Having pain under your right breast is often a cause for concern as there is a possibility that it is a symptom of a severe health condition. There are many organs under your right breast, such as gallbladder, right kidney, muscles, part of the lung and liver. The common causes of pain under right breast include hormonal changes, heartburn, trapped gas, and stress. The pain under the right breast is not always so serious. However, there are also some causes that require immediate medical attention.
Symptoms that Cannot Be Ignored
Here are some possible symptoms that people must not ignore:
- Chest pain that is also felt in different parts of the chest cavity.
- Sudden pain that does not go away.
- Extremely low or extremely high blood pressure.
Experiencing the above-mentioned symptoms may mean that a person requires immediate medical attention.
Common Causes of Pain Under Right Breast
Here are some possible health conditions that cause pain or discomfort under your right breast.
1. Stress or Anxiety
Anxiety is a reaction to something that scares you, which can lead to avoidance behavior or strong emotions.When under psychological or emotional stress, you could experience mild or sharp pain under right breast. Some people may experience pain under the left breast. Stress affects the body’s digestive system, heart rate, and blood pressure and causes nerves and muscles to tense up.
Having an anxiety attack could also cause discomfort around the chest area as it causes the nerves and muscles in the chest to tighten.There are many symptoms of stress and anxiety. Main symptoms are having pain in chest or feeling shortness of breath. Whereas it can be recognized by the many other symptoms like heart palpitations, dizziness, nausea, abdominal pain, sweating, trembling, dry mouth and muscle tension.(1)
To alleviate stress or anxiety-related pain, you can try some breathing exercises, yoga, and essential oils for relief.
2. Trapped Gas
Most people expel gas at least ten times a day. However, trapped gas in the intestines can cause pain when you are not able to pass it. The pain may be so intense or constant that it can be mistaken for gallstones, heart disease or appendicitis.
Gas is always the reason for pain in the abdomen(belly). (2)But pain does not only happens to one location. Its location changes with time to time. For instance, sometimes we may feel this pain in the chest. It is observed that pain because of gas does not remain for a long time.The ratio of the gas passage varies among the individuals. Normally, it is 20 times a day. But maybe you can faces following symptoms also:
- blood in the stool
- weight loss
- abdominal pain
- the family history of malignancy
- difficulty in swallowing
According to Dr. Shatnawei, there is nothing serious while having these symptoms. Whereas there are some simple ways which tell us about the intestinal gas bloating and discomfort. These ways are as follows:
- While passing the gas, you may get rid of the bloating and pain.
- You feel the need to pass gas or to belch.
- The pain and bloating process do not remain for a long time with a worse pain.
- Due to some certain changes, excessive gas and bloating get better. These changes mainly concerned with a diet like eliminating dairy, cutting back on fiber, or limiting high-fat foods.
- There are some other ways for having very less amount of pain and bloating. In this way, you can lessen it by inhaling less air during chewing gum or eating very fast.
Call your doctor in case of severe or persistent gas pain accompanied by bloody stools, vomiting, and weight loss.
Another possible cause of pain under right breast is heartburn. This condition is described as a burning sensation in the chest, and the pain gets worse when bending over or lying down. Most people manage the symptoms of heartburn with over-the-counter medications and lifestyle changes.
However, recurring heartburn that interferes with your daily tasks may be a symptom of another health condition. See your doctor for proper diagnosis and prompt treatment, especially if you have persistent nausea, difficulty swallowing, and weight loss.
Heartburn is a common problem which can be found in every person. (3)Following are the symptoms of heartburn:
- Suffering from a burning feeling in your breastbone or ribs. You may suffer chest pain also in severe conditions. Chest pain often causes an acidic taste in your mouth, regurgitation of food, or a burning in your throat.
- The pain during the heartburn can expand to your shoulders, neck, or arms.
- The pain is because of such meal which triggers reflux in you.
- When you lie down right after eating a meal, the pain comes to you because of a full stomach.
- These symptoms often recovered by taking an antacid.
