Chest Pain; If Heart Attack Is Always The Reason?

Costochondritis or chest wall pain is an inflammation of the junctions where the upper ribs join with the cartilage that holds them to the sternum or breastbone. The condition causes localized chest pain that you can increase by pushing on the cartilage in the front of your ribcage. Chest wall pain is further described as non-cardiac chest pain which means it don’t has to do anything with heart problem.

Symptoms of chest wall pain

Chest wall pain comes with following signs and symptoms;

  • The pain which is often dull and sometimes will be sharp and located on your front chest wall. It may radiate to your abdomen or back and is more common on your left side.
  • There can be pain with a cough or deep breath.
  • The most common pain sites are your fourth, fifth, and sixth ribs. This pain expands or increases as you move your trunk or take deep breaths. Conversely, it decreases as you stop moving or with quiet breathing.

What causes chest wall pain?

Chest wall pain is caused by problems affecting the muscles, bones or nerves of the chest wall. Here are some common causes of chest wall pain.


Costochondritis indicates pain and tenderness in the costochondral junction, which is the area along the sides of the breastbone where the ribs attach. The Costochondritis pain is generally localized to one particular spot, most typically on the left side of the breastbone. This condition sometimes called costosternal syndrome or anterior chest wall syndrome

Chest Trauma

Trauma to the chest wall is leading chest wall pain reason. It can cause muscle strains or sprains, bruises, or fractures of the ribs. The trauma may be due to some dramatic event such as being struck by a baseball or a car, or to some more subtle trauma such as lifting a heavy object.

Lower Rib Pain Syndrome

Lower rib pain syndrome affects the lower ribs, and people who have this condition usually complaint about pain in the lower part of their chest or in the abdomen. It is also called as slipping rib syndrome.


Fibromyalgia is a relatively common syndrome consisting of various, diffuse musculoskeletal pains including chest wall pain. Pain over the chest is common in this condition. Fibromyalgia often has many other symptoms in addition to pain, such as fatigue, sleep disorders, and gastrointestinal symptoms, which cause many physicians to characterize this condition as one of the dysautonomias.

Zaki Anwar MD is an Anesthesiologist and Interventional Pain Management Specialist. He has great expertise for the diagnosis and treatment of back pain, headaches, migraines, neck pain, sciatica pain and various pain conditions. His center has offering various treatment options including stem cell therapy, amniotic fluid injection and much more.

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