Pain Under Right Breast: Causes, Treatments, and When to See a Doctor

Pain Under Right Breast: Causes, Treatments, and When to See a Doctor
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Having pain under your right breast is very often a cause for concern because of the possibility that it is a sign of a serious medical condition. Just under your right breast behind your ribcage are many vital organs like your liver, gallbladder, and right kidney. However, not all aches and pains under your right chest below your breast should cause you to worry. For example, sharp pains under your right breast can be caused by something as simple as excess gas, heartburn, or being stressed out.

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Getting rid of pain under your right breast depends on the cause of the discomfort and aches in your lower chest area. If throbbing or dull pains are caused by problems with your digestive system, then home remedies like chamomile, ginger tea, and drinking baking soda water can help get rid of the chest pain. However, if the sharp pains under you breast persist, you should see a doctor because they could be due to inflammation or infection in one of your organs.

Many people are worried that chest pains are a sign of an impending heart attack. However, because your heart is found toward the left of your chest, most cardiac-related chest pains cause pain on the left-hand side of your chest. However, you should never ignore any kind of new or unusual pain in your chest.

In this article, you will learn about the many causes of pain under your right breast. You will also find out how to remedy the cause of right-hand side chest pain and discomfort. At the end of the article, you can find out when you should see a doctor for pains under your right breast.

Causes of Pain Under your Right Breast

First of all, let’s look at some of the serious medical conditions that can cause pain on your right-hand side upper abdomen just under your breast.

Gallbladder infection or gallstones

Any infection or blockage in your gallbladder can cause severe, sharp pain under your right breast. Depending on the severity of the infection, the pains and aches can last for several hours.

Your gallbladder is located just below your right breast and produces bile that helps your digestive system. Gallstones can block bile passing to your liver and this results in inflammation and pain on the right side of your stomach and back after eating a fatty meal.

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According to doctors from WebMD, gallbladder pain can start suddenly and is usually felt just under the right ribs. The severe pain can also spread to your right shoulder blade and the center of your chest. You may also experience nausea and vomiting. In between bouts of sharp upper abdominal pain, you may just have a mild ache under your right breast.1

If you suffer from gallstones, you should try to avoid eating fatty foods as this can trigger an attack. You can also try drinking lemon juice as a natural method to help dissolve gallstones and relieve the constant pain.

The citric acid in lemon may help to dissolve gallstones and flush toxins out of the liver. Squeeze juice from 1/2 lemon into an 8 oz. glass of warm water. Drink one glass of lemon water first thing in the morning and one in the evening.

Pancreatitis

Inflammation of the pancreas can cause a steady dull ache on the right side of your body just under your right breast. Your pancreas is also connected with your digestive system and it can become inflamed by a blockage in the pancreas duct, overuse of alcohol, gallstones, or certain medications.

According to Drugs.com, the most typical symptom of pancreatitis is severe to tolerable upper abdominal pain. The pain can occur under your breast on the right or left side and spread to your back, chest, or lower abdomen. The pain under your breast will often get worse after eating.2

If you experience severe abdominal pain under your right or left breast accompanied by nausea and possibly vomiting, you should contact your medical provider right away.

Kidney stones

Kidney stones in your right-hand kidney can cause sharp pain under your right breast that comes and goes. You may find that the abdominal discomfort under your ribs comes in waves of being severe, intense pain and then mild aches.

Kidney stones are a buildup of minerals and salts in one or both of your kidneys and they cause excruciating pain in your lower chest area if they move.

According to doctors on WebMD, kidney stones don’t just cause intense pain under your breast. If the stones move down your urinary tract, they can cause severe pain in your side, groin, or genitals. You might also have pain when you urinate and your urine may have blood in it.3

There are many ways to help prevent kidney stones naturally and prevent the abdominal pain that they cause. One great home remedy to dissolve kidney stones is drinking apple cider vinegar. You should also drink plenty of water regularly to flush out toxins from your kidneys and help them to work effectively.

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Too much gas

A less serious reason for having stabbing pains under your right breast is trapped gas in your intestines. Gas forms in your intestines when bacteria in your colon ferments undigested carbohydrates.

Dr. Hoffman on WebMD explains that too much gas in your intestines can cause pain and bloating. Depending on where the gas is trapped, you may also experience gas pains in your chest area.4 Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that gas can cause abdominal cramping and sharp, jabbing pains.5

You can tell the difference between abdominal pains caused by gas and other serious conditions because gas chest pains should go away quickly.

It’s completely natural to have gas, but to prevent too much gas building up, doctors from the Mayo Clinic recommend maintaining a healthy digestive system and avoiding high cholesterol levels.6 You can also check out my article on home remedies to prevent trapped gas and how to avoid bloating.

