Costochondritis Follow-up

Updated: Sep 24, 2021
  • Author: Lynn K Flowers, MD, MHA, ABAARM, FACEP; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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Further Outpatient Care

Outpatient treatment for costochondritis may include the following

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for pain control
  • Local heat
  • Local infiltration of local anesthetic, steroid, or intercostal nerve block (reserved for refractory cases)
  • Biofeedback
  • Acupuncture [15]
  • Gentle stretching of the pectoralis muscles 2-3 times a day may be beneficial
  • Physical therapy [1, 16]
  • Primary care follow-up for patients with persistent symptoms [17]


Measures to prevent costochondritis include the following:

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


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.


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 What Is Costochondritis?