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How to treat costochondritis

December 26th, 2014 | Posted by corinne grace in Muscle Injuries - (Comments Off on How to treat costochondritis)

Costochondritis is the inflammation of the cartilage that function in connecting a rib to the breastbone or sternum which is a junction known as the costosternal joint. Pain that is caused by costochondritis imitates that of heart attacks or other conditions.

Other names of costochondritis include pain in the chest wall, costosternal chondrodynia and costosternal syndrome. When pain is accompanied by inflammation, it is called as the Tietze syndrome.

Symptoms of costochondritis

  • It becomes worse when taking a deep breath or coughing
  • It happens on the left side of the breastbone
  • It affects more than one rib

Causes of costochondritis


It becomes worse when taking a deep breath or coughing

  • An injury such as a blow to the chest could cause costochondritis.
  • Arthritis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis can cause costochondritis.
  • Lifting of heavy objects and engaging in strenuous exercises can cause costochondritis with severe coughing.
  • Non-cancerous and cancerous tumors and cancers from other parts of the body that spreads to the joints like breast, thyroid and lung can also cause costochondritis.
  • A rib joint that becomes infected by virus, bacteria or fungi like tuberculosis, syphilis and aspergillosis can cause costochondritis.

Treatment and home remedies

  • Costochondritis is caused by an overuse or by trauma. The best thing to do is to rest the muscles and joints that surround the sternum in order for them to heal.
  • Take anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen in order to minimize inflammation and pain at least 800mg to be taken three times a day. It should be reduced to 400mg taken at 2-3 times a day if the pain starts to subside.
  • Take pain medication like acetaminophen in order to relieve pain
  • Apply cold or heat compress to the sternal areas, depending which feels better for the person. Ice compress can help in minimizing inflammation. If you want to learn more about this treatment option, read here.
  • Avoid doing exercise that can cause costochondritis and cause irritation of the affected area. Seek the help of a physical therapist on what kind of exercises that can promote healing of the affected area.
  • Pain caused by costochondritis lasts for at least 1-2 months, even up to 6 months, but if there additional injuries such as sternal fracture, bruised bones or muscles as well as strains, the pain might persist for a year or even longer. The quality of care will determine the length of the recovery period.

Prevention of costochondritis

  • Avoid trauma to the chest area, sternum and ribs which happens in a car accidents like when the chest will hit the steering wheel, if there is no airbag in front of the steering wheel, another is being punched in the chest during a fight, and a direct hit in the chest when playing contact sports like football.
  • Wear seatbelt when driving a vehicle.
  • When playing contact sports, wear padding that is placed in the chest in order to minimize a blow to the chest.
  • Maintain a good posture by sitting up straight at work while on a computer and using ergonomically designed chairs can be helpful.

How to treat complex regional pain syndrome

December 26th, 2014 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on How to treat complex regional pain syndrome)

Complex regional pain syndrome is an uncommon form of chronic pain condition that causes intense pain in the arms, hands, legs or feet. It happens after an injury that is caused either to the nerve or to tissues in the affected area. Rest and time can only make it worse.

Symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome or CRPS

  • An intense burning pain
  • Changes in skin temperature, color and texture
  • There is swelling and stiffness in the affected joints and difficulty in moving the affected areas
  • Extreme sensitivity of the skin
  • There are changes in hair and growth of the nails
  • Muscle spasm, weakness and loss or atrophy
Complex regional pain syndrome

The affected part of the body can become cold and pale along with changes in the skin and nails.

The affected part of the body can become cold and pale along with changes in the skin and nails. The individual will also experience spasms and tightening and when these changes happen, the condition is sometimes permanent. Complex regional pain syndrome can spread from its source to other parts of the body and the pain can be worse due to emotional stress. In some people, the symptoms of CRPS just disappear on their own, but sometimes it persists for months to years.

