Costochondritis often gets better after a few weeks, but self-help measures and medication can manage the symptoms. Costochondritis can be aggravated by any activity that places stress on your chest area, such as strenuous exercise or even simple movements like reaching up to a high cupboard. Any activity that makes the pain in your chest area worse should be avoided until the inflammation in your ribs and cartilage has improved. You may also find it soothing to regularly apply heat to the painful area – for example, using a cloth or flannel that’s been warmed with hot water. Painkillers, such as paracetamol, can be used to ease mild to moderate pain. Taking a type of medication called a Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID) – such as ibuprofen and naproxen – two or three times a day can also help control the pain and swelling.