Heartburn

If you have pains under your right breast after eating, it could be because you suffer from heartburn. The painful burning sensation in your chest is caused when stomach acid escapes back up your windpipe and irritates its delicate lining.

Although heartburn can cause pain anywhere in your digestive tract from your stomach to your throat, Dr. David T. Derrer on WebMD says that heartburn often causes a sharp, burning pain just under your ribs. You may also experience difficulty swallowing or have a feeling like you have something stuck in your throat.7

Very often heartburn pain can be mistaken for a heart attack. Dr. Derrer says that the difference is that heartburn pain doesn’t usually radiate to your arm or shoulders and is quickly treated with antacids. However, if you have sudden, squeezing pains in your chest, you should let a doctor diagnose the condition.

Drinking baking soda water for heartburn is an effective and quick home remedy to get rid of heartburn. All you have to do for quick pain relief is mix 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water. Drink after each meal to prevent pain under your right breast that is caused by heartburn.

For more information on precautions when using baking soda for heartburn, please read my article on how to use baking soda for acid reflux.

Stress

When you are under a lot of emotional or psychological stress, you could experience pain under your right or left breast. Stress can affect your digestive system, increase your heart rate, and cause muscles and nerves to tense up. Stress also causes abdominal pain because of how it affects your nervous system.

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The Harvard Medical School published information on the connection between stress and abdominal pain. The researchers found that even mild stress can disrupt the digestive system resulting in increased pain in your abdominal region.8

To reduce stress-related pain under your ribs, you can try some natural herbal remedies for stress relief. For example, in my article on how to relieve stress naturally, you can find out how herbs like St John’s Wort, ginger, Ginkgo Biloba, and chamomile can help you to relax.

You can also try using some essential oils to get relief from symptoms of stress and stress-related disorders.

Anxiety attack

Suffering an anxiety attack could cause pain or discomfort in your chest under your breast. Suffering a panic attack can be a frightening experience, especially if it is your first one. Many say that they even felt as if they were dying.

Dr. Joseph Goldberg on WebMD says that panic attacks can cause heart palpitations, a feeling of choking, uncontrollable shivering, and chest pain or discomfort.9 According to one study, panic attacks can also cause the muscle and nerves in your chest to tighten, causing painful spasms below your ribs. Also, the increased heart rate and blood pressure that often accompanies a panic attack can put extra strain on your heart.10

Fortunately, anxiety attacks and other symptoms are treatable. Many people have found that taking serotonin supplements have helped control their anxiety. Also, natural treatments for depression can help to reduce anxiety levels and prevent panic attacks.

Pleurisy

Inflammation of the lining of your right lung can cause a painful severe, sharp stabbing pains under your right breast. Your lungs are protected by a lining called the pleura. If the pleura becomes infected by a fungal or bacterial infection it becomes inflamed, resulting in intense chest pain.

Doctors from WebMD say that the inflammation causes friction in the pleura and you will have severe chest pains especially when you cough, sneeze, or breathe deeply. This may cause shallow breathing and you may also have a fever and chills.11

Shingles

Pain under your right breast along with a painful, blotchy rash could be a symptom of shingles. Shingles are a viral infection that can affect the nerve endings in your body. Shingles are caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox – the varicella-zoster virus. If the virus flares up, you may develop a painful rash around either side of your chest.

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Dr. Mary Harding on Patient.info says that if the nerve supplying the skin of your chest is infected, you will probably have chest pain. The painful rash usually blisters and then forms scabs around the affected skin area.12

To help treat shingles naturally, you can apply Manuka honey to the painful skin area. Manuka honey contains antimicrobial properties that can help kill off any infection and soothe your painful skin under the right breast.

Breast cancer

Pain in and around your right or left breast may cause you to be worried about the possibility of breast cancer. Although a lump in your breast may be a sign of breast cancer that you shouldn’t ignore, Cancer Research UK says that breast pain isn’t usually connected with breast cancer.13

In very rare cases, pain under one of your breasts may be caused because the cancer has spread to the lungs. However, pain under your right or left breast alone isn’t an indicator that cancer has spread. Cancer Research UK says that advanced breast cancer has many other serious symptoms like coughing up blood, frequent chest and lung infections, and/or breathlessness.14

Of course, if you discover a new breast lump, you should visit your doctor to rule out the possibility of breast cancer.

Other Reasons for Pain Under your Right Breast

There are some other physical reasons why you might have pain under your right breast.

Muscle strain

If you exercise or have strained the muscles on the right-hand side of your chest, or the muscles connecting your ribs (called intercostal muscles) you will probably have painful muscles in your chest under your right breast. A pulled chest muscle can feel very tender and cause mild to severe pain depending on the injury.

To get rid of pain caused by a pulled muscle, you can use either hot or cold therapy or read my article on the best ways to relieve muscle tension naturally.

