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Pain Management Health Center

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Home Remedies for Costochondritis

  • Pain relievers such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve) as needed
  • Local heat or ice to relieve pain
  • Avoiding unnecessary exercise or activities that make the symptoms worse; avoid contact sports until there is improvement in symptoms, and then return to normal activities only as tolerated.

Medications for Costochondritis

  • Costochondritis responds to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve).
  • You may be given a local anesthetic and steroid injection in the area that is tender if normal activities become very painful and the pain does not respond to drugs.
  • Infectious (bacterial or fungal) costochondritis should be treated initially with intravenous (in the vein or IV) antibiotics. Afterward, antibiotics by mouth or by IV should be continued for another two to three weeks to complete the therapy.

Surgery for Costochondritis

Surgical removal of the sore cartilage may be required if there is no response to medical therapy for costochondritis. Your doctor will refer you to a surgeon for consultation should this option be considered necessary.

Next Steps

Costochondritis Treatment Follow-up

You should see a doctor during recovery, and then once a year. Infectious costochondritis requires long-term observation.

Costochondritis Prevention

Because inflammatory costochondritis has no definite cause, there is no good way to prevent it.

Costochondritis Outlook

Noninfectious costochondritis will go away on its own, with or without anti-inflammatory treatment. Most people will recover fully.

Infectious costochondritis responds well to IV antibiotics and surgical repair, but recovery may take a long time.

WebMD Medical Reference from eMedicineHealth

Reviewed by David Kiefer, MD on January 03, 2014
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