Let’s take a look at costovertebral syndrome.
Costovertebral syndrome is essentially a spraining injury of the joints where a rib connects to a vertebra in the spine. These injuries usually occur after a sudden movement involving twisting, bending or over-extending (arching) the spine. They may occasionally occur due to repetitive twisting or bending motions, or direct trauma.
Compressive and torsional forces are applied to the joint when we move. If these forces are greater than the joint can withstand, then damage may occur to either the ligaments, cartilage or both. In some cases, the head of the rib may even dislocate from the joint, or the rib may fracture (both much more likely in the event of direct trauma, most commonly a punch or rugby tackle).
Symptoms of costovertebral syndrome include pain on moving the spine, especially twisting and side bending. Pain and tenderness is typically located to one side of the spine and may radiate to the shoulder blade or chest, typically following the line of 1-2 ribs. There will often be pain or discomfort taking deep breaths, coughing and sneezing; and there may be a reduction in flexibility in the thoracic spine, or muscle spasm either close to the spine, or following the line between two ribs.