Causes of complex regional pain syndrome

The syndrome typically occurs in two forms. They have similar symptoms but with distinct causes:

Type 1 – also called as reflex sympathetic dystrophy and develops after a health condition or damage that did not cause injury to the nerves within the affected limb.

Type 2 – also referred to as causalgia and this type causes nerve injury

Complex regional pain syndrome happens after a forceful trauma to an arm or leg like a fracture, crush injury and amputation. Surgeries, heart attacks, infections and even sprained ankles can cause complex regional pain syndrome.

Some complications that complex regional pain syndrome can cause include atrophy which is tissue wasting, where the affected person avoids moving affected arm or leg because of pain or there is difficulty in moving the affected area due to stiffness and the bone will weaken and deteriorate. Another is contracture which is muscle tightening. It is the tightening of the muscles in which the hands and fingers or the foot and toes contracts to a fixed position.

Treatment and home remedies

  • Take over-the-counter pain medications like aspirin, ibuprofen to minimize pain and inflammation.
  • Apply a cold compress in order to relieve swelling and sweating and if the affected area is cool, apply hot compress in order to give relief. If you want to learn how to utilize a cold compress, click here.
  • Apply topical analgesic in order to reduce hypersensitivity like capsaicin cream or lidocaine patches.
  • Perform some gentle and guided exercises for the affected limb in order to minimize pain and improve the range of motion and strength.
  • Apply transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation or (TENS) in order to minimize severe pain.
  • Spinal cord stimulation in which tiny electrodes are inserted along the spinal cord and a small electrical current is delivered to the spinal cord for pain relief.

How to treat a dislocated finger

December 26th, 2014 | Posted by corinne grace in Skeletal Injuries - (Comments Off on How to treat a dislocated finger)

A dislocated finger is a common injury among athletes. The fingers become dislocated when the bones are moved from the usual position, but a finger can become dislocated at any point and happens in the knuckle found in the middle of the finger.

Dislocated fingers can be a result of accidents like a person may fall and attempts to break the fall with an outstretched hand. Players of basketball experience dislocated fingers if the ball hits them in their fingertip when trying to catch or rebound it. Baseball players sustain dislocated fingers when the baseball hits them on exposed fingertips. As for football players who make tackles are at high risk of dislocated fingers because the fingers can be bent in an awkward manner or be caught in a pad or jersey.

Dislocated finger

Pain is the initial symptom of a dislocated finger.

Pain is the initial symptom of a dislocated finger. The finger may look crooked along with swelling and it can be bent at an odd angle or straight up. A severe dislocated finger causes numbness or tingling sensations and the fingers becomes pale. A dislocated finger that breaks through the skin will require an immediate medical attention. If you want to properly manage this injury, read here.

Treatment of a dislocated finger

  • Watch for symptoms of swelling or joint pain immediately after the accident
  • Separate the area and prevent additional movement by using splints that can be made out of newspapers, magazines, sticks or anything on hand. Do not try to realign the bones by yourself since this can cause further injury to the affected area.
  • Apply ice compress to the affected area immediately and elevate the affected area in order to reduce swelling and pain.
  • Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain relief
  • Seek the help of a physical therapist regarding range-of-motion exercises in order to restore the range of movement and the strength.
  • Avoid eating foods or drinking fluids before the treatment in order to prevent aspiration of foods or liquids into the lungs when the person is sedated.

Exercise for a dislocated finger

  • Stand over a table or against a wall with the palm facing downward and fingers spread. Press the hand against the flat surface and hold for five seconds. Repeat the procedure for ten times for a single set at least three times a day.
  • Curl the fingers into the palm of the hand to make a fist. If the dislocated finger cannot move, utilize the unaffected finger when moving the dislocated finger to make a fist. Hold the fist position for five seconds and repeat the procedure ten times for a single set at least three times a day.
  • Wrap the fingers around the sides of a tennis ball and then squeeze the ball with the hand and fingers as hard as the person can squeeze for five seconds then relax the hand. Repeat the procedure ten times for a single set at least three times a day.

