Growing pain in breasts?
July 22, 2008 11:01 AM   Subscribe

Can you get growing pains in your breasts; or, has anyone else experienced this stabbing pain?

I'm a young (college-aged) girl. I went to my doctor a while back about stabbing pains in the breast, which started before I went on the pill (and still pop up sometimes). The pain goes from the side of my breast, at the back, and then the pain moves towards the center of my breast. It happens in both breasts, and is not tied to my notoriously irregular, rare, and outright weird, menstrual cycle. It is not caused by wearing bras, not wearing bras, moving too much, or staying still. The pain is not awful, just an occasional annoyance.

Neither he nor I found any lumps, and he suggested that it was growing pain, given that they've been growing a lot more than one would expect given my moderate weight gain.

Recently, I looked up growing pains and found they're mostly in the legs. No one in my family had growing pains, so I honestly didn't know that.

I'm not particularly worried about it being anything serious--I trust my doctor, told him all the information given above and more, and I trust his ability to give a simple breast exam, and I haven't found any lumps myself--but I'm more curious. Has anyone else heard of this type of stabbing pain before?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I had it when I was nine years old and just starting to develop breasts. I remember discussing it with my friends--they had it too. It was a stabbing, annoying pain that came in short bursts, seemingly at random.
posted by agent99 at 11:28 AM on July 22, 2008

Because you don't feel any lumps, I'm hesitant to say it could be this, but -- I have fibrocystic breasts and occasionally get pains like this. They get markedly worse when I am consuming a lot of caffeine. I've cut down to 1 caffeinated drink per day and I hardly get them anymore.
posted by fiercecupcake at 11:31 AM on July 22, 2008

When you're having the pains, does it hurt if you press the ribs in the painful area? If so, you might have an inflammation in your rib cartilage called costochondritis. I used to get that. I would get stabbing pains in my breast that were actually coming from my ribs. The breast tissue itself didn't hurt, but the ribs underneath sure did. The pain would come and go seemingly at random, in different spots.

The doctor told me to soak in very hot water or put a hot pack on the area and take ibuprofen. The problem went away almost entirely when I put a stop to my endometriosis through surgery. My completely unfounded theory is that the inflammation from the endo made other inflammatory problems flare up.
posted by PatoPata at 11:50 AM on July 22, 2008

I also get little bump things in my armpit/boobular areas when I drink a lot of caffeine. I have also had growing pains like what you describe. They feel the same. I ask my doctor every time I go if what I'm feeling is normal, and they seem to think so. I'm not really worried. Cut back on caffeine and see if there's a difference.
posted by phunniemee at 12:02 PM on July 22, 2008

I get that from time to time, the clutch-your-boob-in-public stabbing pain, and it doesn't seem to be related to anything either. However, since I still get them in my late 30s, I don't imagine they're growing pains.
posted by Koko at 12:04 PM on July 22, 2008 [2 favorites]

After breast reduction surgery, I would get those sharp pains occassionally. I've read that this can be a common occurrence for a up to a year or more after this type of surgery.
posted by rglass at 12:19 PM on July 22, 2008

Another 'me too' here - have had exactly the same kind of stabbing pain you describe occasionally ever since I've had breasts and I've never had any other issues there at all.

Also get them in the palms of my hands now and then, equally apropos of nothing.
posted by Acarpous at 12:20 PM on July 22, 2008

I found that caffeine consumption had a direct correlation to the pains. I quit consuming it, and the pains went away. It's an easy thing to try. If it works, then you've found your culprit.
posted by mightshould at 12:24 PM on July 22, 2008

I get the stabbing pain occasionally. I do drink a lot of coffee so maybe that is related. Usually mine seems to be correlated somewhat with my cycle but not always.
posted by sutel at 12:29 PM on July 22, 2008

Seconding PatoPata about the costochondritis.

Oddly enough, my internist didn't call it. It was only after I went back and asked her about it that she considered the possibility. I probably got it from lifting heavy things - weights, my backpack - ugh, those books were heavy! - I still get the same stabbing pains (right under) my right breast.

I don't have a lump but where the inflammation is, I occasionally have a swelling just right of the center of my chest.

Hot, soaking baths, not lifting heavy things - usually made it go away. But when I carry a heavy backpack....back it comes.
posted by anitanita at 12:59 PM on July 22, 2008

I've been getting these stabbing pains occasionally for the past 25 years or so. I have fibrocystic breasts. Things get wonky during PMS bloat, but so far it's been harmless.
posted by HotToddy at 2:57 PM on July 22, 2008

Ditto, doctor says it's caffeine.
posted by sondrialiac at 3:29 PM on July 22, 2008

I got them too, and they went away when I quit caffeine. Another side effect of stopping caffeine (other than a reduction in anxiety!) was that the previously lumpy texture of my breasts improved.
posted by ms.v. at 4:45 PM on July 22, 2008

Ditto caffeine, including chocolate.
posted by serena15221 at 10:20 PM on July 22, 2008

I get them too, but only in my left breast. They feel like very sharp and painful cramps to me. I've gotten them more often (like once every two weeks, maybe) since I started taking yoga classes, which is maybe why I interpreted them as cramps. I don't drink coffee, dammit. I hate it when the easy explanation doesn't apply to me.
posted by granted at 12:25 AM on July 23, 2008

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