Costochondritis usually has no clear cause. Occasionally, however, costochondritis may be caused by:

  • Injury. A blow to the chest is one example.
  • Physical strain. Heavy lifting, strenuous exercise and severe coughing have been linked to costochondritis.
  • Arthritis. Costochondritis might be linked to specific problems, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis.
  • Joint infection. Viruses, bacteria and fungi — such as tuberculosis, syphilis and aspergillosis — can infect the rib joint.
  • Tumors. Noncancerous and cancerous tumors can cause costochondritis. Cancer might travel to the joint from another part of the body, such as the breast, thyroid or lung.
March 20, 2015

You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.