Causes of pain under the breast


Pain under the breast is experienced for various causes. Sometimes it is simply an effect of hormonal changes or muscle problems. Only rarely is it a sign of seriousness.

PainPain under the chest, more precisely under the breasts, is a common symptom that can be caused by various causes. Some of them are normal body processes that result in this discomfort. Other times, the cause is a major health condition.

Pain under the breast can take many forms. Sometimes burning is felt or the pain is diffuse and not very pronounced. It can also appear as a very localized and intense pain. In the latter case, it is important to consult with the doctor as soon as possible, as it may be a sign of a serious problem.

It must be said that pain under the breast is more common in young women and in those who have already gone through menopause. Approximately 70% of women report having had such pain at some time in their life, but only 15% have required medical treatment. The main causes of this annoyance are those that we tell you in this article.

Menstruation, hormonal changes and pregnancy

Many women experience various discomforts before menstruation, including pain under the breast. Breast tenderness is due to increased estrogen and progesterone and is perfectly normal. Typically, the pain goes away after ovulation.

The hormonal changes that occur during menopause also cause similar discomfort. Pain under the breast, or properly in the breasts, occurs both in premenopause and in menopause and postmenopause.

It is very common for pregnant women, especially newcomers, to feel pain under the breast. This is due to the growth of the breasts, the position of the baby, or changes in the body to accommodate the fetus. It can also be the effect of heartburn, reflux, or gallbladder or liver problems.

Costochondritis causes pain under the chest

Costochondritis, also known as Tietze syndrome, is an inflammation of the cartilage that connects the sternum to the ribs. Sometimes it is accompanied by arthritis in the upper back or neck, and this usually causes a kind of numbness in the chest.

It is common that in these cases pain under the breasts is also experienced, giving the feeling that it is a mastalgia – pain in the breasts itself, without being the case. This disease is more common in women over 40 years of age.

Very large bust

The larger the breasts, the greater the likelihood of pain under the breast. Very large breasts cause this discomfort and it is not uncommon for them to also cause pain in the neck, back and shoulders.

In some cases, this leads to limitations to perform some physical activities. Sometimes stretch marks or skin irritations also appear in the area. Excessive breast size is only definitively corrected by surgery.

Improper bra

An inappropriate bra easily leads to pain under the breasts. One of the big mistakes is choosing a bra that doesn’t fit right. This should not compress your breasts and also should not leave enough room for you to easily get on or change position.

Sometimes bras that come with metal underwire at the base can also cause discomfort for some women. An inappropriate bra not only causes pain under the breast, it can also lead to back or shoulder pain. It is best to wear good quality clothes, even if they cost a little more.

Other causes of pain under the breast

Many times, pain under the chest is related to problems in the chest wall or ribs. This is so in women of all ages. Sometimes it is an intercostal neuritis, which is an irritation or inflammation of the network of nerves between the ribs.

Likewise, the pain may be related to a muscle problem, caused by a sudden or sudden movement. This is what we commonly call a ‘muscle pull’.

It is also possible that the pain originates in other organs and is reflected in the chest wall. For example, gallbladder diseases and inflammation of the liver produce this effect, as well as infections in the lungs or heart problems.

Nor should a process in the breasts themselves, such as cysts or tumors, be ruled out. Hence the importance of consulting when in doubt to carry out the appropriate complementary tests and arrive at a diagnosis.


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