How to treat bone bruise in the ankle

December 26th, 2014 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on How to treat bone bruise in the ankle)

A bruise is an injury to the tissue found below the skin. The injury to the affected area causes blood vessels to break and bleed into the layers of tissues found under the skin. A bruise causes discoloration of the skin such as the purplish-red color that changes to blue and turn yellowish-green before healing. Symptoms of a bruise include tenderness, swelling and pain.

There are three types of bruises – subcutaneous bruises that just happen beneath the skin, intramuscular bruises which involves the layers of the muscles and bone bruise which causes injury to the bone. A bone bruise takes longer time to heal and it is more painful than the other bruises.

What is a bone bruise?

Bone bruise

Apply ice massage to the affected area at least 5 minutes several times a day in order to minimize the swelling and pain and the start the healing process.

A bone bruise is also known as hematoma or contusion which is a common sports injury. Bruises happen in sports when the body makes contact with a hard surface like falling in the ground, some sports equipment or a bump by another person. The ribs are most susceptible to this injury caused by chest impact in playing contact sports. In order to prevent these kinds of injuries the players wear a protective gear such as shin guards and helmets that is suited for a particular sport.

Vehicular accidents can also cause high velocity impact to the body and the bones, and it is so strong that can cause a bone bruise. Bone bruise can also happen after falling into a hard surface such as slipping on ice and falling from a higher height will increase the risk of having this injury. Direct trauma to the body caused by other people or objects can also cause a bruise.

Some injuries to the body can be caused by traumatic twisting like joint sprains. The bruising will happen when the twisting joints will cause the affected bone found in the joints to bump with each other. The knees and ankles are the most susceptible to these forms of injuries.

Treatment of bone bruises in the ankle

  • Apply ice massage to the affected area at least 5 minutes several times a day in order to minimize the swelling and pain and the start the healing process. If you want to learn more about this treatment option, click here.
  • Use micro current therapy also known as micro current neuromuscular stimulation. It uses a small pulsating current or electricity to the body. The purpose of this micro current is to increase the production of ATP, exchange of ion, nutrients absorption, elimination of waste products, synthesis of proteins and oxygenation. All these processes are used for the fast healing recovery of the patient.
  • Avoid stress on the affected areas by wearing a brace.
  • Avoid tobacco and nicotine because nicotine will cause constriction of blood vessels which slows down the healing process.
  • Take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin and ibuprofen in order to minimize pain and swelling
  • Be patient since it takes several months for a bone bruise to heal completely.

How to treat thumb arthritis

December 19th, 2014 | Posted by corinne grace in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on How to treat thumb arthritis)

Thumb arthritis is the most prevalent type of osteoarthritis that affects the hand. Basal joint arthritis and thumb arthritis happens when the cartilage that functions in cushioning wears out from the adjacent ends of the bones that form the thumb joints or carpometacarpal joints. Thumb arthritis causes severe hand swelling, pain and reduced strength and range of motion and there is difficulty in doing simple household task like turning doorknobs and opening jars. If you want to learn more about this condition, read here.

Symptoms of thumb arthritis

  • The range of motion is reduced
  • Diminished strength during pinching or holding objects
  • There is inflammation, rigidity and tenderness can be felt at the bottom part of the thumb
  • An engorged, bone-like or out-of-joint appearance of the joints at the bottom part of the thumb.
Thumb arthritis

Basal joint arthritis and thumb arthritis happens when the cartilage that functions in cushioning wears out from the adjacent ends of the bones that form the thumb joints or carpometacarpal joints.

There are factors that increase the risk of having thumb arthritis like being a female with age 40 and older. Those who have hereditary conditions like joint ligament laxity and joints that are not properly formed or malformed joints. Those who also face the risk have diseases that cause changes in the normal structure and function of the cartilage like the rheumatoid arthritis. Those who have experienced injuries to the basal joints like sprains and fractures as well as performing activities and jobs that give an increased stress on the joints also face a high risk.

