Nearly every woman will experience breast pain in her life. The pain, soreness, tenderness are common symptoms of breast pain. Many believe that this is due to some sort of a serious condition and probably cancer. It is not so. Not all breast pain is sign of cancer. Sometimes cancer does not cause pain till later stages of development. During hormonal change most women feel this pain and surprisingly left breast in women will pain more than right!.
Breast pain also known as mastalgia is generally a transient symptom of menopausal symptom and will remain for some time. Once the transition is over, pain reduces and disappears. During period time too, women experience this pain along with body pain.
Causes of breast pain:
- Pregnancy: When woman becomes pregnant due to hormonal changes and blood flow to the breast results in acute tenderness and causes extreme pain
- Mastitis: It is the infection pain breast during breast feeding period.
- Muscle damage: Pectoralis major is located around and behind breast. When this muscle damages due to physical exercise or other types of strain it can radiate pain
- Hormonal fluctuation: When woman goes through menstrual cycle and menopause stages she experiences pain in the breast -it can be in one point or entire breast can feel pain.
Two types of breast pain are:
- Cyclical breast pain or cyclical mastalgia is common type of breast pain and is responsible for most cases. Dips in levels of progesterone and estrogen causes inflammation and soreness in the area resulting in discomfort and pain.
- Non-cyclical breast pain – it is rare and not caused by hormone. It is musculoskeletal pain related to muscle trauma in the chest or ribcage. Pulled muscle or tissue damage can be reasons for this type of breast pain. Arthritis or pinched nerve in the neck may be the reason for this pain.
How to manage breast pain:
Three ways to manage breast pain are:
Lifestyle changes: Change in habits and adjustment in lifestyle might help. Instead of sedentary lifestyle or high fat diet go for exercises, walk.
- Try something like dance which gives movement for entire body. Cut down on fat.
- Wear padded bra and feel comfortable. Do not wear bra that has underwire lining. While going to bed remove bra.
- Wear comfortable clothing.
- Practice breathing technique while visualizing relaxation and happiness
- Drink plenty of water.
- Include beans, raspberries, artichokes, avocado, green vegetables in your diet. Reduce caffeine and salt.
- Have a strategy and work on it. Focusing on such activities is helpful to reduce breast pain.
Alternative medicine and supplements: Some herbal medicines are helpful.
- Consume phytoestrogenic supplements like black cohosh.
- Macafem is another product that helps to restore natural hormonal balance.
- Include flax seed supplement in your diet. It is also an excellent source of phytoestrogene.
- Vitamin E supplement is helpful for cyclic breast pain
- Evening primrose oil: Applying evening primrose oil followed by a warm water bath is helpful too
- For sore breast give massage using slightly warm coconut oil, sesame oil or olive oil.
- Add few mint leaves in drinking water and keep consuming throughout the day.
This is the third option. Contact your doctor for pain killers. Explain your pain and how you feel. Many women find relief by taking pain medications like Aleve, paracetamol or Tylenol. Your doctor may suggest to go through scanning of breasts in case the pain is not reduced.
Balancing hormones naturally is helpful for breast pain. Getting good hours of sleep, sleeping regularly, avoiding alcohol, practicing yoga and Pilates, Zumba, and exposing body to sunlight helps to balance hormones. If you have persistent breast pain contact your doctor.
- Image credit: Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash
Author: Sumana Rao | Posted on: December 21, 2019