Q. What is the reason for sternal pain while doing push-ups?

Answered by
Mohammed Wajid
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 25, 2022

Hi doctor,

When I do push-ups, I feel a sudden pain. It just started two to three days of me doing push-ups. It is like a light pain in my sternum, but it does not feel like a muscle strain. This pain gets worse with more push-ups. After a couple of days of doing high amounts of push-ups, just one push-up causes the pain to start. Kindly help.



Welcome to

I can understand your concern. The most common cause of sternum pain is a condition called costochondritis. This occurs when the cartilage that connects your ribs to your sternum becomes inflamed. Symptoms of costochondritis include sharp pains or aches on the side of your sternum area. Inhale deeply through your nose and feel your ribcage expand and your sternum rise. Hold this breath for five to 30 seconds. Next, slowly stack your forearms at the small of your back, exhale and continue your slow deep breaths. Repeat this exercise daily and continue for three months. Relax and stop exercises for a while when the pain starts, do not do more pushups when you start to feel pain. Consult in person with a physiotherapist for proper assessment. Thank you. Stay safe.

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