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Pain Management

Understanding Costochondritis

02/05/2007

Question:

In reading about this ailment, no one knows what causes it or how long it will stay, and if it goes away, when or if it will it return. What are the usual prescribed drugs to alleviate this pain? Thank you.

Answer:

Costochondritis is a musculoskeletal type of pain, usually resulting from an inflammation of the junctions where the ribs come together at the breastbone or below it on either side. As such, it may respond to medications that work on pain stemming from muscles, tendon, joints or bone and that is usually associated with inflammation. Typical medications used include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as ibuprofen or naprosyn), muscle relaxant medications, tramadol and sometimes topical agents. Local injections of numbing medications with steroids by a pain management specialist may hasten recovery.

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Response by:

Salim M Hayek, MD, PhD Salim M Hayek, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University