Actress Chhavi Mittal, who is also a cancer survivor, took to social media to share a health update, revealing that she has been diagnosed with costochondritis.
‘Naya wali beemaari laayi hoon market mein," she wrote on Instagram, adding that costochondritis may be the result of radiation from cancer treatment.
What are the symptoms? How can it be diagnosed? Here is a short read to help you better understand the condition.
What is costochondritis?
Simply put, costochondritis is the inflammation - swelling- of the costochondral joint. This joint consists of cartilages (costal cartilage) which connect the ribs to the chest bone - sternum.
It is identified as a sharp pain in the chest which erupts or worsens due to certain activities such as lying down, deep breathing, heavy weight lifting (not just in the gym), etc.
According to the National Institutes of Health in the United States (NIH_ the underlying causes for the condition are not well established. There may be a range of reasons which result in such inflammation including strain on the chest, trauma from an injury, etc.
Who is at a higher risk?
Adults above the age of 40 are at a higher risk of costochondritis. And those who are assigned female at birth are more susceptible to the same, says the Cleveland Clinic.
What are the causes of Costochondritis?
While there are no specific causes for the condition to develop; some of the underlying reasons may include:
An injury to the chest or its trauma
Coughing too hard or incessantly
A bacterial/fungal infection on the chest
Excessive use of upper body
Lifting of heavy objects with improper form
Strain on the chest
It may also be stemming from other conditions such as:
Rheumatoid Arthritis (stiffness and swelling in the joints)
Fibromyalgia (a condition which is associated with long term or chronic pain)
While the above mentioned are the more common causes, in very rare cases the cause may be tumor in the chest.
What is the diagnosis for costochondritis?
The diagnosis for costochondritis lies in the elimination of all other possible reasons for chest pain; pulmonary diseases, heart attacks, pneumonia, acid reflux, or a broken rib.
In order to diagnose better and eliminate any additional reason for the chest pain, the doctor may recommend a range of tests, says NIH, these will include:
Laboratory Tests: to eliminate any diseases or conditions such as heart-attacks or pneumonia.
Radiology: A scan of the chest and lungs to rule out any infections. The X-ray in the case of the costochondritis will be normal.
ECG: Necessary to rule out any further conditions.
What is the treatment for costochondritis?
Treatment for costochondritis will depend on the intensity. Whether the condition is mild - less pain- or if it is severe; or if it keeps coming back. The treatments are easy and can be done at home, some of these are:
Contrast therapy (hot and cold treatment)
Over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) as per prescription
And loads of rest!
All in all costochondritis is manageable, however, it is important to consult your doctor about the same. All chest pain may not be costochondritis and any chest pain must be reported to the doctor to avoid any risks.
It is non-communicable and is self limiting - which means that it will go away on its own with the right diagnosis and treatment!