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.
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:
- Xiphoid process
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.