Pain on Right Side Under Breast Bone, What Causes It?

Pain on Right Side Under Breast Bone, What Causes It?

Women will likely feel pain on the right side under breast bone at least once in their lives. However, for those who experience it on more than one occasion, it may likely be indicative of an underlying medical condition. So, what could pain on right side under breast bone signify?


Pain on Right Side Under Breast Bone

The pain on right side under breast bone is an occurrence that happens every so often. While the pain is no cause for concern, if it persists and leads to other symptoms, then it is likely something that needs to be checked. Listed below are the possible causes, and respective treatment for pain felt under the right breast.

Causes and Treatment


This refers to the inflammation of the lining in the chest, particularly located outside of the lungs. When the right lung is compromised, then the pain radiates to the right side of the breast. Additional symptoms include a general feeling of pain in the chest area that worsens when one takes deep breaths.

Depending on the cause of pleurisy, the treatment then varies, but the general treatment involves the use of over-the-counter pain medications and self-care. As much as possible, avoid heavy physical exercise and get as much rest as needed.

Rib Injury

When the ribs are injured, it can result in pain under the right breast. However, other manifestations include pain, and tender spots felt in the area when twisting the body or when taking deep breaths.

The treatment includes avoiding strenuous physical activity and avoiding pressure placed on the chest. Bruises and fractures heal in approximately six weeks. Aside from complete bed rest, the physician will also prescribe nonsteroidal NSAIDs such as aspirin, naproxen sodium, and ibuprofen to alleviate the pain and reduce inflammation.

Hiatal Hernia

Hernias that develop from the stomach and go into the chest cavity through the diaphragm are referred to as Hiatal hernias. This results in stomach acid leaking into the throat, and result in other symptoms, which include excess gas and heartburn.

Treatment for a hiatal hernia includes prescription strength-medicines that reduce stomach acid. Such meds include ranitidine, famotidine, and cimetidine. Stronger medications include pantoprazole and rabeprazole. In cases where the hiatal hernia is severe, surgery is the next option.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Another cause of pain under the right or left breast is IBS, which is a condition that affects the large intestine. Symptoms of IBS include bloating and abdominal pain. Treatment involves lifestyle and dietary changes. Moreover, medications may also be prescribed, which include the following:

  1. Pain-Relievers (Gabapentin, Pregabalin)
  2. SSRI Antidepressants (Paroxetine, Fluoxetine)
  3. Tricyclic Antidepressants (Desipramine, Imipramine)
  4. Anticholinergic Medicines
  5. Costochondritis

When there is inflammation of the cartilage located between the sternum and the ribs, it is referred to as costochondritis. It usually manifests in the middle of the chest area, particularly near the sternum. So, women are likely to feel pain under the right breast. While this condition goes away over time, it takes a few weeks before the pain subsides.

Treatment for costochondritis involves medications, physical therapy, or a combination of both. Medicines that are often prescribed include NSAIDs, tricyclic antidepressants, narcotics, and neuropathic pain therapy.

Muscle Strain

Overstretching or straining the muscles in the chest can lead to pain and soreness. It depends on the muscle that has been strained, which manifests as pain under the right or left breast. Muscle strains can be a result of using heavy equipment, heavy lifting, or throwing heavy tools.

Rest is the best course of treatment for muscle strains. Applying ice to the area for around 20 minutes can also alleviate pain and reduce inflammation. OTC pain medications may also help with reducing pain.

Menstrual Cycle

Fluctuations in hormones naturally occur when one gets their period. This results in the breasts becoming tender and swollen, which happens approximately a week before the menstrual cycle. Either one or both breasts are affected.

Treatment involves drinking plenty of water and taking pain relievers to reduce the tenderness of the breasts. Swelling and tenderness would subside once the period has passed.


Bile from the liver is stored in a small organ located on the right side of the body, referred to as the gallbladder. When there is excessive bilirubin or cholesterol in the bile, it can lead to the formation of gallstones. While some gallstones pass through without causing pain, other stones are too large that then lead to a blockage of bile in the ducts. This results in inflammation and pain that is usually felt in the upper right abdomen. When left untreated, it could lead to complications such as fever, nausea and vomiting, and yellowing of the eyes and skin.

Surgery is the recommended form of treatment where the gallbladder is removed from the body. This reduces further complications and the risk of infection. Other nonsurgical treatments involve shock wave lithotripsy, oral dissolution therapy, and endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography.


When the tiny air pockets in the lungs become inflamed and infected, it is referred to as pneumonia. This condition is characterized by a sharp pain in the chest that worsens when coughing or breathing deeply. Other manifestations of this condition include the following.

  1. Shortness of Breath
  2. Nausea
  3. Confusion
  4. Low Energy Level or Fatigue
  5. Loss of Appetite
  6. Persistent Cough with Productive Phlegm That is Bloody, Yellow, or Green
  7. Chills and Fever

Pneumonia can easily be mistaken for the common cold since the symptoms for the first few days are similar. While the common cause is a bacterial infection, this condition can also be caused by fungal or viral infections.

Individuals who exhibit these symptoms are advised to seek immediate medical attention, especially if the signs are severe. When left untreated, pneumonia leads to fatal complications. Treatment depends on the gravity of the signs and the type of pneumonia. However, for mild cases of pneumonia, the following treatment methods are recommended.

  1. Taking Prescription Oral Antibiotics
  2. Avoiding Smoke and Other Irritants to the Lungs
  3. Taking Pain Relievers
  4. Drinking Plenty of Water
  5. Getting Lots of Rest

When to Seek Medical Attention?

If the pain on right side under breast bone worsens over time or if it interferes with activities of daily life, then it is highly advised that you seek prompt medical aid. Other symptoms that require the attention of a health professional include the following:

  1. Coughing Up Blood
  2. Loss of Consciousness
  3. Dizziness or Confusion
  4. Bluish Tint to Skin or Lips
  5. Chest Pain That Radiates to the Jaw, Shoulders, or Arms
  6. Sudden, Sharp, or Severe Chest Pain

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