Pain under your right breast is quite a common symptom, which causes a lot of worries as we associate it with heart problems. However, pain in this area can have various sources as numerous internal organs are located under your right breast.
As a result, the pain in this area may be connected with your heart, but it can also come from your kidney, lung, liver, muscles, or gallbladder. What’s more, pain under the right breast might also be the consequence of stress, hormonal imbalance, heartburn, and many other factors.
Have a look at the next section to find out what the most common causes of sharp pain under your right breast are. However, if the pain spreads to other parts of your chest, it’s sudden and severe, or when it’s accompanied by very low or high pressure, don’t wait and call your doctor at once.
10 Common Causes of Sharp Pain Under Right Breast
If you’ve been feeling sharp pain under your right breast recently, read about the most common causes of this problem and some simple solutions to bring a quick relief to yourself. If after reading the article you are still not sure what causes your pain, contact a doctor.
1. Trapped Gas
It may sound trivial but the gas which is trapped in your intestines can be the culprit of quite a strong pain under your right breast. On average, we expel gas around ten times a day. If we don’t, we can experience pain in different locations.
The pain from trapped gas is sometimes so severe that it’s mistaken with such medical conditions as appendicitis or a heart disease. Typical for this pain is that it changes its location and that it doesn’t last for a long time. Apart from sharp pain under your right breast you may also suffer from other symptoms such as bleeding while evacuating, problems with swallowing, or pain in the abdominal areas.
If pain under your right breast is a result of trapped gas, introducing some changes into your everyday diet can help. For sure, you should cut down on fatty products and food rich in fiber. Drink a lot of water and try some over-the-counter medicines for indigestion.
If changes in your diet and over-the-counter medicines don’t work or if you’ve experienced some other worrying symptoms, such as vomiting, loss of weight, or stools with blood, consult your doctor.
2. Too Much Stress
You would be surprised about the variety of symptoms that stress and anxiety can cause. Too much stress, strong emotions, lack of sleep, and tiredness can lead to sharp pain under your right breast. When you are stressed your digestive system goes crazy, your blood pressure increases, and muscles tense up.
Apart from pain under your right breast you may also suffer from other symptoms, such as dizziness, sweating, heart palpitations, muscle tension, nausea, pain in your abdominal, and many others.
If you often feel stressed or anxious, you need to learn how to relax effectively. There are numerous relaxing techniques, which can help you to rest. You can try yoga, meditations, pilates, or breathing exercises. Some people feel great after more intense workouts, such as cardio exercises or long jogging. The most important is to find an activity which truly relaxes you.
Shingles is a less known cause of sharp pain under your right breast, but it’s quite easy to diagnose as it causes some different symptoms too. Shingles is actually a viral infection that apart from pain causes also painful rashes, usually on the left or right side of the torso.
The virus which leads to shingles is the same virus which is responsible for chickenpox. It is true that we usually catch chickenpox only once in our lives, but the virus stays dormant in our organism and sometimes activates in the form of shingles.
Shingles usually starts with pain and a feeling of discomfort. Then, after a few days a red rash usually appears. The skin area affected with the rash is very sensitive to touch, it’s also itchy, numb, or burning. After next few days, the skin becomes inflamed and the rash transforms into blisters filled with fluid, which usually crust over after a week.
Other symptoms that occur during the disease include fatigue, headache, and fever. If you think that you have shingles, contact your doctor at once as it’s a viral infection which can be easily spread to a person who hasn’t had chickenpox yet.
The good news is that shingles is fully curable and that it usually affects only small children or elderly people, whose immune system is weakened.
Heartburn is probably one of the most common conditions in the world and almost everyone experienced that at some point. In case of heartburn you will probably feel sharp pain under your right breast mainly after a meal when your stomach is full or when you lie down just after a meal.
Other symptoms typical for heartburn include a burning feeling in your chest or in your throat. You may also have a sour taste in the mouth. What’s surprising the pain that results from heartburn may spread to your chest, arms, shoulders, or even neck.
Also, shortness of breath or cold sweats may appear. The pain is usually stronger when you bend over or lie down. It sometimes becomes so strong that it may be mistaken with a heart attack.
Heartburn itself is not life threatening, but it can be very troublesome. You can deal with it by introducing some changes into your daily life and by using over-the-counter medicines. Additionally, you can also ask you doctor about some natural, home remedies, which can effectively help you get rid of heartburn.
Remember, though, that heartburn may also be a symptom of other, more serious conditions. Thus, consult your doctor immediately if apart from heartburn you also experience such worrying symptoms as chronic nausea, loss of weight, or difficulties with swallowing.
