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Fibromyalgia & Costochondritis: Pain in the Chest & Ribs


Updated June 13, 2014

Fibromyalgia & Costochondritis: Pain in the Chest & Ribs

Do you get a horrible burning pain in your chest and ribcage? Have you thought you were having a heart attack, only to have doctors say your heart is fine? If so, you may have costochondritis.

This was actually my first fibromyalgia-related pain. When it hit, I ended up in the ER with a suspected heart attack. The doctor ruled out anything cardiac or intestinal, then poked a few spots where my ribs and breastbone come together. That hurt like crazy, so he said I had an injury there and that it would heal in a few days.

Of course, it didn't heal. It comes and goes, causing the worst of my pains and a lump on my breast bone that looks like half a golf ball. In the medical community, it's a debate as to whether this is costochondritis, somehow made chronic by fibromyalgia, or just another symptom of fibromyalgia that mimics costochonritis. Personally, I think it's a separate condition. My chest pain is accompanied by a lump on my breastbone that gets better with ice and anti-inflammatories. That doesn't sound like fibromyalgia to me!

Note: If you start getting chest pain, don't assume it's costochondritis or fibromyalgia! Always treat chest pain as a possible heart problem and get it checked out immediately.

Learn more about costochondritis, its symptoms, how it's diagnosed, and how you can treat it:


Photo © A.D.A.M.

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