- Sometimes you may get a cold sweat or shortness of breath along with your other symptoms.
A viral infection that causes painful rashes, shingles usually appear as a stripe or stripes of blisters that wrap around the right or left side of your torso. This condition is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. Once you have had chickenpox, the virus remains dormant in your nerve tissue and may get triggered as shingles. The common signs and symptoms include:
- Red rashes that begin a few days after discomfort or pain
- Burning, numbness, pain or tingling sensation
- Sensitivity to touch
- You may have to burn, throbbing or stabbing pain. Often, the rash also appears within days to weeks. These rashes can be constant or come and go with some pain.
- Sometimes, you can have tingling, itching, or prickling skin for several days. After several days, a group of fluid-filled blisters on a red, inflamed base of skin. The blisters typically crust over in a week.
- You may have fever, fatigue, or a headache due to rash.
You may also experience a headache, fever, sensitivity to touch, and fatigue. If you suspect that you have shingles, see your doctor immediately. The virus can pass to anyone who is not yet immune to chickenpox.
5. Rib Injury
Your rib cage protects the organs in your chest. Any trauma to your rib cages, such as a crush injury from an accident or a fracture from a direct blow can cause pain around the affected area. It can also lead to tenderness and bruise. The pain under right breast may feel worse when taking deep breaths, sneezing or coughing.
For such injuries, it is best to seek medical attention immediately to prevent further problems that may affect your other organs.
There are certain cases of broken ribs healing process.(4)This healing process can be completed in one or two months. Many have questions about the existence of broken rib. The main symptom of the broken rib is the sharp chest pain. You can’t compare it with the heart attack symptom. While there are some other things to do with making sure the rib injury. There are following:
- You can touch the area where your rib is broken. It will cause you a severe pain.
- The deep breath can also cause you a chest pain.
- If you shake your body, the pain can get severe.
- The pain can also happen due to coughing and laugh. There can also be bruising due to this cause.
6. Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer diagnosed in women. The common signs and symptoms of breast cancer are:
- Change in the shape, size or appearance of your breast
- Distinct lump or swelling in the breast
- Nipple or breast pain
- Nipple discharge
- Scaliness, redness or thickening of the breast skin or nipple
(5)There is some other breast condition causing sudden pain like mastitis. This pain is not linked to the menstrual cycle. When you have severe pain and not because of the menstrual cycle, you should consult with a doctor. Maybe it could be a symptom of cancer or a benign condition which need to be treated as soon as possible.
In some cases, a breast cancer spreads to lymph nodes around the collarbone or under the arm and result in swelling or lump. If you experience any of the symptoms, visit a professional right away for an early diagnosis and prompt treatment.
Costochondritis, also known as chest wall pain is an inflammation of the cartilage near the rib cage and breastbone. Some of the usual causes are a repetitive strain to the breastbone while there are also some who develop this because they have a flu virus or they are always coughing. If the chest area will be strained, there is a bigger chance of acquiring this condition. You will know if you are suffering from this disease if the pain increases while you are coughing or sneezing.
The pain can range from mild to excruciating and may cause constant shooting pains that interfere with your daily routine. In most cases, this condition goes away within several weeks. Other symptoms of Costochondritis may include:
- Pressure-like, aching or sharp pain on either side of the breastbone
- Radiating pain to the abdomen or back
- Pain gets worse when you move, breathe deeply or stretch
Seek immediate medical assistance if you experience severe and persistent pain.
8. Kidney Stones
The kidneys filter waste from your blood and create urine. When minerals and salts in your urine stick together, they form small or big kidney stones. There are a lot of stones that will pass through the urinary tract with ease because they are small, but there are also some that may be hard to pass because they have grown too big.
They are usually unnoticed unless they cause pain and blockage. If recognized early, stones do not cause permanent damage. You will need to drink plenty of water to flush out kidney stones from your urinary system. This can be removed through surgery or by taking medications that will make the stones stuck in the kidney to become smaller.
