Pain Between Breasts

Pain between breasts in women

So, do you experience mild or sharp and severe pain between breasts? The breast bone, likewise called the sternum, is a flat bone located in the middle of the thorax (chest), between breasts and serves two crucial functions in the body.

Causes of Pain Between Breasts

First of all, the breast bone secures the vital organs lying behind it, mainly the heart and air passages, and second of all, it serves as a central point where the ribs and shoulder bones (clavicle) link and articulate. The breast bone can be divided into 3 distinct parts:

  1. Manubrium
  2. Xiphoid process
  3. Body

Pain between breasts (sometimes severe pain) is a common symptom that is experienced at frequent periods in life and may be harmless in most cases. However, consistent pain or pain that is increasing in strength or frequency, must be examined by a medical doctor.

Breast bone pain is generally experienced and referred to as pain in the bone, under the breast bone or to the side of the bone. Pain might vary from severe, sharp and stabbing sensations to mild discomfort or a bruised feeling. In many cases there are reports of a popping sternum which is a clicking or cracking noise from the breastbone joints that might be present in addition to pain, inflammation and swelling.

Although described as the breast bone, the sternum does not lie under the breast but rather in between the breast, extending above (manubrium) and through the cleavage in women.

Causes of Severe Pain Between Your Breasts

  • Heartburn or reflux is the most common cause of a burning pain along and under the breast bone as a result of esophagitis. Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) might also result in episodes of severe sharp pains in the chest and is frequently mistaken for a myocardial infarction (cardiac arrest) during these episodes. Other types of esophagitis may also cause breastbone pain.
  • Fractures of the sternum is unusual however might occur in car accident injuries due to the effect with the steering wheel.
  • Joint pain at the points where the shoulder bone and ribs articulate with the breast bone can be due to inflammatory joint disorders like arthritis although this is unusual. More commonly, joint pain may be because of strain during effect or when working out, particularly weight lifting. Joint pain is typically felt on either side of the breast bone. Costochondritis and Tietze’s syndrome are two typical causes of breastbone pain due to the inflammation of the costal cartilage and joint.
  • Muscle pain, specifically of the pectoral muscles, may cause breast bone pain as they connect at this site. Muscle strain is the most common cause and results typically in a bruised or sore pain, frequently referred to as an ache. The intercostal muscles, which lie in between the ribs, may likewise cause breast bone pain and these muscles may get strained during continuous deep and forced breathing, especially in breathing disorders like emphysema and asthma.
  • Heart conditions like coronary artery disease, angina, myocardial infarction (heart attack), myocarditis and pericarditis are serious causes of pain under the breast bone.
  • Breathing causes of breast bone pain include bronchitis, bronchiectasis and tracheitis. Tuberculosis and pneumonia might also cause pain under the breast bone although these conditions typically affect the sides of the chest around the area of the lungs.
  • Psychological conditions like panic and anxiety attacks may cause a viewed pain under the breast bone which may be related to an increased heart rate (palpitations), heartburn or psychogenic pain (perceived pain).
  • Surgery of the organs within the thoracic (chest cavity) might need separation of the bones of the chest.
  • Cardiothoracis or open heart surgery might be the cause of long term pain in or on the sides of the breast bone after the injuries recover.
  • Other conditions, which are not common causes of breast bone pain, might include severe pancreatitis, hiatal hernia, stomach ulcers and causes of excessive belching or upper middle abdominal pain. Cancer of the lungs, air passages, lung abscess and sarcoidosis might also cause breast bone pain.

How to cope pain between breasts

When feeling pain in the area between the breasts, it is natural to feel worried and uncomfortable. Thankfully, there are ways to deal with this kind of pain. This article provides a detailed guide on how to manage pain in the region between the breasts.

  1. Determine the underlying cause: To deal with pain between the breasts, the initial action to take is to identify the root cause. There are several potential factors that can result in this type of pain, such as muscle strain, anxiety, heartburn, or in extreme cases, a heart attack. If the pain is severe, it is crucial to seek immediate medical assistance. 
  2. Change your posture: Poor posture can cause muscle strain, which can lead to pain between the breasts. If you spend a lot of time sitting or standing, make sure to sit or stand up straight and avoid slouching.
  3. Reduce your stress level: Stress can contribute to muscle tension, which can cause pain between the breasts. Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises, yoga, or meditation to help reduce your stress level.
  4. Wear a supportive bra: Wearing a well-fitting and supportive bra can help alleviate pain between the breasts caused by breast strain. Make sure to choose a bra that fits properly and provides adequate support.
  5. Avoid trigger foods: If the pain you experience in the area between your breasts is a result of heartburn or acid reflux, it is advisable to steer clear of foods that may trigger these conditions. These include spicy or acidic foods, caffeine, and alcohol. 
  6. Take over-the-counter pain relievers: Mild to moderate pain in the area between the breasts can be relieved with over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. 

Anyway, you should provide this information to your MD to get correct treatment.

Information verified by the team.

Patients’ stories


Eileen had been suffering from inflammation and pain between her breasts and collarbones for quite some time. As months passed, her symptoms only worsened, leaving her worried and frightened. Finally, she decided to undergo surgery to alleviate the discomfort. However, little did she know that this decision would worsen her condition.

Soon after the surgery, Eileen began to experience severe rashes and a weakened immune system. Her health deteriorated rapidly as her body showed signs of something worse than what she had initially experienced. With the help of a medical professional, she discovered that her breast implants were the root cause of her troubles.

Eileen speaks out to warn other women about the possible dangers of breast augmentation. “I would not wish this on my worst enemy in the world,” she says regretfully. Eileen’s story highlights the importance of being aware of the possible consequences of medical procedures and making informed decisions when it comes to one’s own health.


Similarly, Nikki’s story is one of pain and discomfort caused by her sleeping habits. As a stomach sleeper, she began to experience discomfort and pain between her breasts, which worsened over time. She sought assistance from a medical professional, who advised her to stop sleeping on her stomach to relieve the pressure on her chest.


Lastly, Pamela’s story is about a doctor who helped her with her chest pains but ended up being jailed for it. Pamela had been experiencing pain between her breasts in the mornings, which prevented her from starting her day normally. An Indian doctor helped her alleviate the pain with a unique treatment method. However, due to cultural differences and societal norms, the doctor was wrongly accused of lewdness and went to jail.

Reyus Mammadli

As a healthy lifestyle advisor I try to guide individuals in becoming more aware of living well and healthy through a series of proactive and preventive measures, disease prevention steps, recovery after illness or medical procedures.

Education: Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.

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Add a comment
  1. Norma Saunders

    I have sharp pain between the breasts and pain under the breasts.
    Could the cause be irritable bowel? I would appreciate a reply. I would like to know what causes the pain.

  2. Norma Saunders

    I would appreciate a reply.

  3. Norma Saunders

    I would appreciate a reply.

  4. Norma Saunders

    I would like to know the cause of the pain.

  5. Reyus Mammadli author

    Some symptoms you can feel or see but some of the symptoms you may ignore before you find out them (like blood test results, MRT, X-rays, etc). So I will recommend you to visit your doctor and follow her directions. Your pain between breast and in stomach area may caused by a lot of reasons.

  6. Joan Solis

    I have pain in between my breasts it started yesterday

  7. aameena

    What happen if pain in between the breast to men?

  8. Reyus Mammadli author

    Easy way to find the causes – to exclude women related issues, mentioned in the article and look after the rest one, like heart or lung problems.