Sharp pain under left breast a very common problem or symptom that many people experience. It can be caused by a wide range of problems ranging from mild gastric upset or gastritis to more serious problems like heart ailments. But, in the majority of people, sharp pain under
But, in the majority of people, sharp pain under left breast is mainly caused by minor problems related to the digestive tract, chest wall, etc.
Though the most common causes of pain under left breast are not very serious, we need to be really cautious and rule out the problems related to our heart as heart diseases are really dangerous. So, we need to know all the causes of sharp pain under
So, we need to know all the causes of sharp pain under left breast to conclude if we can just get rid of our pain with simple home remedies and over the counter drugs or we need to consult a physician. Let us explore all the causes of sharp pain under left breast.
Causes of sharp pain under left breast:
Let us see all the causes of pain under left breast ranging from digestive problems to heart problems.
Digestive problems are amongst the most common problems that lead to sharp pain under left breast. Let us look at them.
Gastroesophageal Reflux disease:
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is also known as Heartburn. In this condition, there is reflux of acidic food contents from the stomach to the esophagus.
It leads to many symptoms like pain behind the sternum or breastbone, sharp pain under left breast, getting sour food contents into the mouth, halitosis or bad breath, etc. Sometimes, sharp pain under left breast caused by heartburn is confused with chest pain caused by Angina or heart attack by many people.
Gastritis is the inflammation or swelling of the stomach wall lining. Gastritis can be caused by many different causes like antibodies against the Parietal cells of the stomach, called Pernicious anemia. It can also be caused by a type of bacteria called Helicobacter Pylori.
This bacteria is also associated with the development of Gastrinoma or Gastric carcinoma. Gastritis leads to many symptoms like epigastric pain or pain below the ribs, pain under left breast, abdominal fullness or bloating, improper digestion or indigestion, etc.
A hiatal hernia is the protrusion of the stomach into the chest through an opening in the diaphragm. The acidic food contents of the stomach get into the chest. This leads to many symptoms like pain under let breast which can be dull or sharp.
It can also lead to many other symptoms like shortness of breath or dyspnea, palpitations of the heart or tachycardia, etc.
Trapped gasses in the stomach:
Gasses are produced in our digestive tract every day as part of the regular digestion process. But, they are in small amounts and they leave the body as either flatus or through belching or burping. But, sometimes, gasses can get trapped in the digestive tract or in the stomach.
They exert pressure on the nerves supplying the stomach. This makes us feel a sharp pain under our left breast. This is because our stomach is also located on the left side of the abdomen.
Our chest has lungs and heart inside the chest cavity. The organs of the chest are protected by the ribs and muscles of the chest wall. Sometimes, there can be a problem with the ribs, muscles or the soft tissues of the chest wall leading to pain under left breast.
Disorders of Ribs:
Our ribs can suffer from many different problems like swelling or inflammation, fractures, trauma, etc which can lead to chest pain under left breast. Our ribs are attached to our breastbone or sternum with a cartilage.
There can be swelling of the cartilage called costochondritis. This can lead to pain under left breast which can be really very severe.
Swelling of Chest wall:
There can be inflammation or swelling of the muscles of the chest wall leading to sharp pain under left breast. The muscles affected can include the intercostal muscles which are present between the ribs, muscles like Pectoralis, etc.
Trauma to Chest wall:
You might become a victim or any accident or motor vehicle accident which can lead to sharp pain under left breast. You can also develop chest pain under left breast if you suffer from any trauma due to physical abuse or injury.
Cyst in the Chest:
Sometimes there can be a development of a fluid-filled cyst in the chest wall. This can gradually increase or enlarge in size. This leads to compression of the nerves and surrounding structures. As the nerves are affected due to the cyst, it can lead to sharp pain under left breast.
Precordial Catch syndrome:
Precordial catch syndrome is abbreviated as PCS. It is also known by another name or synonym Texidor’s twinge. It causes sharp pain under the left breast in kids and adolescents.
