How Do I Treat Cartilage Inflammation?

An ice pack, which can help with cartilage inflammation.
Costochondritis is inflammation of the cartilage between the ribs and the breastbone.
Excessive weight on the joints for a prolonged period of time may cause cartilage inflammation.
Some cases of cartilage inflammation can be treated effectively using antidepressants or muscle relaxers.
Physical therapy may be used to maintain range of motion and muscle strengths when joints are impacted by inflammation.
Swimming might be beneficial to those with cartilage inflammation.
After a meniscus tear, applying ice to the knee can help relieve pain and reduce swelling.
Article Details
  • Written By: A. Pasbjerg
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 19 February 2015
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
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Chondritis, or cartilage inflammation, can affect any part of the body where cartilage exists. Some common types include osteochondritis, which affects the joints, and costochondritis, which occurs in the cartilage of the ribs. The condition can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness in the affected area. Often it requires little to no treatment and resolves on its own, but there are several possible ways to treat cartilage inflammation to minimize discomfort and promote healing.

One of the most basic treatments for cartilage inflammation is rest. Physical activities that aggravate the affected cartilage should be minimized or avoided altogether, and occasionally immobilizing the impacted area is called for. By limiting the movement of the inflamed area, pain and strain can be avoided and the cartilage is allowed to heal.

Another simple way to treat cartilage inflammation is by applying heat or cold, depending on which one provides the person relief. An ice pack applied to the affected area may help reduce swelling and pain. Alternatively, a heating pad set to low heat may also work to address symptoms.


Certain medications are also used to treat cartilage inflammation. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, help decrease pain and minimize the inflammation. Shots of corticosteroids may be given in the impacted location if NSAIDs are not effective. In some cases, other types of drugs such as muscle relaxants, local anesthetics, and even some types of antidepressants may be used to offer pain relief. If the inflammation is being caused by an infection, antibiotics may be necessary.

Although rest and avoiding overuse of the affected area is recommended, some physical activities may be useful to treat cartilage inflammation. Light, low-impact exercises like walking or swimming, as long as they do not exacerbate symptoms, may help maintain some flexibility and increase the person’s overall feeling of well-being. Physical therapy may be used to maintain range of motion and increase muscle strength to support affected joints.

Some extreme cases may need surgery to correct the issue. If the inflamed cartilage does not respond to other, less invasive treatments, it might become necessary to remove it. In the case of osteochondritis dissecans, where the bone in the joint is damaged along with the cartilage, the patient can be severely impacted by pain and loss of mobility. If the other treatments mentioned above do not work, arthroscopic surgery may be the best option to repair any damage.



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Post 1

I am a 20 year old guy. My name is Stan Yeung. I am living in Hong Kong and I am currently a full-time college student.

Here is what happened. About 18 months ago, I had a pinched nerve that connects from the diaphragm to the neck, on the left. I pinched the part of my Phrenic Nerve in my lower left rib. You may be asking: what is the phrenic nerve? It is one of a pair of nerves that arises from the cervical spinal roots and passes down the thorax to the diaphragm and controls breathing.

Before the injury happened, I remember I had not been feeling normal and had felt anxiety for several days. Eventually, one night

, something happened. I felt like I had a flare-up of the phrenic nerve from my lower left rib. I had numbness in my left temple soon after it happened.

Since that was settled, I have been having left breathing weakness (but not in the most extremities like I don't have to use a ventilator but, that nerve right down there does affect my left lower breathing a lot).

I also am experiencing quite a bit of cartilage inflammation in my neck, which start from the back of my neck and gradually "spread" to the sides, then the front to the sides of the throat and the hyoid bone. It is not cancerous. Rather, it is a skeletal problem.

Specifically, I have problems with: the cartilage under the bilateral sternocleidomastoid muscles, the cartilage at the back of my neck, and the bilateral cartilage near my throat (left and right to the Adam's apple). When I try to maneuver my hyoid bone with my fingers, I can feel the friction and the sound near the sides of the hyoid bone. I have also been able to feel inflammation at the left back of my hyoid bone for a few weeks, and the parts between my left side hyoid bone and the left side cartilage under the left sternocleidomastoid muscle feel the worst because it seems like it touches a nerve that occasionally numbs my left temple.

The X-ray of my cervical spine only showed cervical scoliosis to the right, and my MRI showed no sign of any problems with my spinal cord. It has been hard living with the conditions and I have to take sleeping pills at night to soothe these conditions in order to get some sleep. I really want to die.

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