Costochondritis is an irritation of the joints that connect the ribs to the breastbone. It is a form of arthritis, but it is not caused by wear and tear, as is osteoarthritis, or an underlying disease process, as is rheumatoid arthritis. Costochondritis usually results from some unaccustomed activity, such as lifting a heavy object, and results in chest pain that typically worsens with straining of the rib cage. The condition usually requires no specific treatment. Nonprescription medication (aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen) and applying heat to the area may ease the pain. If possible, avoid any movements that aggravate the pain. Symptoms should subside within a few weeks.