Pain in the sternum area is caused by many factors. One of its major causes is sternal fracture, which is characterized mainly by severe pain, tingling sensation and dull feeling in the left, right, upper and lower parts of the chest area. Likewise, it can also be a result of other medical conditions including septic arthritis, costochondritis and fibromyalgia. Knowing its symptoms can actually help a lot in determining the actual cause of the problem. Meanwhile, knowledge of its causes can teach people what things to avoid. On the other hand, information on the various treatments for this kind of painful condition can eventually help ease the discomfort and chronic pain that patients experience.
Sternum Pain Symptoms
For people suffering from sternal fracture, they usually experience crepitus, which is a weird sound associated with broken bones rubbing against each other. Likewise, there is swelling, bruising and tenderness in the injured area. More than anything else, it is characterized by sharp stabbing wound, which is very difficult and highly uncomfortable to bear. The fracture is very much visible even by doing simple things such as breathing. For those with costochondritis, there is obvious inflammation in the junctions that connect the upper part of the ribs with the cartilage attached to the sternum.
Causes of Sternum Pain
A number of factors can cause pain in the sternum, one of which is sternal fracture. Another is costochondritis, plus another common form called Tietze syndrome. Septic arthritis can also lead to chronic and shooting pain in the sternum. Other possible factors that can contribute to severe pain in the sternum area are fibromyalgia and ankylosing spondylitis, both of which are guaranteed to cause utmost discomfort to patients.
Sternum Pain Diagnosis
In order to provide the best diagnosis possible for such painful condition, it is good to conduct x-ray on patients. This method is highly recommended for individuals exhibiting signs of sternal fractures and chest trauma. Soon after, patients can undergo CT scans for better understanding of their current medical conditions. For instances where it is possible for patients to have cardiac injuries, they are highly advised to undergo electrocardiogram to monitor their heart function.
Sternum Pain Relief
When treating pain, it is good to give patients non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. In certain cases, injecting corticosteroids is highly recommended. For people experiencing sternum pain caused by fibromyalgia, doctors usually recommend antidepressants, which are quite helpful in releasing pain-killing endorphins, improving the quality of sleep as well as relaxing skeletal muscles. Furthermore, there are other methods of treatment possible such as counseling, physical therapy and patient education.