Breast pain or mastalgia which is a common problem in women. There is tenderness of the breast, tightness of the tissue and sharp burning pain. The pain can be constant or happen occasionally. Breast pain can be classified into cyclical and non-cyclical. In cyclical patterns, the intensity of pain changes during the menstrual cycle while non-cyclical are less frequent and the pain during the menstrual cycle remains unchanged.
Breast pain can range from mild to severe or happen just a few days per month in 2-3 days until the menstrual and can affect both breasts. The pain can be moderate to severe and affects both and last for a week or longer every month. Sometimes, the pain can last for months which is not related to the menstrual cycle. In such cases, it is best to seek medical help immediately.
Causes of breast pain
- Non-cyclic breast pain is caused by changes that occur in the milk ducts or glands. It can be triggered by the formation of breast cysts and trauma to the breast. Breast pain begins outside the breast such as the chest wall, joints, muscles or the heart and spread to the breast.
- Breast pain can be caused by the reproductive hormones
- An imbalance of fatty acids found within the cells affects the sensitivity of the breast tissue
- Hormonal medications such as infertility medications and oral birth control pills can lead to breast pain.
- Those who have large breasts are susceptible to pain.
Treatment of breast pain
- Apply ice pack on the affected breast to numb the tender part and lessen pain and swelling. Place the ice in plastic bag and wrap it with a towel. Apply the ice pack to each breast for at least 10 minutes each. Perform this remedy several times every day. A warm compress can be applied alternately with the cold compress to lessen the tenderness and swelling. Avoid applying ice directly on the breast to prevent frostbite as well as making the condition worse.
- Self-massage the breast to minimize inflammation and increase blood circulation in the area. Massage also help in maintaining healthy breast tissues and more nutrients for the breast to lessen the tenderness and pain. When taking a bath, apply soap on the breast and then gently massage them for a few minutes starting from the center of the chest going to the armpits. Avoid applying soap on the breast if breastfeeding. Massage the breast regularly to keep them healthy and free from pain.
- In a glass filled with warm water, add 1-2 teaspoon of unfiltered apple cider vinegar, add a few drops of honey and mix them well. The mixture should be taken at least 2 times every day.
- Take the prescribed vitamin E at least 200-400 IUs to prevent tenderness and pain during menstruation. Eat foods rich in Vitamin E such as almonds, sunflower seeds, olive oil, spinach, avocados, beet greens and mustard greens.