Cartilage is a relatively soft material that is found in many places in the body. It is relatively flexible and this is important in places where some degree of flexibility is needed, such as in the joints. Without it, our skeletons might be too brittle and we could get injured too easily.
Cartilage is also found at the front of the rib cage where the ribs join the sternum. This cartilage can become inflamed and sore in a condition which is known as costochondritis.
Costochondritis is not necessarily a dangerous condition and it will often go away itself after a while, although it can be very uncomfortable.
Symptom #1: Pain When Breathing
Our lungs are hard at work every single day. Despite this, we barely notice that they are there. This is because they are so well adapted at what they do that the task is easy for them. If all is not well, though, then even something as fundamental as breathing can become very difficult for us.
Patients with costochondritis will often find that they experience pain when breathing. This is obviously very difficult for them because breathing is a necessity and something they cannot simply stop doing. This will also likely make it very difficult for them to exercise or undertake any other physical exertion.