Sternum pain causes and associated symptoms. Sternum pain is a medical condition that is most commonly caused by injury. However, there are many other causes of sternum pain. Sternum is the large flat bone right at the center of the chest. That is why it is called chest bone. The sternum is a place where the ribs emerge. Ribs wind round the chest and join back at the spine. At the top, sternum is joined to the collar bone. Together , this system of bones make a flexible yet strong enclosure for internal organs. Many a times, the sternum can get injured, as in sports. Pain due to injury can be very painful and requires medical care. Sternum pain can also occur because of other reasons and be accompanied by symptoms of other diseases.
Sternum pain causes.
- Costochondritis : This is a disease which causes pain in the sternum. It is in general accompanied by pain in the ribs too. In this condition, there is inflammation of the cartilage that joins the ribs to the sternum. Sometimes, swelling may even be visible. The pain may be rhythmic to breathing and thus make breathing painful. The pain on breathing may seem to some people like a symptom of heart attack. But, there is difference between the symptom of heart attack and pain that is caused by this condition. It is different from heart pain.
- Heartburn : People who have digestion problems can experience pain in the sternum. The food pipe is just beneath the sternum. If the gastric acid re fluxes into the esophagus, there is pain and scarring of the food pipe. This can lead to sensation of acute pain in the sternum. This sternum pain may occur after eating or when you lay down after eating. Stomach contains a powerful gastric acid which can cause ulcer in the food pipe. If the ulcer worsens, the pain can worsen and there could be bleeding.
- Inflammation in the membrane of the lungs : Our lungs are coated by a thin membrane. This is in contact with the sternum and ribs. If this membrane gets infected and there is inflammation, it can cause pain in the sternum. There may be pain in the ribs as well. Many times, this can happen due to high intensity physical exercise and sports which may injure this fragile membrane. With rest, it generally improves. This condition may also be caused by your sleeping posture. Try to sleep in a comfortable posture by putting minimum pressure on the ribs.
- Injury to the collar bone : The collar bone is fragile and it may be get injured easily. Sometimes, an injury to the collar bone can cause pain in the whole region of the front chest.
- Muscle Spasm : A sudden twitch or muscle spasm in the chest muscles can lead to muscle tear. This can cause pain in the sternum.
- After Heart Surgery : It is seen in many people that there may be pain in the sternum after a heart surgery. You should consult a doctor about this pain.
Fracture in the sternum or even a crack can cause excruciating pain in the sternum. Pain in the sternum is a serious matter and medical help should be taken immediately. Sternum pain can also be symptom of serious disease like bone marrow infection. It is important to tell the doctor about the type of pain you have – whether it is sharp,popping, dull or radiating and if it is in a concentrated spot then where is it-above,below or to the side of the sternum.