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Your armpit pain could be brought on by something temporary, or it could be a warning sign for a more serious condition. There are several muscles of the chest and arms that could cause armpit pain from overuse or injury. The pectoralis major is a large chest muscle that runs up into the shoulder. It can be injured by playing sports or lifting weights. The coracobrachialis is a muscle in the upper arm that can also become strained from throwing sports, such as baseball, or from other activities, including tennis.
There are many possible causes of armpit or underarm pain referred to medically as axillary pain that can range from mostly a nuisance to serious. Irritation from deodorant, infections in the sweat glands, injuries, nerve compression, or even cancer are only a few of the possibilities. Pain may occur alone or be associated with a rash, swollen lymph nodes, or other signs. Diagnosis often begins with a careful history and physical exam, but blood tests and imaging tests may be needed to determine the cause and figure out the best treatment. Even when armpit pain is accompanied by enlarged lymph nodes in the axilla, breast cancer that has spread is not the most common cause.
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