Understand the causes, symptoms and options for the treatment of axillary pain. Find relief and better understand your discomfort.

Understand the causes, symptoms and options for the treatment of axillary pain. Find relief and better understand your discomfort.

Experimenting pain under axila can be worrying and can lead people to wonder about the possible causes and courses of action. In medical terms, this condition is known as axillary pain. The armpit is a delicate area of the body that contains various structures, such as lymph nodes, blood vessels, muscles and nerves. Any anomaly or irritation in these structures can cause pain in the armpit.

Causes: pain under the armpit can be attributed to numerous factors, ranging from harmless conditions to potentially serious conditions. The most common causes include:

  1. Inflammation of lymph nodes: the enlarged or infected lymph nodes of the armpit can cause discomfort and pain.
  2. Muscle distension: excessive use or excessive physical activity can cause muscle distension in the armpit area, causing pain and discomfort.
  3. Infections: infections such as cellulite, abscesses or fungal infections can cause pain in the axillary region.
  4. Injury or trauma: any sudden injury or trauma in the armpit, such as a fall or an incident related to sport, can cause pain and swelling.

Note: It is important to go to a healthcare professional if the pain in the armpit persists, is exacerbated or accompanied by other worrying symptoms such as redness, swelling or a lump. Only a medical expert can accurately diagnose and provide adequate treatment based on the underlying cause.

Depending on the cause, the treatment of axillary pain will vary. In less serious cases, sel f-care measures such as rest, ice bag application and sales analgesics without recipe can relieve pain. However, if the pain is caused by a underlying infection or condition, additional medical intervention, such as antibiotics, abscess drainage or surgical procedures, may be necessary. It is crucial to determine the exact cause of pain through adequate medical evaluation to guarantee appropriate treatment and prevent possible complications.

Understanding the location and nature of the pain

Location: The pain in the armpit can vary in terms of its exact location, and locating it can provide valuable information about the possible cause. The pain can be located at a specific point, such as an inflamed lymphatic ganglion, or can radiate to nearby areas, such as arm or breast. Identifying specific pain location can help determine the affectation of concrete structures and guide the subsequent evaluation.

  • Located pain: If the pain is isolated in a specific area, it can indicate a localized problem, such as a hindered sweat gland or an infection in the hair follicles. These conditions are usually accompanied by redness, swelling and formation of a lump or bump.
  • Irradiated pain: the pain that extends beyond the armpit can be a sign of more generalized problems. For example, it may be associated with muscle distension, compression of a nerve or even a pain referred to the chest or the upper back. Evaluating whether the pain extends and where it radiates is crucial to determine the underlying cause.

Nature: Describing the nature of pain can help even more in the diagnostic process. Pain can occur in different ways, such as acute, sharp, deaf, pulsatile or painful sensations. Recognizing these characteristics can provide clues about the possible origins of pain.

  1. Acute or sharp pain: acute or sharp pain can suggest the affectation of a nerve, such as a pinched nerve or nerve inflammation. A conditions such as brachial neuritis or thoracic output syndrome can cause this type of pain.
  2. Deaf or pulsatile pain: deaf or pulsatile pain is usually associated with inflammation or underlying musculoskeletal problems. Conditions such as bursitis or myofascial pain syndrome can cause this type of discomfort.
  3. Stocking pain: A sensation of pain in the armpit can be the result of a muscle distension, excessive use or general fatigue. It is crucial to evaluate any accompanying symptom to reduce possible causes.

By understanding the location and nature of pain in the armpit, medical professionals can begin to unravel the underlying cause and provide adequate care. Evaluating the exact location and pain characteristics helps guide research and guarantees specific treatment plans adapted to the patient’s concrete condition.

Common medical conditions associated with armpit pain

1. Lymphadenitis: Lymphadenitis refers to inflammation of the lymph nodes, which are small, bean-shaped glands in the body. When these lymph nodes in the armpit area become infected or inflamed, they can cause pain and tenderness in the armpit. Lymphadenitis is usually caused by bacterial or viral infections, such as strep throat or mononucleosis. In some cases, it can also be the result of an infection located in the arm or chest. Treatment for lymphadenitis depends on the underlying cause and may include antibiotics, pain relievers, and warm compresses to relieve discomfort.

Note: Lymphadenitis can occur in one or both armpits and is often accompanied by other symptoms, such as fever, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes in other parts of the body.

2. Hidradenitis suppurativa: Hidradenitis suppurativa is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that primarily affects the apocrine sweat glands, which are most abundant in the armpits, groin, and buttocks. This disease causes painful, recurrent lumps or abscesses to appear under the arms. These abscesses can cause significant discomfort and can rupture, leading to open ulcers prone to infection. Hidradenitis suppurativa is believed to result from a combination of genetic and hormonal factors. Treatment consists of a combination of medications, lifestyle modifications, and surgery in severe cases.

Note: Hidradenitis suppurativa is a chronic disease that requires ongoing treatment. If left untreated, it can cause tunneling under the skin and scarring.

3. Axillary nerve injury: The axillary nerve is responsible for providing sensation and movement to the shoulder joint and the skin of the armpit. Injury or compression of this nerve can cause pain, weakness, and numbness in the armpit area. Axillary nerve injuries can occur from trauma, such as a fall or sports injury, or as a result of repetitive overhead activities. Treatment options for axillary nerve injuries may include rest, physical therapy, pain medications, and, in severe cases, surgical intervention.

