Stinging in the chest: breast pricking

Breast pricking - causes and treatment

Stinging in the chest is often associated with a heart attack or breast cancer. In order to avoid taking any risks, the complaints should always be clarified by a doctor as a precaution. Often, however, the cause of continuous or occasional stitches in the chest area is relatively harmless muscular tension. Other possible reasons are, for example, old injuries or psychological stress, which can be felt physically through the "stinging".

Stinging in the chest - brief overview

If there is pain or stinging in the chest, many affected people panic, which in the worst case can contribute to aggravating the symptoms. First of all, it is important to keep calm and to consider what needs to be done. The following brief overview helps to quickly classify the complaints.

  • Contact emergency callif the stinging in the chest suddenly occurs, does not subside or the pain increases and / or conspicuous symptoms such as angina pectoris, radiating pain in the left arm, sudden shortness of breath, excessive sweating, acute abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, impaired consciousness and Add fear of death!
  • causes: Heart diseases such as cardiac arrhythmia, coronary heart disease, pericardial and myocardial inflammation or a heart attack; Respiratory diseases (e.g. pneumonia, trachitis, pleurisy or pulmonary embolism), injuries to the ribs, breastbone or collarbone, impairment of the costal cartilage, nerve compression or disease in the thoracic area, Tietze syndrome, muscle tension, reflux, and esophageal disorders an aortic aneurysm, tumors and cysts in the chest area, pleural effusion (fluid in the lung gap), diaphragmatic inflammation or cramp as well as some other physical but also psychological causes (e.g. cardiac neurosis).
  • diagnosis: Thorough medical history with questions about the appearance of the stinging, the location, duration and known previous diseases; Eavesdropping (with a stethoscope) and chest scanning, blood pressure measurement, blood tests, ECG (electrocardiogram), echocardiography, stress echocardiography, chest X-rays, computer tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, coronary angiography, lung function test and various other examination methods.
  • treatment: Align strictly with the respective causes; often medication, but may also require surgery; if necessary, psychotherapy for psychologically related complaints; with functional breast pricking often with manual therapies.
  • Naturopathy and holistic medicine: With a psychosomatic background, for example with phytotherapy, biofeedback, hypnosis therapy, relaxation methods such as yoga or autogenic training; Exercise therapy to relieve symptoms and prevent heart disease.

Breast stinging symptoms

Stinging in the chest usually occurs temporarily. Since vital organs such as the heart and lungs are located in the chest, specialist examinations should rule out circulatory disorders (angina pectoris) and a heart attack.

Warning: This is especially true if panic, fear, radiation in the left arm, upper arm pain, shortness of breath, excessive sweating, nausea and vomiting or a feeling of annihilation are added. Another important alarm signal is when the stinging in the chest occurs when breathing or coughing or when thickening in the chest area is felt at the same time.

For some people, the stitches only appear at night or when lying down, others feel them especially in severe stressful situations. The symptoms often appear during physical exertion, such as during running or lifting weights - often when you press the bench or when you push your arm inwards.

The sharp sensations or pain can also be accompanied by complaints in the area of ​​the head, such as ear pressure or headache radiating from the back of the head. It is also possible that they pull up to the back and / or expand to general chest pain.

Women often complain of stinging in the breast while breastfeeding, which is additionally accompanied by falling asleep in the hands (at night) or pain in the forearm.

Stinging in the chest - causes

First and foremost, an immediate medical exclusion from causes such as heart attack, broken ribs, narrowing of the vessels in the heart and diseases of the lungs and their surrounding structures should of course be excluded. If rib cartilage is strongly protruding in parallel, Tietze syndrome should be considered.

However, stinging pain is often muscular tension, especially if it is movement-dependent.

If structural causes could be excluded, from a functional point of view it is often tension or irritation of the chest muscles that pull from the sternum to the shoulder. Many people complain about the mechanically triggerable stinging, especially at the base of the breastbone.

Since the ribs stretch from the sternum to the back in the back, it is easy to understand that tense back muscles or strength at the rib-vertebral joints can also be transmitted forward and trigger the symptoms.

Breast stinging due to old injuries and inflammation

According to body therapies such as Rolfing or osteopathy, old injuries or inflammation-related adhesions of the lung fur are another possible cause. Because these can cause movement restrictions and subsequently lead to a stinging. Last but not least, because the lungs swell strongly when breathing and the heart and surrounding structures, such as the sliding connective tissue (fascia), have to move with it.

It is conceivable that people with a lot of sedentary reading and computer activities bring additional strength to the chest region. In his book "Dynamic Morphology", the Austrian philosopher Professor Otto Julius Hartmann (1895-1989) suggests the logic that the principle of our brain skull, which is characterized by firmness and massive non-dynamics, is suitable for people who do a lot of brainwork. continues in the rest of the body and can cause these symptoms.

Breast pricking when breastfeeding

Stinging in the chest when breastfeeding can result from the forward inclined posture. Hands that have fallen asleep and / or forearm pain that occur at the same time can be caused by the fact that the high tension of the pectoral muscles clamps vessels that run to the arms. In this case presumably not only mechanical, but also hormonal factors play a role.

