Ask The Doctors: September 2012
Chest Pain and Arthritis . . . Ehlers-Danlos Disease . . . Rheumatoid Factor
Arthritis can cause pain around any joint in the body. Costochondritis, an inflammation of the junctions where the upper ribs join with the cartilage that holds them to the breastbone or sternum, is frequent in people with arthritis. It causes localized chest pain that you can reproduce by pushing on the cartilage in the front of your rib cage. Costochondritis usually, but not always, involves one side of the breastbone. Sometimes the pain can extend to the shoulder or arm on the involved side. Most cases of costochondritis are not related to a systemic type of arthritis. While there is no specific treatment for the condition, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, often are prescribed to reduce the pain and inflammation.