Costochondritis normally causes symptoms on the left side of the breastbone such as pressure, aching or sharp pain, according to Mayo Clinic. This intensifies when the affected person takes a deep breath or coughs, and it affects more than one rib. People who experience these symptoms should seek medical attention.
Normally, there is not a particular reason or illness that causes costochondritis, states WebMD; however, viral, bacterial and fungal infections can lead to development of the condition. Additionally, people who have surgery on the upper chest area, use intravenous drugs or have a respiratory infection can have chest pain related to costochondritis. When this condition is a direct result of surgery, redness, pus at the surgical site and swelling occur. This is a sign of infection and medical attention is needed. Also seek medical care for a high fever, nausea and worsening pain that is not relieved with medication.
Although this condition can last for a period of several weeks, it normally clears up on its own, explains Mayo Clinic. Treatment for costochondritis can include medication, therapy or surgery if other treatments do not help. The types of medications used to treat costochondritis center on relieving pain associated with the condition. Narcotics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication, antidepressants and anti-seizure medications are used. Physical therapy can include stretching or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.