Rib injury

Obviously, any kind of trauma to your right rib cage will leave you with mild to intense pain around the affected chest area under your right breast.

After a trauma to your ribs, you should get plenty of rest and apply an ice pack to reduce swelling. You can also try some of my essential oils for pain and inflammation relief to get rid of the discomfort from your injured chest area.

When to See a Doctor for Pains Under Your Right Breast

If you continue to have pain under your right breast for more than a few days of home treatment, you should visit your doctor. Doctors from WebMD recommend that you have any unusual chest pain checked out by a medical professional.

They recommend that you see a doctor for chest pain if it is constant and accompanied by any of the following symptoms:

  • You experience squeezing or pressure in your chest area, especially on the left-hand side.
  • Pain from your abdomen spreads to your arms, shoulders, jaw, or neck.
  • You experience sharp, sudden chest pain under your left or right breast while resting.
  • You have a fever, nausea, dizziness, or vomiting along with aches in your chest.
  • You cough up greenish mucus.
  • You can’t get any relief from the pain under your right breast.

Read these related articles:

Article Sources:
  1. WebMD. Gallbladder pain.
  2. Drugs. Acute pancreatitis.
  3. WebMD. Kidney stones. Symptoms.
  4. WebMD. Can gas cause chest pains?
  5. MayoClinic. Gas and gas pain symptoms.
  6. MayoClinic. Gas and gas pains.
  7. WebMD. Heartburn symptoms.
  8. HealthHarvard. Stress may cause abdominal pain.
  9. WebMD. Symptoms of a panic
  10. Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry. 2002; 4(2): 54–62.
  11. WebMD. Pleurisy – what you should know.
  12. PatientInfo. Shingles.
  13. CancerResearchUK. Breast cancer symptoms.
  14. CancerResearchUK. Symptoms of advanced breast cancer.
  15. WebMD. Chest pain causes.
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8 Responses to Pain Under Right Breast: Causes, Treatments, and When to See a Doctor

  1. Debbie Pacifico says:

    TY for the information. I had lung cancer 7 years ago,in remisson for 2 yrs.then it went to my brain first the right occipital lobe then 3 months later went to my left had the CyberKnife from both sides in remission from that. Have some eye troubles. I have been in remisson since. Been taking TracEva for about 5 1/2 yrs. But for a while I get these spams under my breast then it seems to move to the other side. No one has a answer to my problem. TY for your help. Sincerely Debbie Pacifico

    • Jenny Hills says:

      Hi Debbie, since I’m not a doctor I’m unable to provide specific advice, so unfortunately I’m unable to help. Better to seek a second (or third) opinion from a professional medical practitioner to get an accurate diagnosis.

  2. suzanne ruhlmann says:

    Hi I was wondering what could be popping out from underneath my right breast? It’s beenot happening for a while now when ever I strained because of bladder spasms it pops out and I have to pop whatever it is back in place. Plus I have been having severe chest pain for two days and it moved from my chest to the lower part of my neck. It hurts bad to swallow and I feel like something is stuck in there. I tried going to a doctor but they told me to take maylox and it can take several weeks for it to go away. I really need an opinion right now. Thank you.

    • Jenny Hills says:

      Hi Suzanne, I personally cannot help as I’m not a doctor and you need a proper diagnosis from a professional medical practitioner. I think it would be beneficial to get a second opinion regarding your condition from another doctor.

    • Diane Christian says:

      Hi I too have been suffering for years from something popping out of place under my right breast. For me it happens when I bend over to sit down in the car. When I bend over to pick something up or tie my shoes. On occasion it has happened when I am bearing down to have a bowel movement. So far cat scans, x-rays GI doctors, surgeons and my own primary doctor have no idea where this cramping up is coming from. Did you have any success in finding out what your problem is? I am still working to find an answer. I will take any ideas anyone suggests. I can’t do this much longer. Thank you

      • Liz says:

        Hi. Did you ever find a resolution for this as I am experiencing that also and wondering what the cost could be would appreciate a comment back

  3. martha tindall says:

    I was in a serious roll over car accident on the 25th, Ct, sonograns, xrays showed no broken bones, 12hrs later i was let out of hospital. 2hrs after I got home I bent down and felt a clicking sensation under my tight breast, followed by severe pain. everytime I move to bend or turn I am in alot of pain. at night I am unable to get any rest. unable to lay on my side, stomache or flat.I followed up with my primary and he didnt order any testing. so far its been 6 days and it still creeks when I move. I am at wits end. should I seek a second opinion since no one is able to tell me whats wrong, email me at [email protected]

    • Jenny Hills, Medical Writer and Researcher says:

      Yes, I would definitely go to get a second opinion. Severe pain is not something to ignore.

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