You may experience other symptoms of kidney stones:
- Red, pink or brown urine
- Severe pain below the ribs and then mild aches
- Pain that radiates to your groin and lower abdomen
- Pain when urinating, foul-smelling urine
- Sharp pain under your left or right breast that comes and goes
- Urinating more often
After the formation of kidney stone, there would not be any symptom. When the stone starts to stir, then it may show you some symptoms. After this, the stone will make movement within the kidney or into the ureter. The ureter is the tube that makes a link of the kidney to the bladder.
It symptoms varies in nature of pain. Sometimes it can be severe or mild. So you may feel it in the following ways:
- It can be on your side or on the back right below the ribs. Also, the pain can be very severe.
- It can be in lower part of the abdomen or in the groin.
- Sometimes it lasts for a long time and often comes and goes.
- You may feel pain when you pee usually.
The pain is not limited to the above-mentioned areas.(7) It can be in your belly or back down to your groin. In this way, stone smoothens his way from the kidney through the ureter and then comes to your bladder ultimately.
See your doctor immediately if the pain is severe, accompanied by nausea or vomiting, fever, difficulty passing urine or blood in urine.
Pleurisy is an inflammation of the pleura – a membrane lining that protects the lungs. This condition can be caused by a viral, bacterial or fungal infection, certain medication, an autoimmune disorder, rib fracture, or other diseases.
The main reason why this condition is called pleurisy is that the lung and chest area is called “pleura.” Similar to Costochronditis, the pain brought about by this condition may be increased whenever there is any movement. For example, if you would try to breathe deeply and this causes pain, you may have this condition.
The other symptoms of pleurisy may include:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Pain that worsens when you a cough, breathe or sneeze
- Fever or a cough in some cases
If you experience intense or unexplained chest pain while breathing, call your doctor immediately. This could be a sign of a problem with your lungs, pleura, heart or other illness that require prompt medical attention.
Pancreas, located behind your stomach at the left side of your body, plays a vital role in digestion and endocrine function. It produces insulin, hormones and other important enzymes that help the body break down foods.
There are two forms of pancreatitis.Acute pancreatitis occurs suddenly and lasts for several days. The main cause of acute pancreatitis is gallstones or excessive alcohol consumption.Chronic pancreatitis often occurs after acute pancreatitis and can last for several years.
There are some symptoms of pleurisy which are mainly interlinked with chest problems. This can be a pain in the chest which caused during breathing in, shortness of breath, and local tenderness. This pain does not come alone but also brings cavity either in the front or back of the cavity. Due to this cavity, patients suffer back and shoulder pain.
The common symptoms of acute pancreatitis include:
- The pain can occur under your right breast
- Upper abdominal pain that may radiate to your back and left shoulder blade
- Abdominal pain becomes worse after eating
- Nausea, vomiting, fever
- Tenderness in the abdominal area
The symptoms of chronic pancreatitis may include smelly stools and unintended weight loss. If you have persistent abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. See your doctor immediately for clear diagnosis.
The gallbladder is a small organ responsible for storing bile produced in the liver while it is not yet used for digesting fatty foods. When infection occurs, it causes inflammation and may result in pain under right breast.
(6)The main symptoms of accurate cholecystitis include a pain in the abdomen. It lasts for many hours and mainly found in the middle or right side of the upper abdomen. It can also feel on right shoulder or back. The nature of pain can be in shape of sharp pain or dull cramps. Sometimes, it is remarked as excruciating.
Some symptoms of cholecystitis include:
- Severe pain in the upper right abdomen
- Pain radiates to back or right shoulder
- Tenderness in the abdomen
- Nausea, vomiting or fever
If left untreated, this condition can lead to the serious or life-threatening condition. Visit your doctor for proper diagnosis and immediate treatment.
12. Cholelithiasis (Gallbladder Stones)
The gallbladder is a tiny organ, located on the right side of our belly, just below the liver. It is a bag where the bile is stored. Gallbladder stones occur when the bile, which contains cholesterol, pigments, and salts, crystalizes and create gallstones. There are times when some stones would start to appear in the gallbladder mainly because of your diet.Generally, Gallbladder diseases are more likely to affect women who suffer from weight problems, gastrointestinal dysfunction or high cholesterol levels.
