Chronic pain in the rib cage and the chest wall is the primary symptom. The pain can get worse with exercise and active life. In fact, any minor movement which activates the inflamed cartilage, such as deep breathing, sneezing or coughing, can increase pain. The pain can also move up towards your shoulders and down to your arms which is very similar during a heart attack. At times, swelling and redness are observed in the affected area and this condition is known as the Tietze’s syndrome.
It has been observed that people with fibromyalgia are more likely to suffer from symptoms that are very similar to costochondritis. However, it is not clear whether costochondritis is a symptom of fibromyalgia or a result of fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is not an inflammatory condition and hence is unlikely to cause the inflammation in the costochondral junctions. However, a theory suggest that the tender points in fibromyalgia which are located just beneath the collar bones may have a role in causing costochondritis but there are no definitive grounds.