9 Causes of Pain Under Armpit & Ways to Treat

Do you ever experience pain under the right armpit? Some people feel a pinching or burning sensation, and others feel numbness in the area­. There are many reasons why you might develop pain under your armpit, which may range from a mild thing such as a muscle strain to a serious condition like cancer. It is therefore necessary to look into your problem and find out what may be causing your symptoms then find the right remedy.

What Can Cause Pain Under Right Armpit?

1. Muscle Strain

The pectoralis muscle is a major muscle found on your chest. It may be injured or strained when you do intense exercise without warming up. A pulled muscle under the right armpit may cause pain, but this is not usually serious.

2. Swollen Lymph Nodes

Lymph nodes are small and oval tissues found all over the body, but mostly in the neck, armpits and groin. Your lymph nodes can swell up when infection invades your body, which may be caused by viruses, bacteria or parasites. Other conditions that can cause swelling of the lymph nodes leading to pain under armpit include cancer and autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis.

3. Diabetes

This condition is characterized by uncontrolled increases in blood sugar levels. If left untreated, complications like nerve damage or peripheral neuropathy can occur. It affects mostly the legs and the feet, when excess sugar (glucose) damages the tiny blood vessels around your nerves. Pain under right armpit may occur when the armpit nerves are affected, causing sharp pains.

4. Breast Cancer

Pain under armpit may be a symptom of breast cancer which is one of common health problems of women. Breast cancer is painless in most cases. If female have a lump in the breast or armpit, it is best to consult a doctor immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Breast cancer can also come with other symptoms, including thicken tissues or lump in breasts, changes on size and shape of the breasts , dimpling on skin of the breasts area, skin rashes around the nipples, discharge or blood-tinged discharge from the nipples, changes of the appearance of nipples, etc.

5. Shingles or Herpes Zoster

Herpes zoster (shingles) is an extremely painful condition caused by virus attacking the nerves. It is accompanied by uncomfortable skin rashes that tend to affect only on one side of the body, usually on the face, chest, back or arms. If you are affected by this condition, the underarm may also experience severe pain.

6. Inflammation of Hair Follicles

Certain parts of the body including the armpits have more hair follicles, which are prone to infection. Inflammation of these hair follicles and surrounding sweat glands can occur when bacteria invade them. This can also occur when the pores are clogged by dead skin cells, bacteria and excess oil. This can result in the formation of infected cysts and sinus tracts, which can cause pain, itching, pus formation and scarring. If your right armpit is affected, you will experience pain in this area. Cyst removal and antibiotic therapy may be necessary if severe.

7. Anxiety Pain

Anxiety can causes underarm pain due to shaking, underarm sweating, increasing heart rate, sweating and irritation. And these symptoms can lead to pain under right armpit. Sharking along with rapid heartbeat can make muscles stain, then sweating adds on sensation of painful and irritating, which make the armpit fell pain.

8. Peripheral Artery Disease

Narrowing of the arteries in the legs and arms causes a reduction in blood flow to these areas. This can lead to tissue injury, typically causing sharp, shooting pains.

9. Waxing Pain

Waxing and shaving the underarm can cause sore armpits. If you have pain under armpit after waxing, take a painkiller and avoid touching it for a while until the skin heals. To avoid such pain, you need to clean the area before waxing, and wait until your hair under arms is long enough

Here is a video explaining medical causes of armpit pain:

When to See a Doctor

In most cases, armpit pain is not serious. However, you may need to see your doctor if any of these occur:

  • Pain moves towards the chest, which may be related to heart disease
  • Muscle weakness of the arm, severe burning sensation, unusual inflammation of the skin, etc.
  • Numbness or tingling sensation in your arms
  • ŸFirm lumps beneath the skin
  • Inability to move your arms or finger normally

How to Relieve Pain Under Right Armpit

Treatment for your underarm pain will depend on the exact cause. If your symptoms are mild, chances are that pain will disappear with time. If the pain is caused by muscle strain, simple home remedies may help relieve pain. However, sometimes, you may need other treatments, including prescribed medications, physical therapy or surgery.

If you believe that you are not in a severe condition, some home remedies can be applied before seeking for medical help:

  • Cold compresses. Apply an ice pack or a cold washcloth directly on your armpit to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
  • Warm bath. Add one tablespoon of baking soda to warm water, then take a bath to reduce itchiness, pain and inflammation.
  • Massage. Gently massage your armpit to reduce swelling and improve blood circulation.
  • Avoid oily and spicy foods. Certain foods make you sweat more, especially in the underarms. Bacterial growth is more likely to occur in these areas, which can worsen the problem, so it is best for you to avoid such foods.
  • Good hygiene. To avoid infection, practice good hygiene. If you have painful lumps in your armpits, they will heal faster if you keep them dry and clean.
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