Fibromyalgia and chest pain: what is normal, symptoms and treatment?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease. A person will often experience pain, tenderness, and stiffness in many muscles, connective tissues, bones, and joints. Although symptoms differ from person to person, many report intense, acute or throbbing pain in the chest and rib cage. When fibromyalgia causes inflammation of the cartilage that connects the upper ribs to the sternum, it results in a condition called costochondritis.
The resulting pain can be confused with heart pain. As always, a correct diagnosis is essential. In this article, we examine what types of chest pain are normally associated with fibromyalgia. We also describe the treatment options. Fibromyalgia can cause pain throughout the body, including the chest.
People with fibromyalgia tend to have chronic pain, stiffness and tenderness that radiate throughout the body. Although this disease was once considered a non-inflammatory disease, research conducted in 2017 suggests that fibromyalgia causes widespread inflammation that is not detected by routine blood tests. If fibromyalgia-related inflammation affects the cartilage that connects the upper ribs to the sternum, this can result in costochondritis.
In their first experience of costochondritis or painful or restrictive chest symptoms associated with fibromyalgia, many fear that something is wrong with their lungs or they have a heart attack.
The severity of the symptoms usually depends on the extent of the inflammation. This is true for the symptoms of costochondritis and the symptoms of thoracic fibromyalgia.
The pain caused by costochondritis can be felt either in the center of the chest or anywhere along the cartilage between the sternum and sternum and the ribs.
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