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Learn about your pain in one armpit, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your pain in one armpit from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

Pain in One Armpit Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having pain in one armpit.

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Your Pain in One Armpit May Also be Known as:
Aches and pains in left armpit
Aches and pains in left underarm
Aches and pains in one armpit
Aches and pains in one underarm
Aches and pains in right armpit
Aches and pains in right underarm
Left armpit ache
Left armpit discomfort
Left armpit hurts
Left armpit pain

Top 7 Pain in One Armpit Causes

  1. 1.Acute Costochondritis (Chest Wall Syndrome)

    Costochondritis is an inflammation of the cartilage that connects a rib to the breastbone. Pain caused by costochondritis may mimic that of a heart attack or other heart conditions.

    You can safely treat this condition on your own by taking over-the-counter pain relief medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil). Local heat or ice compress can also improve symptoms.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    rib pain, chest pain that is worse when breathing, chest pain, rib pain when moving, pain when pressing on the chest
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit
  2. 2.Non - Specific Breast Pain

    Breast pain is either related to menstruation (cyclic) or not (noncyclic). It is common in pre-menopausal women and can also be a side effect of contraceptives that contain hormones like the pill, anticonceptive injections and intra-uterine devices.

    Unless the pain is unbearable or there is a lump, a doctor will likely just reassure you that things are okay. Some women are treated with Danazol if the pain is severe or persistent.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    breast pain, breast swelling, armpit pain
    Symptoms that always occur with non-specific breast pain:
    breast pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  3. 3.Influenza

    Influenza, or Flu, is an infection of the airway caused by the flu virus, which passes through the air and enters the body through the nose or mouth. The symptoms are similar to those of a cold, but the flu is usually more serious.

    If your flu-like symptoms are existing for less than 48 hours, it might be helpful to seek care by telephone or in a walk-in-clinic to get a course of oseltamivir (Tamiflu). Most people will get better on their own by drinking lots of fluids and taking an over-the-counter medication such as acetominophen (Tylenol) to help with aches or fever.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, headache, loss of appetite, cough, muscle aches
    Symptoms that never occur with influenza:
    headache resulting from a head injury
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit

    Pain in One Armpit Checker

    Take a quiz to find out why you’re having pain in one armpit.

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  4. 4.Chest Bruise

    A bruise is the damage of the blood vessels that return blood to the heart (the capillaries and veins), which causes pooling of the blood. This explains the blue/purple color of most bruises. Bruises of the chest are common, given how exposed this area of the body is.

    You can treat this at home with R.I.C.E - rest (exercise as tolerated), ice (10-20 minutes at a time), compression (this is pretty optional), and elevation (not important for this part of the body).

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    rib pain, constant rib pain, recent chest injury, rib pain from an injury, bruised chest area
    Symptoms that always occur with chest bruise:
    rib pain from an injury, recent chest injury, constant rib pain
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  5. 5.Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

    Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a disease in which the heart muscle (myocardium) becomes abnormally thick (hypertrophied). This happens sometimes as a result of long-term elevated blood pressure, and sometimes without any particular reason. The thickened heart muscle can make it harder for the heart to pump blood.

    You should visit your primary care physician. Cardiomyopathy is usually treated with prescription medication to slow down the heart rate and make the heart squeeze less forcefully. In severe cases of cardiomyopathy, an operation called myectomy is performed to remove a segment of thickened muscle from the wall dividing the right and left ventricle (the septum).

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, racing heart beat, shortness of breath on exertion
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  6. 6.Rib Bruise or Fracture

    Broken or bruised ribs are usually caused by a fall or a blow to the chest, although occasionally this can happen due to severe coughing. With a broken rib, the pain is worse when bending and twisting the body.

    You can safely treat this condition on your own. Breathing will be painful, but it is important to avoid taking shallow breaths or not coughing to avoid the pain as this can raise your risk of developing a chest infection. You can look after yourself by taking over-the-counter pain medication, applying an ice pack to the chest, resting periodically (especially if your work involves a lot of physical labor), and holding a pillow against the chest if you needs to cough.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    rib pain that gets worse when breathing, coughing, sneezing, or laughing, rib pain from an injury, sports injury, rib pain on one side, injury from a common fall
    Symptoms that always occur with rib bruise or fracture:
    rib pain from an injury
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  7. 7.Rotator Cuff Tendonitis

    Impingement syndrome is a common shoulder condition seen in aging adults. The tendons of rotator cuff muscles, whose action is to rotate the arm such such as during a tennis swing, pass in a narrow space between two bones in the shoulder. When the space becomes too narrow, which can happen as a result of an overuse injury, pain may develop as the tendons rub against the bones.

    You should visit your primary care physician who will coordinate care with a muscle and bone specialist (orthopedic surgeon). Treatments for impingement syndrome involve rest, over-the-counter pain medication, steroid injections, physical therapy, and surgery in rare, serious cases.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in one shoulder, dull, achy shoulder pain, shoulder pain that gets worse at night, difficulty moving the shoulder, shoulder pain from overuse
    Symptoms that always occur with rotator cuff tendonitis:
    pain in one shoulder
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Pain in One Armpit

  • Q.How severe is your armpit pain?
  • Q.How long has your armpit pain been going on?
  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.Do you currently smoke?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, check our pain in one armpit symptom checker.

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Pain in One Armpit Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced pain in one armpit have also experienced:

    • 11% Rib Pain on One Side
    • 6% Pain in One Shoulder
    • 4% Breast Pain
  • People who have experienced pain in one armpit had symptoms persist for:

    • 28% Less Than a Week
    • 27% Over a Month
    • 25% Less Than a Day
  • People who have experienced pain in one armpit were most often matched with:

    • 11% Acute Costochondritis (Chest Wall Syndrome)
    • 11% Non - Specific Breast Pain
    • 2% Influenza

Pain in One Armpit Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having pain in one armpit.

Take a quiz