Gallbladder pain can start suddenly. You may feel an intense pain that can last up to 15 minutes, then disappears and reappears. The pain can extend into the right side of your arm and back.This situation can last up to 15 hours. Breathing can make the pain worse.
The common symptoms may include:
- Sudden intensifying pain in the upper right portion of the abdomen
- Pain in the right shoulder or between shoulder blades
- Nausea or vomiting
See your doctor if you have any signs or symptoms of gallstones, especially when accompanied by high fever and yellowing of the skin.
13. Hiatal Hernia
A Hiatal hernia can also cause pain under right breast. This is known as the protrusion of a part of the stomach especially when part of the esophagus is larger than its normal size. The protrusion may be close to the chest area which explains why there is pain felt under the right breast. A small hiatal hernia does not usually cause problems, but a large one can allow acid and food to go back up into the esophagus. Some signs and symptoms of large hiatal hernias include:
- Shortness of breath
- Abdominal or chest pain
- Feel bloated after eating
- Difficulty swallowing
- Passing black stools or vomiting blood
For proper diagnosis, it is best to visit your doctor. A hiatal hernia can be diagnosed with an X-ray that uses a barium swallow or with endoscopy.
Another possible cause of pain under right breast is mastitis, which is an infection of the breast tissue that causes swelling, pain, redness, and warmth. This condition commonly affects breastfeeding women, but may also occur in women who are not nursing.
Mastitis is a painful process. In it, your breast tissues expand due to inflammation. It is most commonly exists in infants. So it develops with the passage of time. The symptoms of such inflamed area are identified by redness, swelling, unusual warmness, and hard to touch skin. These symptoms disappear sometimes and effect only one breast.It is often caused severe illness in females at the initial stage. During this illness, you may feel flu. This flu can be of severe in its nature when you are caring for a newborn baby.
The signs and symptoms of mastitis may include:
- Breast swelling
- Feeling ill or fever of 38.3 C (101F)
- Warm or breast tenderness
- Burning sensation or pain while breastfeeding
- Skin redness
As soon as you recognize the symptoms of mastitis, contact your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Complications of Pain under Right Breast
Knowing what the possible causes of the pain under right breast are is not enough to understand the possible complications that people may undergo because of those conditions. There are some people who are unable to sleep properly because every time they try to lie down, they begin to feel a burning sensation that becomes worse over time.
Other than that, there are also some who may have some trouble breathing even though they do not have any respiratory problems. Knowing the complications usually push people to find the right treatments for the condition that they are going through so that they can return back to their normal lives.
Treatments for Pain under the Right Breast
There are times when people are not sure what type of treatments they should undergo because they do not know yet what is causing their chest pain. For people who have this problem, the solution is simple and that is to go to the doctor for a checkup. These are just some of the possible treatments that people may undergo:
- Medications – It is possible that depending on the condition that people are experiencing, the doctor is going to recommend some medications that will help cure the condition. Do remember that the medications will differ depending on the severity of the condition.
- Surgery – There are instances when people would have to undergo surgical procedures to help cure their current condition.
While those mentioned above are for treatments for the more serious conditions, there are also other treatments that can be easier than what people initially thought. Some of these treatments may include the following:
- Wearing a well-fitting bra – This is something that a lot of women usually do not pay enough attention to. Some people just assume their bra size without realizing that their breasts become irritated in the process. There are times when there is pain under the breast because the bras being worn by women are usually too tight.
- Using an ice pack – There are times when using an ice pack can help diminish the pain that women are feeling under their breasts.
If you have been working out or performing extensive physical activities, pain under right breast may resolve with enough rest and home remedies. However, if you had a severe respiratory problem or you have been involved in a physical trauma, it is best to visit your doctor immediately. Depending on the assessment, tests may include urine examination, blood tests, and imaging exams like X-ray, MRI, ultrasound or CT scan.