Pain under the right breast can be sharp, stabbing or dull. You can experience breast pain after eating, when lying down or even when breathing. But what causes this kind of pain? Should pregnant women worry about breast pain? Here are causes and remedies for this discomfort.
Pain under right breast is a familiar occurrence for many modern day women. The pain being experienced below the right breast is often an indication that a woman could be suffering from gallbladder related issues.
It is however important to note that there are many other medical conditions that have similar symptoms, and hence the need to identify the cause of the pain, understand these causes, and ensure you get the best possible treatment.
There is a general fear among most women that pain in this area means that one is suffering from breast cancer, but generally, this is not the case. The pain could have something to do with medical conditions affecting your organs, right side of the abdomen, or even your muscles.
Since there are very many conditions that could have such symptoms, it is crucial to get a proper diagnosis before any form of treatment can be administered
Instances and causes of pain under right breast bone
Some of the instances and causes of pain occurring under your right breastbone include pregnancy, when lying down, after eating, when breathing in deeply or even any time. Let’s look at these in detail.
Right breast pain during pregnancy in females
Breast pain and pregnancy are forever going to be tied together. The breast will be growing so as to accommodate the milk that is needed for the child, and there is a very good chance that you will be experiencing pain and tenderness for the duration of the pregnancy.
For first time mothers, it can be scary for them when they begin to experience pain below their breasts for the very first time. What you need to understand is that the body has started to change internally, and is attempting to make room for your child, and as such, the reason for this pain could be varied.
It could be caused by:
- Baby position
- Liver size increase
- Acid reflux
- Shifting in the hips in a bid to make room for the birth process
- Gallbladder issues
During pregnancy, pain under right breast could mean a lot of things, but you should have your gallbladder checked. It is common for it to have issues when you are pregnant.
Breast pain after eating
Experiencing pain in your breast right after eating could mean a number of things. For instance, it could be an indication that there is a problem with your digestive system.
When there is a problem with the digestive system, it could have been caused by:
Excessive digestive gases
The stomach is often located on the left side of the abdomen, and it may start filling up with gases when a person swallows food.
The gases that have become trapped can then trigger nerve pain in your stomach, which will then lead to you experiencing pain in your breast after eating.
Heartburns are very common after causes of pain in the chest, particularly right after someone has eaten.
The stomach acid that has traveled up the esophagus, and therefore ends up irritating the esophageal mucosa causes the heartburn.
No gallbladder (after gallbladder surgery)
The pains are known as biliary colic and could range in terms of mildness. The pain duration will also vary from only lasting a few minutes to lasting as long as a few hours.
According to a National Cooperative Gallstone Study that was conducted in the early ‘80s, it was found that 70% of patients who had shown this symptom would experience future episodes unless they sort proper treatment.
When breathing in deeply
Breast pain can be described as cyclic or non-cyclic and is common in women taking hormone replacement therapy.
When you experience pain when taking in deep breaths, it will often be coming from one side, and may have been caused by pulling one of your muscles located in the rib cage or in the chest wall.
Pain under right breast when lying down
When you experience pain when lying down, it could be an indication that there is a nerve that has been irritated on the side that you press more when attempting to lie down.
It is common for women to experience this type of pain after they have undergone a surgery, or have had implants. In the case of implants, it could mean that more pressure that is lateral is applied on your capsules when lying down, as compared to when you are standing.
Rib injury or bruised ribs
Your rib cage is a critical part of your body, and is responsible for protecting all your chest organs. The organs also receive support from the sternum, which appears like a plate-like structure.
Therefore, any injuries to your sternum or ribs may cause damages to the organs in your chest, and this will in turn cause pain in the right breast area. The pain may therefore be injected by a cough, regular deep breathing, or even by a sneeze.
Trauma or injury after a fall
Breasts are capable of suffering physical injuries, just like any other parts of the human body. Trauma may be from a blow, which is common among young women playing around with their little siblings.
It could also be caused by car accidents. Even though seatbelts are great because they help save lives, they also increase the rate of blunt force trauma incurred by the breasts.
The deployment of an airbag during an accident could also cause trauma to your breasts. The best thing to do is to have your GP check you to ensure that there is no internal bruising or bleeding present, which could pose significant risks.
Stabbing or sharp pain under right breast
Sharp pain in the breast can be quite alarming, as you may end up worrying, more so when the breast tissue begins to develop a burning, shooting, or tingling sensation.
In most cases, only the pain affects the right breast, and this does in no way coincide with your menses. The pain may be caused by surgery, injury, or many other causes.
