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Symptoms and Signs of What Triggers Costochondritis?

Doctor's Notes on What Triggers Costochondritis?

Costochondritis is a common condition that is characterized by inflammation of the cartilage in the chest at the point where the ribs attach to the breastbone (the sternum). It usually occurs on one side of the chest only. The inflammation causes pain in the front of the chest. When swelling of the area is also present, the condition is referred to as Tietze syndrome. The cause of costochondritis is not well understood. Viral infections, trauma, and hereditary factors (genetics) may all play a role in its development.

Costochondritis can occur on its own or may be part of another, more widespread, condition such as

Associated symptoms include

  • chest discomfort that may manifest as sharp pain,
  • pressure, or
  • an aching pain in the front of the chest near the breastbone.

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 5/24/2020


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.