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Costochondritis is an inflammatory process. Nevertheless, it usually has no definite cause. Repeated minor trauma to the chest wall or viral respiratory infections can cause costochondritis. Occasionally, costochondritis as a result of bacterial infections can occur in people who use recreational IV drugs or who have had surgery to their upper chest. Costochondritis can also be a feature of relapsing polychondritis, reactive arthritis, fibromyalgia, and injury.
Different types of infectious diseases can cause costochondritis, although this is uncommon.
Costochondritis can also occur with certain forms of arthritis, such as ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis, and is sometimes associated with breastbone pain (sternum pain) in these conditions. Costochondritis can occur in people with fibromyalgia.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/19/2015
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