Sternum Pain

What is Sternum Pain?

Sternum Pain is severe chest pain observed due to bone related issues. Often the Sternum Pain is mistaken as the normal chest pain, but that could lead dangerous consequences. The Sternum Pain occurs due to the breastbone and on the upper left portion of the chest.

The reasons behind the pain in the bone are different topic, but it is entirely different from cardiovascular reason. So, pressing the bones in the emergency situation actually make things worse.

It has been noticed that the Sternum Pain causes breaking sound as well. However, the sound can be best heard by the patient. In medical terms it is also called as the radiating pain. The Sternum Pain is common in women.

sternum pain location

Sternum Pain Causes and Treatments

Sternum Pain is no heart attack and there are not many reasons to be panicked for that. However, there are issues that cause the radiating pain in the chest. There is a differentiator which determines the difference between Sternum Pain and the heart attack is the area of impact.

The Sternum Pain does not have an impact apart from the chest. However, the Heart Attacks can spread through the other areas like arm, back and other adjoining areas of the heart. The reasons behind the Sternum Pains are the following.

The treatments of the Sternum Pain are directly related to the cause of the Sternum Pain. Hence it is very important to understand the cause to get the proper treatment and medication in case of Sternum Pain. However, basic treatment can be same to relax the patient and bring the pain under control.  The causes and the Treatments are explained below.

1. Heartburn

This is common in pregnancy when the Heartburn causes the radiating pain. However, the pain is observed at the lower portion of the chest.

Treatment– Antacids are generally taken to neutralize the heartburn. Heartburn cause increase of acidity in the body and that initiates the pain, the antacids can be very helpful in such situation.

2. Joint Damage

Joint Damage can cause intensive pain in the Sternum. The Sternum Pain cases due to Joint Damages have increased a lot in recent times. Various diseases like Arthritis can make the situation even worse for it. Muscle damage or injury to particular joint can also create the same issue of Sternum Pain.

Treatment- Common home remedies include hot and cold treatment for inflammation. Heat Treatment is also very helpful in these conditions. The warm ointment application or similar medication treatment can help the tissues relax in case of stress or similar things. The Joint Pain Killers like Ibrufin and Naproxen are also very useful in such treatment.

3. Costochondritis

This is the most frequent reason of the pain. The stressing of muscle or ligament can actually hamper the sternum. A bruised area in the rib cage is enough to give discomfort and pain. It is generally seen at the joint where rib meets the sternum. It is observed in case of accidents as well.

Treatment- The treatment like Hot and Cold treatment and relaxing muscle are quite helpful. However, in case of severe injury, medication is required. The pain killers such Ibrufin and Naproxen are quite good. Heat Treatment also finds reasonable relevance for the treatment. In case of very serious injury, surgery might be required.

4. Surgery

Many surgeries has proven the cause behind the Sternum Pain in the medical records. The Surgery may leave some procedure unfinished or internal healing due to surgery may impact the Sternum Pain. It may have short stay but stress can bring it back as the pain is recursive in nature.

Treatment- Heat Treatment and natural remedies can be helpful in such situations. However, in case of higher risks and damage medication might be required to heal the internal injuries. Another surgery might have to be carried out in case of high damage.

5. Inflammation

It looks like a normal concern, but may end up in dangerous consequences if not taken care properly. Any injury can cause internal inflammation and that can in turn cause immense Sternum Pain for the patient. Over exercise and stress can lead to same problem.

Treatment- There are medications available for the Sternum Pain. The anti-inflammatory and anti-steroidal medicines can be helpful to address the situation. . Applying oil on the area of stress also helps the particular area to relax. Ibrufin can be effective as well.

6. Stress Attack

Stress attack is common for many people. However, everybody is not aware the same stress attack also causes an additional Sternum Pain. The stress attack initiates the pain and it may confuse the patient of heart attack. Hence it is very important to understand the reasons and causes of the Sternum Pain.

Treatment– In times when the stress panic stops breathing and creates Sternum pain, home remedies can be effective. By breathing into plastic packet the breathing can be improved slowly. It also helps the patient to calm down and relax. Applying oil on the area of stress also helps the particular area to relax.

This is the last step of the treatment. The Sternum Pain can be caused due to severe issues like fracture in the breastbone and other issues. Home remedies and medication may not give the patient enough chance for treatment. To avoid complications, the doctors go for surgery. Surgery generally cures the problem and makes the patient fit again. However, before operating the patient, the diagnosis of the reason is very important.

The Sternum Pain is not very alarming situation but frequently observed. The tremendous pain of the Sternum forces the patient to mistake it with cardio pain and creates panic.


  • Koopman, William, et al., eds. Clinical Primer of Rheumatology. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2003.
  • Yang, S.C., P.L. Shao, P.R. Hsueh, K.H. Lin, and L.M. Huang. “Successful Treatment of Candida Tropicalis Arthritis, Osteomyelitis and Costochondritis With Caspofungin and Fluconazole in a Recipient of Bone Marrow Transplantation.” Acta Paediatr 95.5 May 2006: 629-630.

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