What is it?

Costochondritis; caused by inflammation of cartilage between the ribs and sternum (breastbone). It commonly affects the 4th, 5th and 6th ribs.

Cartilage is a connective tissue between joints of the body; it acts as a shock absorber to movement, protecting our joints from damage.

Signs & Symptoms:

  • Sharp chest pain
  • Pain on changing posture
  • Pain on pressure against chest e.g. clothing or seat belt
  • Pain on deep breathing, coughing or sneezing
  • Pain on physical activity / exercise


  • Excessive coughing
  • Injury e.g. trauma or impact
  • Exercise / overuse resulting in strain
  • Respiratory Tract Infections
  • Arthritis


At Jonathan Clark Physiotherapy, our therapists can provide a diagnosis, advice and education regarding appropriate pain relief and management techniques. Management includes tailored exercises and stretches, postural education and advice on lifestyle to help minimise further irritation and inflammation.

Costochondritis can take a number of weeks / months to fully resolve, so getting advice early can help you speed up your recovery! Visit our website at: to see what else we can offer!