Nervous and psychosomatic stinging in the chest

Nervous heart complaints are mainly characterized by an accelerated heart activity, but other typical symptoms include tightness of the heart, feeling of pressure and chest stinging. This is not due to poor heart performance, but rather increased excitability. The function of the heart is largely controlled by the vegetative nervous system and thus reacts finely to the imbalances that result from the interaction between body and soul.

In this case, there are often other vegetative symptoms such as inner restlessness, sleep disorders, a so-called irritable bladder or irritable bowel syndrome.

All situations and conflicts that can individually trigger stress (for example, excessive workload, interpersonal stress or internal conflicts) can be considered as intensifying the complaints. If an internal conflict persists on an unconscious level, it can - in the sense of psychosomatics - express itself on the physical level, for example, as "stinging in the chest".

For those affected who feel the stinging physically, it usually takes a long time before they can accept this explanation for themselves. This form of defense is understandable from the aspect of the self-organizing organism, which seems to prefer the symptom, that with less fear or. Problems is occupied and therefore may come to the fore. In this sense, the complaints have a protective function that must not be abandoned prematurely.

Therapists who use organ-related interpretations in their work assume that a breast prick with fear for their own heart must have a similar background for all those affected. In this sense, the heart is related to one's own rhythm of life, the perception and expression of one's own feelings, the experience of injuries (e.g. grief, heartache).

As helpful as these aspects can be, if the application is too rigid, there is always the risk of imposing an explanation on the person concerned. This may lead to resistance to healing.

Treatment for functional breast pricking

From a mechanical point of view, the movement in the chest area must be improved. Methods such as the aforementioned osteopathy and Rolfing involve the entire body and its statics in the examination and therapy. Here, among other things, tests of breathing movement and chest mobility as well as treatment of existing movement restrictions are carried out.

Furthermore, the chest and its structures are placed in relation to the rest of the body and the general distribution of tension in the organism is examined and, if necessary, treated. For this reason, it is interesting for an osteopath whether the affected person complains, in addition to the stinging in the chest, for example of complaints of the temporomandibular joint, back pain, foot pain or a lump in the throat.

The concept is based on the fascia distortion model (FDM). With this (manual) treatment, those points and areas that cause pain to those affected are determined directly and then treated. If there is a puncture puncture in the chest, then after the FDM there are disorders in the bone-ligament transition or bone-tendon transition on the sternum. These points are dealt with by thumb pressure and immediately tested again.

Breast pricking - naturopathy and holistic medicine

Nervous breast pricking responds well to regular use of medicinal plant formulations, which on the one hand calm the vegetative nervous system and on the other hand have a cardiac effect. An herbal tea made from hawthorn blossoms, valerian root, lemon balm, rosemary leaves and arnica flowers fulfills this requirement and, as a ritual, also provides a break during which the nervous system can switch to rest. The same plants can also be used externally in the form of ointments, with regular rubbing in of your own breast (through care and rest) to have a therapeutic effect.

Homeopathic remedies that are used in low potencies include coffea (coffee), Convallaria (lily of the valley) or Valeriana (valerian).

So-called biofeedback can help those affected to influence nervous complaints favorably with special techniques.

Relaxation methods for nervous breast piercing

To minimize tension and inner restlessness, special exercises and procedures for stress relief are available. Offers such as yoga, autogenic training or progressive muscle relaxation are a good way to relieve stress and tension and to learn the ability to relax. This makes it possible to cope with stress and uncomfortable situations and to maintain mental balance.

If deeper problems are suspected, these can be worked up using modern hypnotherapy, for example, and combined with relaxing and invigorating images. Alternatively or in addition, systemic therapy or deep psychological procedures are recommended.

Functional breast piercing - aromatherapy

Aromatherapy has proven itself for uncomfortable or painful stings due to tension. The background is that certain scents influence the autonomic nervous system and thereby relax the muscles. The most suitable fragrances include chamomile, marjoram and lavender.

For use in the fragrance lamp, first add some water to the bowl and then drizzle up to 15 drops of essential oil. The different scents can be mixed as desired, for example by using five drops of the three oils mentioned.

Alternatively, a relaxing bath can be very beneficial in case of tension-related chest pricking to "shake off" the stress and hectic pace of everyday life. Lavender oil, for example, is suitable for strengthening the effect by helping to regain inner peace with its fresh and soothing fragrance. Other essential oils that can be added to the bath water as desired are rosemary, peppermint, eucalyptus and juniper.

Instructions for a eucalyptus-lavender bath
  1. Fill the tub with 36 to 39 degrees warm water.
  2. Put 3 drops of eucalyptus oil and 6 drops of lavender oil in 3 tablespoons of cream.
  3. Mix the ingredients well together.
  4. Pour the mixture into the bath water.
  5. Stay in the tub for about 15 minutes.
  6. Then you should rest for half an hour.

Important for an aroma bath:

  • Do not add the essential oils until the tub is full so that it does not evaporate at the start of the bath.
  • The water should not be too hot, but is best at a temperature of 36 to 39 degrees.
  • Since the oils can cause skin irritation and are also poorly water-soluble, mixing with a carrier solution is advisable. Suitable for this are, for example, neutral soap or two to three tablespoons of cream or fatty vegetable oil (olive, almond, jojoba oil etc.)
  • Generally, eight to ten drops of essential oil are sufficient for a full bath.

(jvs, nr, fp)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Dipl. Social Science Nina Reese, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch


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