Most cases of costochondritis have no clear cause. Occasionally, however, costochondritis may be a result of:

  • Injury. A blow to the chest could cause costochondritis.
  • Physical strain. Heavy lifting and strenuous exercise have been linked to costochondritis, as has severe coughing.
  • Arthritis. In some people, costochondritis has been linked to specific problems, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.
  • Joint infection. The rib joint itself can become infected by viruses, bacteria or fungi. Examples include tuberculosis, syphilis and aspergillosis.
  • Tumors. Noncancerous and cancerous tumors also can cause costochondritis. Cancer may travel to the joint from another part of the body, such as the breast, thyroid or lung.
May. 05, 2012