Home Bones, Joints and Muscles Pain in the armpit: causes and treatments

Pain in the armpit: causes and treatments

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

The armpits are very sensitive parts of the body and there are many lymph nodes, muscles, tendons and nerves that can sometimes cause certain discomfort. When there is pain or inflammation in one of the armpits, the causes can be very varied, but it is always convenient to pay attention to these types of symptoms, as well as others that appear at the same time in that or another part of the body. Among the most common causes, we find pain associated with muscle injuries, swollen lymph nodes or skin conditions, however, it can also be due to more serious diseases, so it is always advisable to see a doctor if they occur. discomfort does not go away. In the following FastlyHealarticle we are going to show what thecauses of pain in the armpits and the appropriate treatments in each case.

Muscle pain in the armpit from muscle strain

In many cases, pain in the armpit corresponds to a muscle-type pain due to a muscle in the chest or arm that has suffered a strain or pull. This means that said muscle has been subjected to an overload or exaggerated stretching and, consequently, there has been a tear of the muscle fibers of the same. This muscle injury is usually caused by physical activity, carrying a lot of weight, overexertion, not warming up properly before exercising or having poor flexibility.


In this case, to relieve muscle pain in the armpit, it is recommended to rest and rest the damaged arm. In addition to this, pain reliever medications and anti-inflammatory gels can provide relief, as well as applying ice to the affected area for a few minutes a day. In the following FastlyHealarticle we also show other effective home remedies for pain and muscle inflammation .

Hidradenitis axilla or swallow in the armpit

Another possible cause of pain in the armpit is the appearance of a swallow in the armpit , a condition known medically as hidradenitis axilla or hidradenitis suppurativa axilla. The swallow is a hard nodule or lump that appears in the armpit as a result of inflammation and infection of the sweat glands in the area. This infection occurs when the follicular canal of the armpits becomes clogged by debris, excess sweat, sebum, bacteria, etc., and can be caused by conditions such as excessive sweating, waxing, poor hygiene, acne, use antiperspirants, stress, overweight, among others.

In addition to the appearance of a kind of lump, you may also experience intermittent pain, itching, and tenderness in the armpit. The lump may ooze and drain the pus that has accumulated inside it in the days after it appears.


When medical treatment is necessary, the specialist may recommend the application of topical antibiotics, corticosteroids or retinoids to the affected area or taking drugs by mouth. In addition, it is important to take care of hygiene and keep the skin of the armpit dry and clean. In the event that the drugs do not work, a small surgical procedure can be carried out to drain the purulent material that the swallow contains and cure the infection completely.

Swollen lymph nodes or lymphadenitis

Lymph nodes are small structures present in different parts of the body that help the body to identify and fight different viruses, bacteria, external agents, etc., which can damage our health and make us sick. Their inflammation, a condition medically known as lymphadenopathy or adenopathy, is a warning sign, since it may be warning us that our body is fighting some type of infection or disease. There are many conditions or conditions that can cause inflammation of the lymph nodes present in the armpits and that these cause pain, such as infections, autoimmune diseases, tumors, consumption of some medications, etc.


If you notice a swelling of the lymph nodes, it is advisable to consult your doctor to find out what is causing the swelling. Likewise, a specialist should be seen urgently if a hard node or that is increasing in size is palpated. Depending on the cause of the axillary adenopathy, a medical treatment or another will be prescribed.

Skin conditions

Sometimes, feeling pain or discomfort in the armpit can be related to having a skin condition in the area. When this is the cause, symptoms such as itching, reddened, irritated or flaky skin and reddish spots usually also appear. There are several conditions that can cause a rash that causes pain in the armpits and among them, the following can be found:


Depending on the skin condition, a specific medical treatment should be followed, which can include from antibiotic drugs in case of bacterial infection to antifungal drugs or special products recommended by a dermatologist.

Herpes zoster

Another infection, in this case viral, that can answer the question of why I feel pain in the armpit is herpes zoster , colloquially known as shingles. It is an infection caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox, but this time it manifests itself through a kind of rash on the skin of a certain area of ​​the body, usually on the chest, back or under the arms. If fluid-filled blisters appear near the armpit, they can cause pain in the armpit, in addition to other symptoms such as stinging, burning, and tingling.


Treatment of herpes zoster should include the administration of an antiviral drug that fights the virus causing the infection. Anti-inflammatories, antihistamines, or pain relievers may also be prescribed to reduce pain and itching.

Pain in the left armpit due to angina pectoris

Angina pectoris is the oppressive pain in the chest that is suffered as a result of insufficient blood supply to the heart muscles. It is a symptom of coronary artery disease, which occurs when excess plaque builds up in the arteries responsible for transporting blood to the heart.

This pain caused by angina pectoris can radiate to other areas of the body and cause discomfort in the arm, armpit, shoulder, neck or back. Additionally, symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, and excessive sweating may be experienced.


Treatment of angina pectoris should include taking some medications and making certain lifestyle changes to make it as healthy as possible. Regarding drugs, the doctor may recommend nitroglycerin, beta-blocker drugs, antiplatelet drugs, or anticoagulants. In the following article we show much more detail about the causes, symptoms and treatment of angina pectoris .

Axillary nerve dysfunction

Armpit pain can also be due to what is called axillary nerve dysfunction. It is damage to the axillary nerve that also causes sensitivity in the shoulder and loss of movement of the shoulder. The common causes that can cause its condition are trauma, shoulder injuries, prolonged and excessive pressure on the nerve, fractures of the humerus.


In this case, the disease or condition that caused the axillary nerve damage should be treated. On the other hand, physical therapy or surgical intervention may be required when the prognosis is not favorable.

Pain in the armpit and breast: breast cancer

Although in the initial phases it is usually asymptomatic, if in addition to the pain in the armpit, the presence of a lump or ball is observed or palpated in the breast or in the vicinity of the armpit, it is advisable to put yourself in the hands of the gynecologist with urgency to undergo the appropriate tests and check if these symptoms may correspond to breast cancer. Other symptoms that can appear when there is a malignant tumor are:

  • Changes in the shape and size of the breast.
  • Changes in the skin of the breast.
  • Changes in the nipple.
  • Redness or indentations in the skin.
  • Fluid on the nipple


The early diagnosis of this disease is vital for a good prognosis and an adequate evolution. The treatment of breast cancer will depend in each case on the type of cancer, its stage and the physical conditions of each patient. In the following FastlyHealarticle we explain in detail what are the types, symptoms and treatment of breast cancer .

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Armpit pain: causes and treatments , we recommend that you enter our Bones, Joints and Muscles category .

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