What is Underarm Pain or Armpit Pain?
An Underarm Pain or Armpit Pain is a pain that an individual experiences on the under part of the arm which in medical term is called the axilla. This pain can be experienced by anyone and can be caused due to an injury, some sort of infection, or inflammation. In some cases, certain medical conditions, especially cardiac conditions can cause referred pain from the chest to the axilla. The treatment of Underarm Pain or Armpit Pain varies depending on the cause and severity of the pain. Mild pain due to a muscle injury or stretch usually goes away with time and rest. Certain treatments like cold compresses and OTC pain medications are also quite beneficial in treating Underarm Pain or Armpit Pain. In case if the pain is caused due to medical conditions then treatment of the underlying medical condition normally treats the Underarm Pain or Armpit Pain.
What Causes Underarm Pain or Armpit Pain?
Underarm Pain or Armpit Pain can be caused due to a variety of reasons. The most common of the reasons for Underarm Pain or Armpit Pain is a brachial plexus injury. Normally the brachial plexus gets injured by pressing the shoulder hard and away from the head and neck normally seen in sports like soccer or hockey. Additionally, nerve dysfunction like neuropathy can also cause Underarm Pain or Armpit Pain. Certain types of infections can also cause pain in the Underarm Pain or Armpit, most common of which is lymphangitis which is caused by a streptococcal infection infecting the lymph node ducts causing Underarm Pain or Armpit Pain. Some of the other infections that can cause Underarm Pain or Armpit Pain are skin abscesses, a pulled hair from the Underarm Pain resulting in a small lump at that site. Some of the more serious medical causes of Underarm Pain or Armpit Pain can be Hodgkin's lymphoma or breast cancer metastasis, although this is very rare. Chickenpox has also been known to cause Underarm Pain or Armpit Pain.
What are the Symptoms of Underarm Pain or Armpit Pain?
Apart from pain in the Underarm or Armpit, there may be other symptoms indicating the cause of the pain like the following:
- Muscle weakness
- Redness or swelling of the armpit
- Reduced range of motion of the shoulder due to pain
- Pain in the shoulders
- Lumps in the armpit
- Numbness or tingling in arms
- Skin discoloration.
Some of the more serious symptoms which may accompany Underarm Pain or Armpit Pain which may require immediate medical consultation are:
- Bone sticking out from the skin
- Chest pain or tightness
- Paralysis with inability to move a body part
- Breathing difficulties
- Uncontrolled bleeding.
How to Diagnose Cause of Underarm Pain or Armpit Pain?
In order to diagnose a cause of Underarm Pain or Armpit Pain, the physician may ask the patient the following questions:
- How long has the patient been experiencing the symptoms of pain in the underarm?
- Are there any other symptoms accompanying the Underarm Pain or Armpit Pain?
- Does the patient use the hands more than normally at home or at work?
- Is there any recent history of injury or trauma involving the arms or shoulder?
- Is there any position which makes the pain or discomfort better?
How is Underarm Pain or Armpit Pain Treated?
In majority of the cases of Underarm Pain or Armpit Pain, the treatment involves self care and pain medications. Some of the treatment measures for Underarm Pain or Armpit Pain are:
Medications to Treat Underarm Pain or Armpit Pain: This is normally done by using non-steroidal anti inflammatory medications like ibuprofen and Tylenol. This can be taken even over the counter.
Treatment for Underarm Pain or Armpit Pain Caused due to Infections: In case if the Underarm Pain or Armpit Pain is caused due to an infection, then treating the infection may ease or even eliminate Underarm Pain or Armpit Pain. For this, antiviral, antibiotics, or anti fungal drugs are utilized depending on the nature of the infection.
Muscle Relaxation: This treatment modality is used in cases of muscle strain causing Underarm Pain or Armpit Pain. An over the counter muscle relaxant can be used effectively to treat the strains. Apart from this, hot or cold compresses can also be used for treatment of Underarm Pain or Armpit Pain.
Medical Attention: This is required in case the infection is unable to be treated by medicines alone and the pain does not subside and the physician will conduct additional tests to rule out more serious causes of Underarm Pain or Armpit Pain.
Home Remedies for Underarm Pain or Armpit Pain
Below mentioned are some of the home remedies which have been found to be quite beneficial in treatment of Underarm Pain or Armpit Pain:
Watermelon: Watermelon has certain properties which detoxifies the blood from impurities and thus decreases the chances of bacteria infiltrating the body system and preventing infections. Just a glass of watermelon juice everyday is good enough to keep you hydrated and keeping any armpit lumps which may be a cause of pain at bay.
Lemon Juice: This contains a high amount of vitamin C and has many anti inflammatory properties and is quite helpful in calming down pain and inflammation. This can also be taken one glass everyday.
Nutmeg: This also has anti inflammatory properties which is useful for pain relief and also helps to keep the swelling and inflammation in check. Drinking nutmeg powder mixed in hot water goes a long way in keeping the painful lumps in the armpit at bay.
Onion: This is also very helpful in treating lumps that may cause pain in the underarm or armpit. It is an antimicrobial and antiseptic agent. Onion juice may not be that good to taste but it can be mixed with honey and taken for best results.
Turmeric: This is extremely helpful for various medical conditions as it has many antiseptic, anti inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. This can be taken with a glass of milk for best possible results and can go a long way in reducing Underarm Pain or Armpit Pain.