The inner side of the joint where the arm connects with the shoulder is called the axilla - armpit or underarm in common parlance. Technically, the armpit is the outer axilla surface. Sometimes, one may experience a discomfort in this region in the form of either a sharp, burning sensation or as a dull, persistent feeling similar to a strained muscle. These feelings may or may not be accompanied by numbness and more often than not, such discomfort radiates to the shoulder and the arm on the affected side. Sometimes lumps or swollen patches may be present at or around the affected area. Pain under armpit and around it may or may not have serious implications. Women, especially, are easily scared by any discomfort in this area as it may be indicative of the onset of breast cancer, more so if such pain is accompanied by lumps or firm patches under the skin. Let's look into the details of armpit pain and find out what the chief causes behind it are.
Armpit Pain Causes
Given below are the most common causes of pain in the armpit. Go through them to find out what goes on behind those painful moments that make you reluctant to stretch out your arms.
Glandular Infections: The sweat glands in the armpits may get inflamed due to bacterial infestation, leading to swelling and/or formation of small lumps in the underarm region. Sometimes, heat, excessive sweating or poor hygiene may lead to the occurrence of boils in the armpit region and a blunt, radiating pain in the armpit accompanied by a hardened patch may be the indication of the onset of boils.
Lymphoma: A cancer of the white blood cells, the occurrence of lymphoma on the underarms may cause sharp, radiating pain which may extend as far as the fingers, since all the hand and arm nerves pass via the armpit region. Pain in the left armpit which is accompanied by a slight elevation of the surface without any indication of an infection may be a symptom of Non Hodgkin's lymphoma. Same can be said about pain in the right armpit that exhibits similar symptoms.
Connective Tissue Degeneration: Decay or degeneration of connective tissues may result in armpit soreness. Especially when attempting to move or stretch the arms, one may feel the soreness as pain in the armpit region. No lump accompanies such soreness.
Sporotrichosis: This is a fungal infection which may cause the occurrence of a painful lump in armpit accompanied by rashes. This is a common infection among gardeners as the fungi sporothrix schenckii, which causes this infection, can be abundantly found in soil, rose bushes, moss, etc.
Hyperthyroidism: An overactive thyroid gland can lead to swollen armpit glands. This condition can occur in persons whose daily iodine intake is very high.
Viral Infections: Viral infections like chickenpox, measles, mumps, AIDS, typhoid, etc. may be symptomized by dull pain in the armpit accompanied by fever, sore throat and body ache.
Breast Cancer: This is the most dreaded and alarming cause of armpit pain in women! Formation of cancerous armpit lumps and hardened spots around the breast, often accompanied by pain in the armpit, must not be taken lightly as these may very well be symptoms of breast cancer in women!
Other Causes: Other causes that may induce pain in and around the armpit are strained muscles, diabetes, peripheral artery disease, peripheral neuropathy, heat burn and chemical burn.
That was a brief overview of the chief causes of pain in the armpit. As we can also see from the above discussion, pain in the armpit is often a symptom of other underlying diseases and disorders. The treatment depends upon the underlying cause and treatment of such cause is the only way to get complete relief from pain on the underarm. However, painkillers may be used to ease the suffering and give momentary relief but that does not cure the cause of such pain.