The armpit is one of the most sensitive cavities in the human body. Discomfort in this area can arise both from injury and from other causes.

You may have ever had armpit pain. Given that numerous blood vessels, tendons, and nerves are found in this part of the body, it is not entirely strange that at some point you may experience discomfort in this area. In fact, the armpits are connected to certain muscles that can inflame the glands.

Therefore, it  is important to identify discomfort  and assess whether the pain interferes with arm movements. If so, you should go to the doctor. However, it is not usually a dangerous situation, only in extreme cases in which the nodes are damaged, a surgical intervention will be required.


As for the most characteristic symptoms that may appear if this discomfort is suffered, we can mention the following:

  • Bulges.
  • Swelling.
  • Burning in the area.
  • Numbness.
  • Dodor (severe, moderate or severe).

Causes of armpit pain.

Next, we will mention the 7 main causes that can trigger armpit pain.

1. Muscle pull in the armpit.

This type of injury has symptoms such as sudden, sharp pain in the armpit. It is usually suffered by people who lift weights or perform related exercises.

Muscle tension causes weakness, stiffness, fatigue and in some cases burning in the area. To solve it, you have to reduce inflammation and avoid moving that part of the body as much as possible so as not to damage the torn muscles.

It is recommended to use cold compresses for 20 minutes or opt for anti-inflammatories. But above all, it is recommended to rest between 3 and 6 weeks.

2. Axillary lymphadenitis.

This alteration appears when you are swollen lymph nodes . It usually occurs below the neck, groin, and armpits. Among its symptoms stand out:

  • Fever.
  • Swelling.
  • Pain to touch.
  • Redness and numbness.

Axillary lymphadenitis is due to infection. Doctors perform a blood test to determine the cause and, in some cases, a biopsy is done to rule out the possibility of cancer.

3. Angina pectoris.

  • The angina is presented as an intense pain. It is due to a lack of blood supply to the heart muscle. This pain can spread to other parts of the body such as: arms, shoulders, neck, back and armpits. Meanwhile, the patient may present:
  • Fatigue.
  • Dizziness and nausea.
  • Excessive sweating.

If you have armpit and chest pain, it is recommended to see a doctor as soon as possible.

4. Hidradenitis suppurativa.

The hidradenitis suppurativa is considered a chronic disease, which is characterized by the appearance of nodules, abscesses or scars in areas where apocrine sweat glands. This means that it is very common for it to occur in the armpits.

The bumps create tunnels under the skin that block the follicles. Risk factors include:

  • Overweight.
  • Smoking.
  • Low defenses.
  • Hormonal disturbance

5. Breast cancer.

The fact that breast cancer is one of the possible causes of armpit pain does not mean that it is the only one, so do not be alarmed, the goal is to prevent.

This type of cancer begins with the attack of the cells to the milk-producing ducts. It can also start in the glandular tissue. If the lymph nodes are very swollen, they may affect the armpit area. Some of the symptoms that can appear in case of breast cancer are:

  • Inverted nipple.
  • Lump in the chest.
  • Redness and itching in the area.
  • Peeling around the nipple.
  • Change in the shape and size of the gland.

If you have any of the symptoms mentioned, you should have a mammogram or biopsy, as indicated by the doctor, to find the cause of the pain and find out if it is breast cancer.

6. Reflux

In medical terms it is known as gastroesophageal reflux or indigestion. The cells of the stomach secrete a series of acidic fluids that aid in the digestion of food.

Sometimes the muscle becomes weak and gastric acid travels up the esophagus, causing burning in the chest area and can expand into the armpits.

7. Anxiety.

Sometimes armpit pain can occur due to somatization. This means that in reality there is no physiological damage that is causing damage to the lymph nodes, but the body perceives pain due to a prolonged state of stress or anxiety.

People with anxiety become intensely and constantly worrying, causing physical discomfort. In these cases, the person is recommended to perform relaxation techniques to reduce anxiety. If you cannot suppress the symptoms of anxiety, it is recommended that you go to your doctor to prescribe the most appropriate drugs to combat it.

Avoid self-medication.

It is important that you assess the discomfort before taking ibuprofen or any other medication without first consulting with your doctor. Remember that by taking a drug of this type, you can hide the symptoms and delay the problem.