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HomeAnswersPhysiotherapycostochondritisI am having sternal pain on performing push-ups. Can you please help?

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

The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Answered by

Mohammed Wajid

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At May 25, 2022
Reviewed AtOctober 18, 2023

Patient's Query

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.

Answered by Mohammed Wajid


Welcome to icliniq.com.

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.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Mohammed Wajid
Mohammed Wajid


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