What is sharp or stabbing pain?
Breast pain on its own is alarming, as such, when you develop a sharp or stabbing pain, you may start to get worried even more.
A sharp or stabbing pain can be defined as the burning, or tingling sensation that you experience in the breast.
Pain under right breast and back
Pain under right breast and back may be caused by the presence of stress in your rib cage. There are occasions when the muscles surrounding your rib cage begin to encounter problems.
It is something that may have been caused by being exposed to additional strain, or having stretched too much when you were working out.
Treatment and how to relieve sharp pain under left breast
There are different treatments that can be relied upon when dealing with pain under the left breast. The following are some of the home remedies that you can rely upon when experiencing pain.
A person who wants to deal with pain under right breast can also use the same remedies. They include:
To get relief from pain under right breast or left breast, you may choose to rely on an ice pack, which happen to be readily available in many houses.
Ice packs have a very cold temperature that help in numbing the breast area, and in the process helps eliminate the pain, and the swelling.
- Scoop a few ice cubes from your freezer and place them in a plastic bag
- The plastic bag should then be wrapped using a washcloth
- Take this ice pack and apply it to the breast affected by the pain for ten minutes
- Repeat application until you begin to feel better
A warm compress can also be used to achieve the same result, or you may choose to alternate between a cold and warm compress that will help reduce tenderness and swelling.
Important to note: Ice should not be applied directly to the breasts as it may lead to frosting
Self-massaging is a great way to not only reduce the pain and the inflammation, but it also plays a vital role of improving your blood circulation.
The massage also helps in maintenance of healthy breast tissues, and this allows more nutrients to get to your breasts, which in turn prevents tenderness and pain.
- When taking your shower, ensure you soap the breasts before massaging each gently for a few minutes, starting from the chest, and heading all the way to your armpits
- In case you are breastfeeding, you should take care not to apply soap to your nipples
- Instead of soap, you could also obtain two teaspoons of warm olive oil and use it in massaging the breasts at least once or twice a day
- A third option would be to combine equal amounts of wheat germ oil and apricot oil and then using it in massaging the breast that is tender.
There is a need to self-massage on a regular basis as a way of ensuring they remain healthy and pain-free at all times.
Evening primrose oil
Evening primrose oil is one of the best treatments that you can use when experiencing pain under right breast.
It contains active ingredients such as fatty acid, which will help the body respond better to changes in your hormone levels. In turn, it will help in easing breast pain and tenderness.
- Evening primrose oil should be applied externally to the breasts
- They should then be massaged for a few minutes
- Alternatively, you can consume evening primrose oil extracts for the next three months on a daily basis. However, you should only do this after consulting your GP.
Note: A woman with epilepsy or one who is trying to get pregnant should not use the evening primrose oil remedies.
Chasteberry is an herb that can be used to treat pain under left breast, as well as other symptoms that are associated with PMS.
The herb contains a positive effect on your pituitary gland that helps suppress the release of prolactin hormone, the hormone responsible for causing painful and tender breasts.
- A typical dose of this herb should be taken at least three times each day
- It can also be taken as an extract. Forty drops of the extract can be added to a glass of water and then taken all at once each morning
Either of the remedies can be practices for the next three months.
Castor oil comes with ricinoleic acid. The acid contains anti-inflammatory properties, which greatly help in reducing breast pain.
The acid will also help increase your circulation and this will ensure that nutrients are able to reach your cells. Therefore, all inflammatory factors as well as the waste products will be removed from your body.
- Combine a single tablespoon of castor oil with at least two teaspoons of olive oil
- Use this special blend to massage the painful breasts
- It is recommended that you follow this remedy at least a week, and ensure you use it daily prior to your period if you experience breast pain during this time.
Dandelion is able to help you deal with pain and tenderness in the breasts, this according to naturopathy.
It contains lots of potassium and acts as a natural diuretic, which helps in flushing out all the extra fluids that may be present in the body, while ensuring water retention is reduced.
It thus helps ensure that you do not experience pain under right breast.
- Simmer a single teaspoon of dandelion in a single glass of water for at least fifteen minutes. proceed to strain this solution.
- Consider adding a small amount of honey to your solution
- Take the dandelion solution for at least three times each day
- Dandelion can also be taken in the form of a supplemental herb, after getting the all clear from your GP.
You can follow either of the two remedies when you begin experiencing pain under your left breast.
Fennel plays an important role in relieving the pain experienced in your breasts, especially when the menses are close.
