In most cases of costochondritis, no cause is identified.However, it may be the result of physical trauma (due to direct injury, strenuous lifting, or severe bouts of coughing), associated with scoliosis, ankylosing spondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, or a tumor (benign or cancerous).
Infection of the costosternal joint may cause costochondritis in rare cases. Most cases of infectious costochondritis are caused by Actinomyces, Staphylococcus aureus, Candida albicans, and Salmonella. In rare cases, Escherichia coli can be a cause of infectious costochondritis.There is anecdotal evidence of costochondritic chest pain being associated with Vitamin D deficiency in some cases, and multiple anecdotal reports that it could be associated with chest binding, as practiced by some members of the transgender community. It also can be caused by relapsing polychondritis.