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
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.