Costochondritis is chest pain caused by inflammation of the costal cartilages (between the sternum, breastbone, and the ribs). Pain may be caused by direct trauma to the chest or repetative exertion. It has been associated with severe coughing, such as in aggravated asthma or upper respiratory tract infections. Most frequently affected are young adults between 20 and 40 years old. Costochondritis can also been found as an overuse injury in athletes, in particular this condition has been identified in competitive rowers.
Costochondritis pain is usually worsened by activity or exercise. Often the pain is worsened when taking a deep breath. This stretches the inflamed cartilage and can cause significant pain.
Cluett, Johmathon. 2007. Costochondritis – Tietze’s Syndrome. Retrived March 21, 2009 from http://orthopedics.about.com/cs/sprainsstrains/a/costochondritis.htm