups.

they will additionally stimulate the production of endorphins, that are the frame's herbal painkillers.

despite the fact that TENS can be used to assist relieve pain in a wide variety of conditions, it does not work for each person.

There isn't always sufficient suitable-quality medical evidence to say for positive whether TENS is a reliable technique of ache relief. talk on your GP in case you're thinking about TENS.

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