For most women, feeling pain under right breast causes an alarm. Most of them will probably think that it points to a serious medical condition like breast cancer. However, the presence of pain will not always indicate cancer. In most cases, it involves other organs of the body.
Various organs are present in the upper right region of a woman’s body such as the right lung, kidney, gallbladder, pancreas, and liver. Most of the time, pain is one of the symptoms of several medical conditions affecting these organs. Other factors such as stress and muscle strain can also cause this discomfort.
One can use various treatments to relieve pain below the right breast. However, before getting the appropriate treatment, it is crucial to determine the underlying cause.
What are the Causes of Pain under Right Breast?
Women experience pain on the right side under breast because of various factors. Here is a list of common cause of this unpleasant sensation.
Stress is one of the most common causes of pain on the right side below the breast. When a woman is under too much pressure, she may experience digestive problems. As you know, human beings have a second brain known as the gut. This is one reason why most people may have a stomachache during stressful situations.
Stress may also lead to fast heartbeats and tensed muscles. A woman may feel hurts in her chest area because of muscle tension and stiffness caused by too much stress.
- Anxiety Attack
Anxiety attacks are frightening, especially for first timers. It will start with rapid palpitations or heartbeats, followed by a difficulty in breathing, uncontrollable shaking, and chest pain. In addition, a panic attack causes tightening of the muscles and nerves in the chest leading to pain under the breast or ribs.
- Muscle Strain
Muscle strain or a pulled muscle occurs when a person overstretches and tears a muscle as result of overexertion, poor coordination, lack of flexibility, or not warming up before doing exercises such as weight lifting. Depending on the severity of the injury, the pain can be either sharp or dull. Nonetheless, the discomfort will disappear after getting some a few days of rest.
- Rib Injury
Another possible cause of this condition is a broken rib. Underneath the ribs are nerves that send sensations to the chest and breast. When a person has fractured rib, these nerves will send signals to the chest area causing tenderness within and under the breast.
Usually, a broken rib occurs due to accidents and physical assaults. However, if the bone is weak, repetitive movements such as continuous coughing can result to a rib injury.
Costochondritis or simply known as chest wall pain occurs when the cartilage that connects the rib and the breastbone is swelling due to various causes such as microbial infection, injuries, uncomfortable sleeping positions, physical activities or violent coughs.
If a woman has costochondritis, she will feel a sharp pain under the right breast whenever she laughs, cough, sneeze, reach for something, or any strenuous activity.
- Fibrocystic Breast
Most women aging 30 to 50 years old often will develop fibrocystic breast or lumps in the breast causing pain and soreness. However, this condition is harmless and normal. While the exact cause of this medical condition is unknown, some experts believe that it is due to the fluctuation of hormone levels during menstrual cycles. Nonetheless, it is best to have regular check-ups and physical exams to rule out cancer.
Heartburn occurs when stomach acid moves up towards the esophagus causing a burning sensation and chest pain after eating. You may also feel other symptoms such as a difficulty in swallowing or a feeling that something is blocking your throat.
Located under the right breast, the gallbladder is responsible for storing and releasing bile, which is necessary for digestion. Cholelithiasis is the formation of gallstones caused by high cholesterol. When gallstones block the bile’s passages going to the liver, one will feel pain under right side of rib cage that spreads to the back. You will also experience symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and fever.
- Hepatitis C
Caused by the Hepatitis C virus (HCV), Hepatitis C is an infection of the liver. Most people who have this medical condition will experience a loss of appetite, fatigue, fever, and stomachache. An inflammation of the liver will cause a dull pain because of the pain receptors present in the protective capsule of the organ.
The pleura are a layer of tissues surrounding the lungs and the inner lining of the chest. Pleurisy is the swelling of the pleura, which results in a sharp chest pain. An inflammation may occur due to various causes such as upper respiratory infection (pneumonia), exposure to toxic chemicals (asbestos), and chest injuries. Other symptoms may include rapid breathing, shortness of breath, and cough.
The doctor will be able to prescribe and recommend treatments once he determines the underlying cause of the pain right under the breast, which may include the following:
- Cold Compress
An ice pack or cold compress can provide a numbing effect and reduce swelling. Thus, it is a common home remedy for pain and inflammation. You can use it if the underlying cause is stress, muscle strain, and rib injury.
- Stress Management
For cases of stress and anxiety attacks, the best remedy you can take is stress management. You can search for various relaxation techniques such as meditation or aromatherapy to help combat and reduce stress. Deep breathing exercise is a good option to control and manage anxiety attacks.
- Dietary Changes
Dietary changes are essential for cholelithiasis. Individuals who have gallstones should avoid fatty meals. Aside from that, women with fibrocystic breasts can lessen their pain through vitamin E. Your diet should include foods rich in vitamin E such as cruciferous vegetables, almonds, and seeds. Overall, one should always opt for a healthy and balanced diet.
Depending on the underlying cause of the pain behind the breast bone, various medications can help. Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics for infections. Painkillers and NSAIDs can help relieve pain and reduce swelling. You can also take an antacid in cases of heartburn.
A pain underneath your right breast will not necessarily mean that you have a serious medical condition. Various factors and conditions can cause this discomfort. Nonetheless, it is imperative to consult your doctor to get proper diagnosis and treatment.