It affects adults very rarely. The pain is [produced while breathing. This chest pain under left breast can last from few minutes to half an hour.
Our lungs are covered with a protective lining called pleura. There are two pleura covering the lungs called the parietal pleura and the visceral pleura. There is a pleural cavity between the two pleura which is filled with pleural fluid and it facilitates adequate lubrication between the two pleura.
Sometimes, pleura can be swollen due to various infections. This is called pleuritis or pleurisy. There can be an accumulation of excess pleural fluid in the pleural cavity called pleural effusion. These conditions irritate the nerves supplying the lung and lead to sharp pain under left breast.
Our heart is an important part of our body which keeps us alive. All the parts of heart play a pivotal role in maintaining the functions of the heart. The problem with the covering of the heart or the heart itself can lead to sharp pain under left breast.
The pericardium is the covering of the heart. Sometimes Pericardium can become swollen due to viral infections, etc. This is called Pericarditis. It affects the nerves supplying the pericardium and leads to sharp pain under left breast.
This pain is called Pleuritic chest pain and it is usually seen when a person takes a breath or breathes. The chest pain under left breast changes with the change of position. It reduces when a person lies down.
Angina is the condition which occurs when there is diminished blood flow to the heart. It is seen in people who have atherosclerotic heart diseases. It causes chest pain under left breast which is really sharp.
It is generally seen on exertion and then relieved with rest, which is called stable angina. It also has another variant called Unstable angina which causes chest pain even at rest. It causes many symptoms like shortness of breath, etc.
A heart attack is also known as myocardial infarction. In this condition, the blood flow to the heart is completely cut down. This leads to the death of the heart tissue. It leads to sharp pain under left breast.
This pain under breast also radiates to left jaw, left shoulder, left arm and left the side of the neck. It also produces symptoms like shortness of breath or dyspnea, sweating, anxiety, etc.
There are many other problems which can lead to sharp pain under left breast. One of the important factors leading to sharp pain in left breast is stress and anxiety.
Our lifestyle of today is the main reason behind the development of stress and anxiety. Stress can cause many hormonal changes in the body and it can lead to sharp pain in left breast. But, when the stress is relieved, we can get relief from chest pain under left breast too.
Getting rid of sharp pain under left breast:
We have learned about all the reasons for the development of chest pain under left breast. Now, let us look at all the different ways to get rid of the sharp pain in left breast.
Stress is one of the reasons for the development of sharp pain in left breast. So, you need to follow proper relaxation techniques to get relief from chest pain. Try to do some form of exercises every day.
You can participate in walking, jogging, swimming, yoga, etc. You can also take part in laughing clubs to get some relief from stress. You can do meditation daily.
Gastritis and Heartburn are also the reasons for having a sharp pain under left breast. To keep these disorders under control, we need to change diet. We need to avoid eating spicy foods containing excessive chilies, pepper, etc.
We also need to reduce the intake of fatty or oily foods. We also need to eat smaller, more frequent meals. Try to avoid eating large meals at one time.
Avoid Alcohol and Smoking:
Alcohol and Smoking can also lead to aggravation of the Gastritis and Heartburn problems. So, try to minimize the intake of alcohol and smoking.
You can get relief from sharp pain under left breast caused by Pericarditis and pleuritis by taking NSAIDS or Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs. They are available as over the counter drugs. Sometimes, they need to be prescribed by your physician.
Sometimes infections can lead to various problems that can further lead to sharp pain in left breast. You need to take antibiotics to get rid of these problems. For example, you need to get rid of Helicobacter Pylori bacteria causing Gastritis by taking Triple therapy antibiotics.
Removal of Cyst:
If cysts in the chest wall are the reason for getting a sharp pain under left breast, then removal of the chest wall cyst can alleviate the symptoms of sharp pain under left breast.
You have seen all the different causes of sharp pain under left breast and also the different ways to get rid of this chest pain under left breast. Have you ever experienced such a pain? What are the measures you have taken to get quick relief? Do share your experience with us.