Localized pain in the chest or the abdomen may or may not indicate a serious health condition. However, it is always best to find out the real cause so prompt and appropriate interventions can be initiated.
Sharp pain under right breast is not entirely uncommon. In fact, any person can experience this. It is vital to know the structures around this area as well as the other symptoms that you are experiencing to determine the underlying problem correctly.
When experiencing sharp pain under right breast, you should seek to consult with a health care professional right away. You should not ignore it so proper diagnosis can be made.
What are the Organs under the Right Breast?
There are several organs located on the right side of the body and under the right breast. The kidney, liver, gallbladder and the pancreas are the organs situated under the right breast.
Since there are different body organs around this area, it can be hard to ascertain where the unexplained and sudden pain is originating.
Causes of Sharp Pain under Right Breast
Here is a list of some of the possible health conditions associated with intense pain under right breasts.
1. Rib Fractures and Injuries
The organs found inside the chest is protected by the rib cage. The rib cage comprises the ribs, the sternum, and the cartilages.
The rib cage is build to be strong. However, it can sustain injuries through blunt force trauma. This damage can also result from physical assault or crash accidents.
Sharp pain under the breast along with bruising and tenderness may be experienced in the affected area. The pain can also worsen when you take deep breaths, sneeze or a cough.
Bruised or broken ribs that are not displaced will heal on their own within four to six weeks. Acute fractures will require surgery. To relieve the pain, pain medications are often prescribed.
Pleurisy is a condition referred to as the inflammation of the chest cavity and the lining of the lungs. This health condition is caused by a wide variety of health problems including pneumonia, respiratory tract infection, trauma and exposure to toxic substances.
This health condition is characterized by chest pain just under the right breast which can become worse with deep breathing, sudden movement, and coughing.
3. Intercostal Neuritis
Intercostal neuritis or costochondritis is characterized by the inflammation of the cartilages in the rib cage and damaged nerves between the bones. Costochondritis may occur due to an infection, trauma or simply because of persistent and rigorous coughing.
This condition often causes severe, irregular and sharp pain that can worsen when you sneeze, move quickly or a cough. The pain may also radiate from the front towards the back.
In most cases, this is not a serious condition and may be treated with over the counter pain medications.
4. Ulcers and Acid Reflux
Regurgitation of food contents into the esophagus or acid reflux has the tendency to cause a sharp pain under right breast. The symptom is also accompanied with a burning sensation in the throat.
Ulcers occurring in the duodenum may present on the right breast as well and may cause the similar pain.
Both conditions require timely diagnosis and proper treatment to prevent any further complications like abdominal bleeding and perforation.
5. Hiatal Hernia
A hiatal hernia, while rare, can cause sharp pain under right breast. This condition is characterized by the protrusion of a part of the stomach through a weak part of the diaphragm. In some cases, a part of the esophagus can also herniate through this opening.
Aside from the pain, other symptoms can also occur like heartburn, bloating, chest pain, and shortness of breath. If this is the case, you should seek medical consult right away so proper treatment can be initiated.
The pancreas is an organ located just behind the stomach. The tip of the pancreas is located under the right breast. Pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas and may be one of the causes of sharp pain under the right breast.
Even though most of the organ is located on the upper left side of the abdomen, the inflammation of the pancreas can cause chronic or acute pain that can manifest on different parts of the body. As a result, sharp pain under right breast may be experienced.
This condition often results from blockage of the pancreatic ducts, infection, high triglyceride levels, gallstones or alcohol abuse.
Accompanying the pain, other symptoms like lower back pain, fever, nausea and vomiting, and bloating can occur.
7. Galbladder Disease
The gallbladder is a small sac located under the liver. This organ is often situated on the upper part of the abdomen.
The gallbladder functions as storage for bile, which is a digestive juice primarily produced by the liver. Bile contains pigments, cholesterol, and salts. This digestive fluid can crystallize and form stones or gallstones and cause cholelithiasis.
Aside from gallstones, inflammation of the gallbladder or cholecystitis can also occur due to infection.
Both of these gallbladder diseases can cause sharp pain under right pain. If this is the case, the pain often radiates to the back. Also, pain is accompanied by other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and fever.
- Surgery may be required to remove the gallbladder. In less severe cases, medications are prescribed to help melt the gallstones.
8. Inflamatory Bowel Disorder
Obstruction of the bowel can also cause sharp pain under right breast. This condition is common in people who are diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. Also, the condition occurs after consumption of particular types of food.
The symptoms of the disease include sharp under right breast, abdominal discomfort, altered bowel movements, and vomiting.
Even though the liver is located far from the chest area, inflammation of the liver or hepatitis can cause pain symptoms that can radiate to lower part of the right breast.
This condition is caused by a variety of conditions like exposure to toxic chemicals, hepatitis infection and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.
- If liver problems are suspected to be the cause of the sharp pain under right breast, quick medical consult should be sought immediately. This way, proper diagnosis, and treatment can be initiated without delay.
Diagnosing and Treating Sharp Pain under Right Breast
If pain under right breast is experienced, your health care provider may require you to undergo some diagnostic tests like ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), x-ray, and CT scan.
The type of diagnostic test will depend on the symptoms that you are feeling as well as your medical history. Your doctor will also conduct a thorough physical assessment before timely and proper intervention is initiated.
The most common interventions to relieve this pain include prescription pain medications, warm and cold compress, and massage. However, in severe cases, surgery may be indicated. The treatment plan will depend on the underlying cause of the sharp pain felt under the right breast.