The most common causes of underarm pain include glandular swelling, colds, cysts, pulled muscles, and shingles. Many fear the worst when experiencing a painful underarm area, but in most cases, the pain is not indicative of any serious or life-threatening ailment. As long as the armpit pain is not long-lasting or chronic, it is typically a minor discomfort that will vanish as quickly as it arrived.
Underarm pain is frequently caused by swollen lymphatic glands. Lymph nodes encompass the region under the arm and, in women, around the breasts; the lymph nodes are extremely sensitive and can swell easily, but, fortunately, it is rarely cause for alarm. The swelling tends to dissipate in a few days. However, individuals with swollen lymph glands are advised to monitor the condition; if it persists, medical intervention may be necessary. In those unusual cases where swollen glands do not go away of their own accord, there is a small chance they could indicate some strain of serious viral infection or cancer.
The common cold can cause the entire body to ache. Upper respiratory tract infection has been known to initiate soreness throughout the body, and one frequent symptom is underarm pain. Healthcare professionals advise plenty of rest, vitamin C, and, if necessary, over-the-counter medications to combat the physical aches associated with colds. Typically, the arm pain lessens and eventually heals with the rest of the body.
Cysts can develop quite easily in the underarm arm. Tiny sacs of fluid and debris tend to build up in this warm, moist, dark area, and, in the vast majority of cases, they are completely benign — simply the body's way of eliminating excess dirt and toxins. Despite their usually innocuous nature, cysts can cause some fairly significant underarm pain. If an individual feels a cyst in the armpit, it is commonly recommended that he or she get it checked out by a doctor. Some types of cancer first manifest themselves in this fashion, though in most cases, a cyst is just a natural byproduct of the body's cleansing processes.
Another frequent cause of underarm pain is a pulled muscle. This can often be one of the most excruciating types of armpit pain. The pectorallis muscle can be strained from either an intense round at the gym or just picking up a sack of groceries. Doctors suggest heat, ice, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories as a good course of treatment.
Herpes zoster, or shingles, is a painful condition in which a virus attacks the body and elicits an uncomfortable skin rash. They tend to break out on one side of the body only, on the back, chest, and arms. Underarm pain is a common byproduct of shingles.