Costochondritis is a condition that causes inflammation in the upper ribs and sternum. The tissue connecting these bones and cartilage flares up, causing the person to experience localized chest pain and discomfort. Although it is uncomfortable, it is typically harmless and will disappear on its own, without external medical intervention.
Information. Unfortunately, the exact cause of costochondritis is unknown, though many medical practitioners believe it to be associated with overuse of the arms. There are also other conditions that have been documented as occurring just before, or even causing, the condition. Those who experience blunt-force trauma to the chest, in a car accident, for example, are more likely to develop the condition. Regular physical strain can also contribute to inflammation and pain in the chest. Body builders, those who exercise strenuously, or people whose jobs require them to regularly lift heavy objects are much more likely to develop costochondritis. Certain illnesses, such as tuberculosis and syphilis, may also play a role in its development. Respiratory conditions and viruses that cause joint inflammation increase a person’s vulnerability and susceptibility by weakening the body’s ability to respond and fight back. Furthermore, any type of condition that can increase inflammation in the joints, such as arthritis, puts a person at risk of other health complications.