Treatment and home remedies

  • Do range-of-motion exercises that move the thumb through its full range of motion in order to improve the mobility of the joints.
  • Modify hand tools like buying jar openers, large pulls for zipper or key turners in order to help people with limited hand strength.
  • Apply hot or cold compress alternately to help reduce inflammation and pain and relax the joints.
  • If, avoid clenching using the hands when carrying things instead use grocery bags with handles or boxy paper bags which it can be balanced on the hip and arm.

Other treatment options

  • Perform thumb circles a number of times in a day in order to maintain good range of motion, by making a fist with the thumb, then rotate the thumb in a clockwise manner and then counter clockwise. This must be done at least for one to two minutes.
  • Squeeze a soft ball or a soft rubber ball, using all fingers. Indent the ball gently with the thumb for 20 to 30 seconds.
  • For pain that feels like burning, apply an ice pack in order to minimize inflammation. You can freeze water in a cup and massage the ice over the affected area. For lingering dismal ache, place warm towel in the affected area or immerse the thumb into a warm bath with a mixture of Epsom salt.
  • Paraffin wax dip for the thumb and hands can also help. The hot wax will transfer the heat into the bones and will improve circulation.
  • Use a thumb splint so that the person will find to easier to hold objects minus causing pain and this is helpful if doing monotonous movements such as pinching.

Treatment for thrombophlebitis

December 19th, 2014 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Treatment for thrombophlebitis)

Thrombophlebitis happens when a blood clot causes blockage on one or more of the veins found in the legs, and sometimes it can also affect the veins found in the arms and neck. The affected veins can be found close to the surface of the skin and cause a superficial thrombophlebitis or deep into muscles, it will cause deep vein thrombosis. Thrombophlebitis can be caused by surgery, trauma, long periods of inactivity and people with varicose veins are susceptible to this condition.

Symptoms of superficial thrombophlebitis

  • There is warmth, tenderness and pain in the affected areas
  • There is redness and swelling

Symptom of deep vein thrombosis

  • Swelling and pain

There is warmth, tenderness and pain in the affected areas.

In a vein that is close to the surface of the skin that is affected, there is presence of red, hard and tender cord found under the surface of the skin. If it affects the deep veins found in the legs, it will become tender, swelling and painful.

Thrombophlebitis can be caused by an inherited blood clotting disorder, an injury that is caused to a vein and being immobile for long periods like during staying in a hospital.

Some complications that can be caused by thrombophlebitis including the following:

  • Post-phlebetic syndrome is a condition which is also known as post-thrombotic syndrome and can happen in months or even for years if the person had thrombosis in the past years. It causes lasting and disabling pain, a feeling of heaviness in the affected leg and swelling.
  • Pulmonary embolism is a condition where part of a deep vein clot becomes dislocated and it will travel to the lungs, where it will cause blockage of an artery or embolism and cause a serious problems.
  • Edema or swelling of the legs
  • The pooling of blood in the veins and cause them to form a balloon and result in varicose veins.
  • Chronic swelling and an increased pressure on the skin. Discoloration of the skin can happen, sometimes skin ulcers can occur.

Treatment and home remedies

If he/she has superficial thrombophlebitis, the following measures can be performed:

  • Use a warm washcloth or warm compress and place it to the affected area several times a day. If you want to learn the effectiveness of this measure, click here.
  • Elevate the leg
  • Take nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen

If he/she has deep vein thrombosis, you can perform the following:

  • Take the prescribed anticoagulant medications in order to prevent complications
  • Elevate the leg if it is swelling
  • Wear compression stockings

Preventing thrombophlebitis

The inactivity of a person like sitting for hours in a flight or riding in a car can cause swelling of the ankles and calves and it increases the risk of thrombophlebitis in the veins found in the legs. In order to help prevent a blood clot from forming, he/she should observe the following:

  • If riding in an airplane, walk around the airplane cabin at least once an hour or so and if driving a vehicle, stop every hour and walk around.
  • If seated, flex the ankles or press the feet against the floor or footrest in front of the person at least 10 times every hour.
  • Avoid wearing clothing that are tight, and keep hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.