Costochondritis, or chest wall pain, is an inflammatory condition of the cartilage located near your rib cage and breastbone. It usually happens as a result of frequent strain on the breastbone, for example if you often cough or you’ve just had a flu.
Thus, if your chest is often strained, there is a higher probability that you will acquire costochondritis. A very clear sign of the disease is when pain gets worse when you cough or sneeze.
The range of pain varies as sometimes is quite severe, but it may also be mild. It’s also common to feel shooting pains which makes it difficult for you to perform everyday activities. The good news, however, is that costochondritis usually goes away on its own after a few weeks.
Other symptoms which may suggest that you’ve been suffering from costochondritis include sharp pain under one side of your breastbone, which often spreads to your back or abdomen. The pain often gets stronger when stretch or take a deep breath.
Try to relax more if you want to get rid of the problem faster, avoid intense exercises and stretching. If the pain doesn’t go away after about two weeks, despite the fact you’ve been resting, consult your doctor.
6. Rib Injury
The rib cage is a very important part of your body because it protects the internal organs in the chest. Thus, any injury or accident in which your ribs were affected may be the cause of sharp pain under your right or left breast. The area may also be bruised and sensitive to touch.
The fact is that people are often unaware that they have a broken or injured rib. However, it’s very troublesome as it causes a sharp pain in the chest area. When you touch the place you will also feel a severe pain. It gets even worse when you take a deep breath, cough, sneeze. You are also unable to perform even simple physical activities.
In case of a rib injury, you need to go to a doctor, who will order you to do an x-ray to confirm the diagnosis. A broken or injured rib usually heals on its own, but it’s important to rest as much as possible and avoid any exercising or sudden movements.
Pleurisy is a condition in which your pleura is inflamed. Pleura is a kind of membrane lining, which acts like a protection for your lungs. There are various possible causes of pleurisy, which include viruses, bacteria, or fungus. Some medicines, ribs injuries, or problems with immune system may lead to this condition too.
The name of the condition origins from the pleura as this is how the area of chest and lung is often called. It has very similar symptoms to costochondritis as it leads to a sharp pain located in under either of your breasts or in the chest area.
Moreover, you may also feel short of breath, sometimes you can have a cough or fever. The pain usually gets worse when you perform sudden movements, when you cough, sneeze, or take a deep breath.
Pleurisy needs a medical help and it has symptoms which are typical also for other, more serious diseases. Therefore, a medical consultation is a must to be correctly diagnosed.
8. Kidney Stones
Kidneys are extremely important organs in our body. They filter the waste from the blood and form urine. Sometimes, however, minerals or salt accumulate and then stones develop in your kidneys. They may have various sizes – from very small one, which don’t cause any symptoms, to quite big ones, which are often responsible for strong pain.
If the stones are small, they will just go through your urinary tract and the problem is over. However, some of them are too hard or too big to pass and then you may experience a great pain and the blockage of urine. This is also a situation in which you need to go to a doctor immediately as it’s potentially life-threatening.
Typical symptoms of kidney stones include a sharp pain under your right or left breast – depending on which of your kidneys is affected. The pain may spread to your abdomen, or groin, and is not permanent, but rather comes and goes.
Apart from that, you may have noticed that you’ve been urinating more often and that your urine has red, brown, or pink color. This activity may also be painful for you.
It’s very important to diagnose kidney stones at an early stage as only then they can be flushed out by drinking plenty of water. If they are small, some medicines may also eliminate them. When they grow big, however, they only way to remove them is surgery.
Thus, if you suspect that you may have kidney stones, consult your doctor as soon as possible. It’s the only way to prevent some permanent trauma to your kidneys.
Mastitis is also a possible cause of a sharp pain under your right breast. The condition is a kind of infection or inflammation of your breast tissue. Women who breastfeed usually develop this condition, but it may also happen to other women.
Mastitis develops when the tissues of your breast expand because of the inflammation. It is a painful condition which causes a number of unpleasant symptoms, which include sharp pains in the breast area, swelling, redness, warmness and sensitivity of skin.
The condition may affect only one breast or both. As it is an inflammatory condition you may also feel as if you were having a flu with fever around 38 Celsius degrees. Mastitis should be diagnosed and treated by your doctor. It is especially important if you want to continue breastfeeding.
Pancreas is an internal organ which is responsible for digestion process and endocrine function. It takes part in the production of insulin, important hormones and enzymes. It is a large organ found on the left side of your upper abdomen. However, when inflamed, pancreas may lead to severe pain which radiates to the area of your right breast.
Pancreatitis is actually the inflammation of pancreas. It usually starts as acute pancreatitis, which may last for a few days. Unfortunately, acute pancreatitis often develops into a chronic condition and its treatment may last even a few years.
