Can Costochondritis Cause Back Pain?

Costochondritis can cause back pain that radiates around throughout the rib cage.  Most of the pain caused by this condition occurs in the front of the chest wall and into the abdomen along the left side, but it is not uncommon for a person with costochondritis to experience pain the lower back and mid-back as well.

Costochondritis is the inflammation of the area where all of the upper ribs join together with cartilage, near the breastbone region, or what most people refer to as the sternum.  The condition causes severe pain in the ribs and sternum region, with some pain radiating down in the stomach and around the back side on the left.  Some people experience localized pain in the chest, while other have radiating pain into the back.  Most of the time, adult patients with costochondritis are misdiagnosed with heart disease, because of the symptoms that are similar to this issue.

While there is no known cause for the condition, it is thought that chostochondritis is caused by repeated trauma to the chest wall through viral respiratory infections.  The trauma is minor in nature, but the repeated occurrences may lead to chostochondritis.  The area of the chest becomes inflamed through repeated coughing that occurs during respiratory infections.  Non-steroidal medications and local heat and ice seem to be helpful in relieving some of the pain.

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