The first step in treating costochondritis is to have it diagnosed by a doctor. Costochondritis is inflammation of the ribs or of the cartilage that connects the ribs. It is not easy to perform tests to diagnose costochondritis. A doctor can reproduce tenderness over an area with his hands. He will also check for swelling and redness in the area of the costochondritis. The doctor will also do a chest x-ray to rule out the possibility of a broken or fractured rib. Once a diagnosis has been determined, then treatment can begin.