Costochondritis & Breast Pain

Updated April 17, 2017

Costochondritis is not a condition of the breast, but it can feel like the pain is coming from the breast. It is actually an inflammation in the cartilage between the rib and the sternum (breastbone).


Pain around the breast can indicate costochondritis. It is accompanied by painful (and sometimes difficult) breathing and coughing.


A doctor will determine if the breast pain is costochondritis through an examination, pressing on the area to check for swelling. Tests are often performed to make sure the pain isn't from heart, lung or gastrointestinal problems.


Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) will bring down the inflammation and breast pain from costochondritis. Antidepressants and muscle relaxers are also prescribed to help severe pain.


Costochondritis and the breast pain that accompanies it usually go away in a week or two, even without treatment.


Chest pain should never be ignored, even if it feels like breast pain. If the pain persists or worsens, a doctor should confirm that it is actually costochondritis.

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About the Author

Marcia Frost is a writer covering travel, food, wine/spirits, and health. She writes for many on and offline publications, including The Daily Meal, Girls Getaway, Travelhoppers, and Princess Cruises.She also has a popular blog, Wine And SpiritsTravel. She has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Long Island University.