Overuse Injuries and Their Impact on Armpit Pain

An overuse injury is usually the result of repetitive use of a specific muscle or joint, causing inflammation, strain, or damage. In the case of axillary pain, overuse injuries typically affect the muscles in the shoulder and upper back region, which can transmit pain to the axillary area. The most common types of overuse injuries that can cause armpit pain include:

  • Rotator cuff tendinitis: This condition occurs when the tendons of the rotator cuff muscles become inflamed or irritated, often due to repetitive overhead movements. The pain may radiate to the armpit and worsen with certain activities or postures.
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome: This condition is caused by compression or irritation of the nerves and blood vessels that pass through the thoracic outlet, a narrow space between the collarbone and the first rib. It can cause pain in the shoulder, arm, and armpit, along with numbness or tingling.
  • Biceps tendinitis: Overuse of the biceps muscle, especially in activities that require repetitive bending of the arm or lifting weight, can lead to inflammation of the tendon and subsequent armpit pain.

It is important to note that armpit pain can also be a symptom of other underlying conditions, such as lymph node infections or breast cancer. Therefore, it is essential to see a doctor in case of persistent or severe armpit pain to rule out any serious underlying cause.

Signs and symptoms of overuse injuries:
1. Pain that gradually worsens
2. Swelling or tenderness around the affected area
3. Reduced range of motion
4. Weakness or instability in the affected limb or joint
5. Pain that worsens with activity and improves with rest

Proper diagnosis of overuse injuries and their correlation with axillary pain requires a thorough evaluation by a healthcare professional. Physical examination, evaluation of medical history, and imaging studies, such as x-rays or MRIs, may be necessary to accurately identify the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

The Role of Lymph Nodes in Armpit Pain

The lymphatic system and lymph nodes: The lymphatic system is made up of a network of vessels and nodes that transport a colorless fluid known as lymph. Lymph nodes are small round structures that act as filters to remove harmful substances, such as bacteria and viruses, from the lymph before it re-enters the bloodstream. They contain immune cells, including lymphocytes, that help fight infections.

The lymphatic system is an essential part of the body’s immune response, helping to defend against pathogens and maintain fluid balance.

When the armpit lymph nodes become inflamed or swell, pain and discomfort can occur in the surrounding area. This inflammation, known as lymphadenitis, is usually a sign that lymph nodes are actively fighting an infection. Infections, such as a cold, flu or a localized skin infection, can cause the armpit lymph nodes to increase in size and become sensitive to touch.

  • Causes of pain in the armpit:
  • 1. INFECTIONS: Infections, whether bacterial or viral, can cause inflammation of the armpit lymph nodes.
  • 2. 2. Injury or trauma: a direct injury or trauma in the armpit region can cause pain and inflammation of lymph nodes.
  • 3. Lymphoma: Rarely, pain in the armpit can be a lymphoma symptom, a type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system.

It is important that any persistent or worsening pain is evaluated by a medical professional to determine the underlying cause and proper treatment. In some cases, diagnostic tests such as image studies or biopsy may be necessary to perform a precise diagnosis.

When to Seek Medical Help for Persistent Armpit Pain

1. Changes in lymph nodes: The armpit region contains a group of lymph nodes that play a crucial role when filtering and catching harmful substances. If you notice swelling, sensitivity or a lump in the armpit area, it could be an indication of an infection or an underlying medical condition, such as lymphadenitis or lymphoma. It is crucial to seek medical help if these symptoms persist or get worse over time.

Remember: Any swelling or inexplicable growth in the armpit area must be evaluated by a healthcare professional to rule out possible serious conditions.

Common causes of persistent pain in the armpit:
  • 1. Axillary lymphadenitis
  • 2. Lymphoma
  • 3. Infections such as cellulite or abscess
  • 5. Muscle distension or sprain

2. Pain irradiation: If the pain of the armpit radiates to other areas such as arm, shoulder or chest, it could be a more complex signal. This may include conditions such as nervous pinching, thoracic output syndrome or even a hear t-related problem. Going quickly to the doctor is crucial to determine the underlying cause and start the proper treatment, if necessary.

3. Associated symptoms: It is essential to pay attention to any additional symptoms that accompany axillary pain. Symptoms such as fever, chills, night sweats, inexplicable weight loss or changes in the appearance of the breasts should not be ignored. They could indicate an infection, inflammation or even a malignant tumor. Searching for medical help is essential to obtain an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.

Treatment options and self-care measures for relief from armpit pain

When it comes to treating axillary pain, there are several approaches that people can consider. It is important to note that the most appropriate treatment option may vary depending on the underlying cause of pain. Some common sel f-care measures and treatment options include:

  • Rest and avoid strenuous activities: giving time to the affected area to cure and reduce activities that may force the axila muscles can help relieve pain and promote recovery.
  • Apply a hot compress: place a hot compress, such as a hot towel or a thermal pad, in the armpit you can provide a calming relief and help reduce muscle tension.
  • Practicing adequate hygiene: maintaining good hygiene, including regular washing and thorough drying of the axillary zone, can help prevent infections and reduce discomfort.

Note: If the pain persists or worsens, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional to obtain an adequate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. The medical professional may recommend additional interventions, such as medications or physiotherapy, depending on the underlying cause of the armpit pain.

In some cases, the use of free sale analgesics can be recommended to treat axillary pain. These medications can help reduce inflammation and relieve discomfort. However, it is important to follow the instructions provided by the health professional or indicated in the drug container to ensure safe use.

In addition, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise and a balanced diet, can contribute to general wel l-being and potentially reduce the frequency or severity of axillary pain. It is advisable to incorporate activities that foster flexibility, such as stretching or yoga, to improve the amplitude of movement in the axillary zone and prevent muscle distention.

Author of the article
Dr.Greenblatt M.
Dr.Greenblatt M.
Medical oncologist at the Robert Larner College of Medicine, MD, at the University of Vermont

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