The fennel seeds will help in rebalancing your hormones while ensuring that water is not retained. Additionally, it will also ensure that toxins do not buildup in the body.
- Add a single teaspoon of fennel seeds to a single glass of warm water, cover the cup, and allow it to steep for at least ten minutes
- Strain your fennel seeds solution and ensure you drink it a few times each day
- Alternatively, consider chewing a few roasted fennel seeds over the course of the day, for a few days to help relieve the breast pain
Apple cider vinegar (ACV)
ACV is very useful when a woman is experiencing pain under left breast. It helps in the removal of toxins from her body, reduces the rate of water retention, and ensures that the hormones are regulated.
In turn, this will help in reducing tenderness and pain in the breasts.
- Add a single teaspoon of raw ACV to a cup of warm water
- Scoop two teaspoons of honey and add them to the ACV
- Try and take the solution a few times each day
Vitamin E also comes handy when you are trying to treat breast pain. The vitamin will make it possible for the body to regulate the hormones that are present in the woman’s body. If not regulated, these hormones can cause pain in the breasts, and may lead to tenderness.
- Taking a single dose of vitamin E helps in preventing tenderness and pain in the breast
- You should make it a point to eat foods that are rich in this vitamin such as almonds, olive oil, sunflower seeds, turnips, mustard greens, and spinach.
- Vitamin E can also be used to massage the breasts a few times each day
It is an important nutrient that should be taken daily, and one that can help in preventing breast related issued such as pain and tenderness.
When taken, magnesium will help reduce the retention of your fluids, and deal with swelling and pain in your left breast.
- You should ensure that you consume foods that have a high magnesium content such as nuts, soybeans, bananas, and avocados.
- Another option is to take magnesium supplements for at least two weeks to check whether the pain will go away.
- You should always consult your doctor before taking any supplements
- When you know that your breasts are sensitive, ensure you wear a sports bra when exercising
- For proper support, you should always wear bras that are well fitted. You should also stay away from push-up bras and underwire
- Make it a point to practice yoga and meditation as a way of reducing and managing your stress levels as they could be contributing to the pain being experienced.
- When it comes to caffeine, limit your intake, as it could be the sole cause of tenderness and soreness.
- Consume lots of fiber to assist your body in flushing out all the extra estrogen. Fiber can be obtained from broccoli, cabbage, legumes, and sprouts.
- Minimize your daily intake of hydrogenated oils commonly found in snack products
- Eat more vegetables and reduce the amount of fat present in your diet. You should also increase your intake of fruits that have high antioxidant levels as they help the body eliminate all free radicals.
- The total number of calories obtained from fats should be less than twenty percent
- During the day, ensure you drink lots of water, which will help eliminate all toxins
- Try to examine your breasts carefully at least once every two months. Any changes observed should be communicated to the doctor.
How to relieve
You can relieve pain under right breast using the following techniques:
Consume more soybeans, as well as other soy products
Soy comes with compounds that are like hormones, and which will help influence the fluctuations of your hormones. An alternative would be to try soy-based meat substitutes, or considering adding soy nuts to some, if not all your meals. Another excellent source of the hormone compounds is soy milk which can be taken with smoothies
Try to consume as much fiber as you can
According to a study conducted at the Tufts University School of Medicine, it was established that women who had a high fiber content excreted more estrogen, and this helped in the reduction of pain in the breast.
Your overall fat content should not be from fats
It has been found that women residing in cultures that practice low fat diets experience less breast pain as compared to those who obtain most of their calories from fats.
Minimize the amount of methylxanthine you consume
It is a component found in most everyday foods such as bananas, peanut butter, chocolate, wine, tea, coffee, and beer. For women who experience pain on a regular basis, they will notice a reduction in the number of pain episodes experienced if they cut back on this compound, or eliminate it completely from their diets.
Be on the lookout for your sodium intake
Sodium is known to increase water retention in the body, and this causes the breasts to begin swelling. You, must, therefore ensure that you keep a cap on the amount of salt that you consume, be it in your food, or as a raw product.
Vitamin B6 and Vitamin E supplements
The two work together to ensure that you no longer experience pain in either of your breasts. Even though you can choose to consume them in the form of supplements, you can always boost your vitamin intake by eating food items such as wheat germ, barley, and nuts for your vitamin E, and lean meats, spinach, and avocados for the B6 vitamins.
All the remedies and treatments that have been discussed above will aid in relieving the amount of pain that you experience in your breasts. It is common for women to experience breast pain during their menses, after an injury, or even when they are pregnant. The remedies above should therefore help with this problem.