Radiculitis causes pain that radiates along the nerve, due to irritation of the root of the nerve that connects to the spine. Radiculitis that happens in the thoracic spine will likely cause pain in the chest area. The area that is inflamed is very painful and can even cause a numb or tingling sensation and many times symptoms can include a tight feeling around the chest. The condition is usually caused by an injury to the nerves in the thorax including strain or sprains. It is more common to see people that are in sports or carry repetitively heavy loads on their backs to have this type of injury. Family history can also play a part in this condition.