Costochondritis most often goes away on its own in a few days or weeks, though it can take up to a few months. Treatment focuses on relieving the pain.
- Apply hot or cold compresses.
- Avoid activities that make the pain worse.
Pain medicines, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve), may help to ease pain and swelling. You can buy these without a prescription.
- Talk with your provider before using these medicines if you have heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease, liver disease, or have had stomach ulcers or internal bleeding in the past.
- Do not take more than the amount recommended on the bottle or more than your provider advises you to take. Carefully read the warnings on the label before taking any medicine.
You also may take acetaminophen (Tylenol) instead, if your provider tells you it is safe to do so. People with liver disease should not take this medicine.
If your pain is severe, your provider may prescribe stronger pain medicine.
In some cases, your provider may recommend physical therapy.