Symptoms of chostochondritis include a sharp pain at the front of the chest and tenderness on palpation of the rib joints, reports eMedicineHealth. The pain may become worse when the patient moves his body or takes a deep breath.
Chostochondritis chest pain affects specific ribs, notably the fourth, fifth and sixth ribs, according to Healthline. The patient feels pain on the front chest wall that may radiate to his abdomen or back. Chostochondritis pain mostly affects the left side and is sharp or pressure-like, reports Mayo Clinic.
Chostochondritis pain often presents itself or becomes worse after strenuous exercise, an infection of the upper respiratory tract or minor trauma, according to eMedicineHealth. It may also occur after an infection due to surgery, though in such cases the operation site may also be swollen and have pus discharge.
Pressing on the affected area may reproduce the pain, according to American Family Physician. For some patients, moving, breathing in deeply and stretching increases the chest pain, reports WebMD. Conversely, breathing in very quietly and decreasing movement reduces the pain.
A differentiating symptom of chostochondritis is tenderness when touching the affected area, reports eMedicineHealth. If there is no tenderness, diagnosis is unlikely. Since the symptoms of chostochondritis are similar to other more serious conditions, such as a heart attack, it is important for patients to seek prompt medical care when they experience chest pain, notes Mayo Clinic.