What Is the Diagnosis and Treatment of Costochondritis?

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In order to diagnosis, your doctor will do a physical exam, pressing on your chest to check for areas of tenderness. He will also take a look at your range of motion and listen to your breathing. While there is no laboratory or imaging test to confirm a diagnosis of costochondritis, order additional tests like a chest X-ray. The treatment will be focused on pain relief, and doctors will probably recommend one or more of the following:
  • Antidepressants.
  • Anti-seizure drugs.
  • Narcotics.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Other treatments might include:
  • Stretching exercises. Gentle stretching exercises for the chest muscles may be helpful.
  • Nerve stimulation. In a procedure called transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), a device sends a weak electrical current via adhesive patches on the skin near the area of pain.
  • Surgical and other procedures.