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If You Like Weightlifting, You Should Be Aware of Costochondritis - 14 April 2022

Written by Zalfa Imani Trijatna

Be aware of costochondritis if you were weightlifting

Prixa, Jakarta - Going to the gym or fitness center to exercise has become a hobby for some. One of the most popular exercises that you can do at the gym is weightlifting, starting from light to heavy workouts. Though it can help you build muscle and burn fat, if you overdo it, weightlifting can cause costochondritis.

According to the National Health Service of the United Kingdom (NHS UK), costochondritis is a medical term for inflammation of the cartilage that joins your ribs to your breastbone (sternum). The inflamed area is known as the costochondral joint.

Costochondritis may occur when you lift heavy weights too often. According to the Cleveland Clinic, the constant repetitive motion of lifting weights can increase the risk of injury to the chest, including costochondritis.

Symptoms of costochondritis

The primary symptom of costochondritis is a pain in the chest area. According to the Mayo Clinic, if you suffer from this condition, the pain that you experience will have these characteristics:

  • Occurs on the left side of the sternum

  • Feels sharp or pressing

  • Affects more than one rib

  • May worsen when you take a deep breath or cough

Treatment of costochondritis

In most cases, you will recover from costochondritis without any treatment. However, some people might have to deal with costochondritis for months and even more if it is not treated properly. Having costochondritis for months seems horrible. Therefore, to recover faster, it is advisable that you practice the following three.

Let your body rest

As soon as you realize that symptoms of costochondritis have begun to develop, you should rest your body, especially the chest area. You should avoid sports or activities that may worsen your symptoms, such as contact sports, strenuous physical activities, and weightlifting.

Use a warm compress on your chest

When chest pain occurs as a result of costochondritis, you can relieve the pain by applying a warm compress to your chest. You can compress the painful area for 20 to 30 minutes every 2 hours until you feel better.

Take some medicine

Besides using a warm compress, you can also take medication to reduce chest pain. According to Prixa, you can take anti-inflammatory drugs, painkillers, and antibiotics (if caused by a bacterial infection). In addition, you should consult with your doctor first so that you can consume the right medicine for your condition.

Prevention of costochondritis due to weightlifting

Indeed, costochondritis can be cured when treated appropriately. That being said, it is always better to prevent it than to treat it, especially if you are really into weightlifting. To prevent costochondritis, you can always keep these 3 things in mind:

  • Get enough rest after exercise

  • Know the limit of your weightlifting ability

  • Avoid hitting the chest area while lifting weights

When to visit a doctor?

It will be better if you consult a doctor when you begin experiencing symptoms of costochondritis. However, you should immediately seek medical attention when you start to have trouble breathing, have a high fever, and experience redness or swelling around your ribs. Doctors will usually discuss your symptoms and evaluate the condition of other organs, such as your heart, lungs, and digestion.

Reviewed by dr. Vito Jonathan

If you start to experience chest pain after lifting weights, you can immediately consult a doctor to get recommendations for the right treatment. Click the button below for a teleconsultation with a Prixa doctor without having to leave your home. So, what are you waiting for?


Prixa. Accessed in 2022. Kostokondritis

NHS. Accessed in 2022. Costochondritis

Cleveland Clinic. Accessed in 2022. Chest Pain in Young Athletes: When You Should Be Concerned

Mayo Clinic. Accessed in 2022. Costochondritis

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