Treating asthma using lavender oil and mustard oil

December 12th, 2014 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Treating asthma using lavender oil and mustard oil)

Asthma is a condition in which the airways becomes narrow and swell and produces mucus. There is difficulty in breathing and results to coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. If you want to learn how to manage the symptoms, click here.

What is lavender oil?

There is more than one type of lavender that is used for making lavender oil and the most common is Lavendula angustifolia. Only its flowers are used to make high quality lavender essential oils. Lavender oils have a relaxing, peace-inducing property that is effective for both the physical and emotional aspect. It is also used to clean skin wounds.

Lavender oil is useful in relaxing the nerves and mind as well as encourage sleep. It is also useful in relieving stress and symptoms of mild depression like depression with nervous anxiety.

Symptoms of asthma


There is tightness of the chest, pain and shortness of breath

  • There is tightness of the chest, pain and shortness of breath
  • There is trouble sleeping that is caused by coughing or wheezing
  • Coughing and wheezing becomes severe cause by a respiratory virus like cold and flu.

Causes of asthma

Exposure to substances that causes allergies or allergens and some irritants can cause symptoms of asthma such as the following:

  • A respiratory infections like the common cold
  • Some airborne allergens like pollen, animal dander, mold and dust mite and air pollutants like smoke.
  • Strong emotions and stress
  • GERD or gastroesophageal reflex disease is a condition where the stomach acid goes back into the throat
  • Some preservatives that are added to certain foods and drinks such as dried fruit, shrimp, processed potatoes, wine and beer.
  • Cold air

Treatment using lavender oil

  • Before applying lavender oil, smell the lavender oil and make sure that the fragrance does not make the asthma worse and will cause other allergic reactions.
  • There are two ways of treating asthma by using lavender oil. First is by boiling water in a kettle and add a few drops of lavender oil, then place a towel over the head and lean over the kettle and slowly inhale the steam. A humidifier can also be helpful. Another way is apply lavender oil as a chest rub during bed time whenever the person is having trouble with breathing or congestions.

Treatment using mustard oil

Mustard oil is made by grinding the mustard seeds in extracting the oil. It is commonly used in the kitchen, but it has some medicinal uses. It is used to treat symptoms of asthma.

Steam treatment using mustard oil

  • Heat water in a kettle until it boils and then mix in a few drops of mustard oil along with caraway seeds. Measurements are not necessary.
  • Inhale the steam from the boiling water by keeping the head directly over the pot or kettle and breathe slowly and deeply. The steam works by dilating the bronchial tubes so that it will be easier to breathe during an asthma attack.

Using brown mustard oil for treatment

  • Massage the brown mustard oil into the chest during attacks of asthma. The mustard oil increases the airflow going to the lungs during an attack of asthma.
  • Mix 1 tsp. of sugar with 1 tsp. of brown mustard oil and then swallow the mixture several times a day. For the best result, consume the mixture on an empty stomach.

How to treat rheumatoid arthritis

December 12th, 2014 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on How to treat rheumatoid arthritis)

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder affecting the small joints in the hands and feet as well as affecting the covering of the joints. It causes sore inflammation and will result to bone erosion and deformity of the joints.

Rheumatoid arthritis happens when the immune system of the body attacks the tissues of the body and can sometimes affect other organs of the body like the skin, eyes, lungs and the blood vessels. Rheumatoid arthritis can occur at any age and usually begins after age 40 and women are more susceptible to the condition.

Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis

  • Morning stiffness that can last for hours
  • Tender, warm and swelling joints
  • Presence of bumps of tissue found under the skin of the arms also known as rheumatoid nodules
  • There is fever, fatigue and loss of weight
Rheumatoid arthritis

Tender, warm and swelling joints

Rheumatoid arthritis affects the smaller joints first, especially the joints that attaches the fingers to the hands and the toes to the feet. As the condition progresses, the symptoms can spread to the wrist, ankles, knees, elbows, shoulders and hips in the same joints on both sides of the body. Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms may vary in severity and just come and go. There are periods of increased disease activity called flare ups, alternating with periods of remission where the swelling and pain disappear. Over time, rheumatoid arthritis can cause deformity of the joints and shifts out of place.

Causes of rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis happens when the immune system attacks the synovium which is the lining of the membranes that are surrounding the joints. It will cause inflammation that will thicken the synovium which can destroy the cartilage and bones found within the joints. The tendons and ligaments that functions in holding the joints together will weaken and stretch and eventually the joint will lose its shape and alignment.

Complications that can be caused by rheumatoid arthritis like some medications used for treating rheumatoid arthritis can increase the risk for developing osteoporosis, a condition that cause weakening of the bones and making them prone to fractures. Another is carpal tunnel syndrome which is an inflammation that compresses the nerves found in the hands and fingers. Rheumatoid arthritis can also cause hardening and blockage of arteries and the inflammation of the sac that encloses the heart and an increased risk of inflammation and scarring of the tissues of the lungs which can result to shortness of breath.

Treatment and home remedies

  • Do some gentle exercises every day in order to help strengthen the muscles found around the joints and help minimize fatigue that can be felt. Avoid exercising injured and severely inflamed joints.
  • Apply heat compress in order to minimize the pain and relax tense and painful muscles. Cold compress can also be applied in order to numb the muscles and minimize spasms of the muscles. You can learn more about the effectiveness of cold by enrolling in a first aid course
  • Avoid stress.
  • Take fish oil supplements in order to reduce rheumatoid arthritis pain and stiffness.
  • Do some Tai chi which is a movement therapy like a gentle exercises and stretches together with deep breathing, it helps in relieving stress.

How to treat Morton’s neuroma

December 5th, 2014 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on How to treat Morton’s neuroma)

Morton’s neuroma is an abnormal thickening of the nerve tissue found between the third and the fourth toes. There is a feeling as if standing on a pebble in the shoe or on a fold in the sock. Bunions, flat feet, tight shoes and hammertoes cause this condition. A person suffering from Morton’s neuroma experiences toe cramping, tingling sensations, sharp and shooting foot pain and becomes severe over time.

You can enroll in a first aid class so that you can properly manage the symptoms of this condition.

Symptoms of Morton’s neuroma

  • Experiencing burning pain in the balls of the foot that spreads into the toes.
  • There is a feeling as if standing on a pebble in the shoe
  • A tingling sensation or numbness can be felt in the toes.
Morton's neuroma

A person suffering from Morton’s neuroma experiences toe cramping, tingling sensations, sharp and shooting foot pain and becomes severe over time.

There are factors that can cause Morton’s neuroma like wearing high-heeled shoes or shoes that are ill-fitting can give extra pressure on the toes and ball of the foot. Doing high-impact activities like jogging or running can cause the feet repetitive trauma and also wearing tight shoes used in snow skiing or climbing rocks can put pressure on the foot. People who have hammertoes, high arch or flat feet and bunions have high risk of developing a Morton’s neuroma.

Treatment and home remedies

  • Take over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine in order to reduce the swelling, inflammation and pain caused by Morton’s neuroma.
  • Put cold water on a paper cup and freeze it overnight, then the next day tear off the cup and use the ice to massage the bottom portion of the foot, to make the affected nerves numb, and minimize the symptoms.
  • The person should avoid wearing shoes that cause compression of the third and fourth toes. Wear shoes with a broad toe box that has an extra depth
  • Minimize doing activities like jogging, aerobic exercises or dancing that puts the feet under high impact.