Pancreatitis often appears as a consequence of gallstones or alcoholism. The main symptoms of the condition include a sharp pain under your right breast, which may spread to your shoulder blades. The pain is usually stronger after a meal.
Moreover, your abdominal area may also be tender to touch. People who suffer from pancreatitis often experience fever, nausea, or vomiting. When the condition becomes chronic you may also lose weight and have smelly stools.
Every form of pancreatitis needs to be diagnosed and treated by a doctor. Thus, if you suspect that you’ve had the condition, seek a medical help at once.
Other Causes of Sharp Pain Under Right Breast
The conditions described in the previous section are the main causes of sharp pain under the right breast. However, other culprits of your pain may by identified too. They are not so common, but may also be the cause of sharp pain in the breast area.
The inflammation of your gallbladder, which is known as cholecystitis, is a possible cause of your ache. A gallbladder is a rather small organ, but it plays some important functions in the digestion process. When it’s inflamed due to and infection, you will experience a sharp pain under your right breast.
The pain, however, is quite severe and it often radiates to your abdomen, or even to your shoulders. Apart from that you can also experience fever, nausea, or vomiting.
If you suspect that you’ve been suffering from cholecystitis, go to a doctor immediately as it’s a potentially life-threatening condition if it’s left untreated.
A quite similar condition is cholelithiasis, which is more commonly known as gallbladder stones. It has already been mentioned that gallbladder is a small organ. It can be compared to a bag for bile. Sometimes, however, salts, pigments, and cholesterol, which are present in the bile, crystalize. When that happens, gallbladder stones form.
The condition mainly affects people, or to be more specific, women who have a poor diet and are overweight or obese, which leads to a high level of cholesterol.
The pain caused by gallbladder stones usually starts suddenly and is so severe that you may have breathing difficulties. It often spreads to your back and arm, it may also last for a few minutes, go away for a moment, and come back again.
Apart from a very intense pain, you may also experience vomiting or nausea. In an advanced stage of the condition your skin may get a yellowish shade. The illness needs to be diagnosed and treated by a doctor. In some cases the stones have to be removed in a surgical operation.
Another condition which may be the culprit of a sharp pain under your right breast is called hiatal hernia. It can be described as the protrusion on your stomach, usually when your esophagus is larger than normally.
If hiatal hernia appears close to your chest area, you will experience pain under your right breast. Hiatal hernia is problematic when it grows big because then the food and acid go back into your esophagus.
It can lead to numerous unpleasant symptoms, which apart from pain under your right breast, include heartburn, belching, feeling bloated after a meal, and problems with swallowing. You should have an x-ray if you want to have hiatal hernia diagnosed. Thus, a medical consultation is a must.
If you are a woman, you need to be aware that a sharp pain under your right arm is sometimes an early symptom of breast cancer. This serious condition is usually associated with feeling a lump in your breast. Indeed, it is the most common sign of breast cancer, but other symptoms, which mustn’t be neglected, may occur as well.
You can experience an unexplained pain in the breast or nipple area. Sometimes you may feel that your breast is swollen or reddish. In some cases your nipples may look different too. A breast cancer may also spread to your lymph nodes, which may be swollen too.
You need to understand that an early diagnosis is the only way to fully recover from breast cancer. Therefore, if you’ve noticed any worrying symptoms or you’ve felt a lump in your breast, visit a doctor immediately.
On the other hand, women may also have achy and sensitive breasts or skin under their breasts before or after a period. In such a case a simple ice pack may turn out to be a solution to the problem. Just wrap the ice in a soft and clean cloth. Place it on the painful area for a few minutes and you should feel an immediate relief.
Also, don’t neglect the importance of a well-fitting bra as if it doesn’t fit you properly, it may additionally irritate your skin. What’s more, when it’s too tight, it may cause pain of your breasts or of the area under them.
Diagnosing Pain Under Right Breast
If the pain under your right breast doesn’t want to go away after a few days or it keeps coming back, don’t kill yourself with worrying but simply go to a doctor. If you exercise regularly, the pain is probably a consequence of some muscle strain and once you rest for a few days, it will go away.
In other cases, the causes are rarely serious and most of them can be treated with over-the-counter medicines. The key to recovery is a proper diagnosis. Thus, your doctor will examine you thoroughly and tell you to do some tests. These include mainly blood tests, x-ray, or ultrasonography tests.
The worst thing you can do is to neglect the problem by taking a lot of painkillers. They don’t cure your condition, but only alleviate the symptoms. Moreover, the more you take them, the less effective they become.