Costochondritis typically lasts for a week or two, according to Summit Medical Group. Costochondritis is a pain between a rib and the sternum, often with no clear cause. The condition does not cause any long-term problems.
Symptoms of costochondritis consist of sharp pain and tenderness in the front of the chest, states Summit Medical Group. Stretching or applying pressure exacerbates the pain, which individuals often confuse for heart attack pain. Causes of costochondritis include chest injury or trauma, infection and overuse of the chest during exercise. Fibromyalgia is another possible cause, notes MedicineNet. Symptomatic treatments, such as anti-inflammatory medication and thermal compresses, usually resolve symptoms. Taking deep breaths also minimizes the risk of pneumonia.