Other treatments and exercises

  • A non-surgical treatment like cortisone shots and prescriptions for anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Some exercises like pounding of the feet can help minimize the pain and also swimming or rowing exercises makes a good workout and do some weight machines that are good for the upper body. Avoid exercises like jumping, running, brisk walking or dancing and wear comfortable and non-binding shoes.
  • Treat the foot exercises for relieving pain like soaking the foot in hot water, then after soaking, flex and stretch the toes. During the day, massage the ball of the foot for several minutes until the pain is minimized. Do some stretching exercises before other types of exercises in order to help prepare the foot for the pounding.
  • Keep the foot elevated in order to minimize the pain. Do some exercises that stretch the toe while the foot is propped on a cushion or pillow. If these treatment options could not effectively relieve the pain, seek medical help.

Causes and treatment of breast pain or mastalgia

December 5th, 2014 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Causes and treatment of breast pain or mastalgia)

Breast pain or mastalgia is breast tenderness, piercing burning pain or tautness in the breast tissue and the pain can be persistent or happens irregularly. Breast pain can usually range from mild or severe. Breast pain can affect a person before the menstrual period or it can continue throughout the menstrual cycle. Sometimes, the breast pain can also affect postmenopausal women and perimenopausal women. If you want to learn pain management measures, you can register for first aid training.

Causes of breast pain or mastalgia

  • Breastfeeding can be a cause of mastalgia in women, after giving birth, like when the milk comes a few days after giving birth, it causes the breast to be painful and engorged.
  • Mastitis which is a bacterial infection of the breast and happens during breastfeeding. The symptoms include redness or red streaks that occur across the breast and a lump can be felt caused by a clogged milk duct.
  • Women taking hormonal medications, oral contraceptives, fertility drugs and hormonal replacement therapy for symptoms of menopause.
  • Mastalgia can happen in women during their periods due to premenstrual syndrome where there is swelling of both breasts and are sensitive to touch.
  • Mastalgia that occurs during pregnancy will just go away after giving birth, and pregnancy usually causes the breast to grow by one cup size bigger or more.
  • Mastalgia can also occur during puberty stage and happens off and on for several years up to the adolescence stage
  • Women with large breast can also lead to mastalgia and back pain
Breast pain

Breast pain can affect a person before the menstrual period or it can continue throughout the menstrual cycle.

Symptoms of mastalgia

Cyclic breast pain symptoms

Cyclic mastalgia pains are linked to the menstrual cycle which is more severe during the first two weeks before the menstrual period. The pain is dull, heavy and aching that happens along with swelling of the breast and “lumpiness” which affects both the breast, especially the upper and outer areas. Cyclic mastalgia affects premenopausal women ages 20s and 30s and perimenopausal women in their 40s.

Noncyclic breast pain syndrome

The pain is not linked to the menstrual cycle. The pain just comes and goes or can be constant and there is a feeling of tightness, burning and soreness. Noncyclic mastalgia is felt in one area of the breast, but the pain can spread throughout the breast. Noncyclic mastalgia affects women in their 40s and 50s.

Straining a chest muscle causes pain in the chest wall which is coming from the breast like an extra mammary breast pain.

Treatment and home remedies

  • Apply a hot or cold compresses on the breast
  • Wear a sports bra when doing some exercises, especially when the breast is sensitive to touch.
  • Wear a firm bra that can support properly the breast
  • Do some relaxation therapy that can help in controlling the high levels of anxiety that is caused by severe breast pain.
  • Limit the use of caffeine
  • Eat a low-fat diet and complex carbohydrates that can help women suffering from breast pains or mastalgia.
  • Take over-the-counter pain medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen

You can learn more about these treatment options by simply enrolling in a class on first aid today.