Costochondritis Follow-up

Updated: Jul 28, 2016
  • Author: Lynn K Flowers, MD, MHA, ABAARM, FACEP; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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Follow-up

Further Outpatient Care

See the list below:

  • NSAIDs for pain control
  • Local heat
  • Local infiltration of local anesthetic, steroid, or intercostal nerve block (reserved for refractory cases)
  • Biofeedback
  • Gentle stretching of the pectoralis muscles 2-3 times a day may be beneficial
  • Primary care follow-up with persistent symptoms
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Deterrence/Prevention

Measures to prevent costochondritis include the following:

  • Avoid repetitive misuse of muscles.
  • Modify improper posture or ergonomics of the home or work place.
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Prognosis

The prognosis for patients with costochondritis is excellent. However, after 1 year, about half of patients still may have discomfort; approximately one third report tenderness with palpation.

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Patient Education

See the list below:

  • Reassure patients of the benign nature of the problem, and instruct them regarding avoidance of provoking activities.
  • Provide patients with a good understanding of the proper use and potential adverse effects of NSAIDs.
  • For patient education information, see the First Aid and Injuries Center, as well as Costochondritis and Chronic Pain.
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