Which clinical history findings are characteristic of costochondritis?

Updated: Feb 19, 2020
  • Author: Lynn K Flowers, MD, MHA, ABAARM, FACEP; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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Answer

The onset of costochondritis is often insidious. Chest wall pain with a history of repeated minor trauma or unaccustomed activity (eg, painting, moving furniture) is common. Pain may be described as follows:

  • Exacerbated by trunk movement, deep inspiration, and/or exertion
  • Lessens with decreased movement, quiet breathing, or change of position
  • Sharp, nagging, aching, or pressurelike
  • Usually quite localized but may extend or radiate extensively
  • May be severe
  • May wax and wane

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