Breast Pain and Tenderness in Women – An Introduction
Breast pain, often termed as “mastalgia” by doctors, is experienced by most females at some point in their life, and how do I relieve sore breasts is a question every woman has asked at least once in her lifetime. Swelling, soreness, burning pains - they are all signs of breast pain and tenderness. Breast pain is often not a cause of concern but can be a symptom of a serious health condition as well.
Talks about breast pain and tenderness are sometimes treated as a taboo topic that is not very openly discussed in some Indian sects. Awareness about such issues revolving around feminine health and hygiene still has a long way to go in the Indian society.
Why Do Women Experience Breast Pain and Tenderness?
The answer to this lies in the two types of breast pain in women that have different causes:
Cyclic Breast Pain-
This is the more common type of breast pain that is linked to a woman’s menstrual cycle. Breasts tend to become lumpy and painful near and during your menstruation period. It goes away right after your period ends and is usually not a symptom of some health condition.
Noncyclic Breast Pain-
This type of pain lasts longer and is more frequent than the other type. There might be a certain spot that pains in particular. Noncyclic breast pain can be common after menopause. In either case, when your breast pain is not linked to your menstrual cycle then you should see your doctor.
Home Remedies for Breast Pain and Tenderness
Massaging for breast pain & tenderness:
Massage your chest in an outward motion, starting from the centre and then slowly moving towards your armpit. This will immediately improve blood circulation in your breast along with a circulation of lymph. Lymph is an infection-fighting fluid of the body and thus, massaging can be a good breast infection home remedy.
Include flaxseed in diet for breast pain & tenderness:
Flaxseed contains polyunsaturated Omega-3 fatty acids and is an excellent home remedy for reducing breast pain. You can consume it as it is by roasting them or by making it a part of your salads or smoothies.
Try icing for breast pain & tenderness:
Icing each breast for about 10 minutes can reduce breast pain and tenderness by decreasing swelling.
Evening primrose oil for breast pain & tenderness:
An imbalance of fatty acids is a prominent cause of breast pain and tenderness. Primrose oil will provide your body with the much needed fatty acids.
Vitamin B6 and Vitamin E for breast pain & tenderness:
These vitamins have breast pain reducing properties that can provide you with some relief by protecting your breasts from free radical damage that is capable of destroying cells.
Ayurveda for breast pain & tenderness:
Breast pain remedies in Ayurveda are not new findings. There are many Ayurvedic treatments to relieve sore breasts, ranging from simple yoga postures to applying balms and essential oils.
Over the counter medication for breast pain & tenderness:
There are some over the counter medications like ibuprofen that can be a quick remedy for breast pain. However, make sure to consult your doctor as their long term use can be harmful.
Eat a low-fat diet for breast pain & tenderness:
A high-fat diet can worsen your breast pain and swelling by making your body naturally unhealthy. Be sure to keep your consumption of high-fat dairy products like cream, butter, cheese and more in check.
Try therapy for breast pain & tenderness:
High anxiety can often cause severe breast pain. It is therefore advisable to try a therapy that relaxes you and reduces your stress levels.
Include soy in your diet for breast pain & tenderness:
Soy instead of non-vegetarian food items is a good switch for anyone experiencing breast pain. The phytoestrogens present in soy can help the hormonal imbalances resulting from menstruation and menopause.
Prescription medication for breast pain & tenderness:
Although not a home remedy, you should consider taking a prescription medicine after your doctor advises you to do so in case of severe breast pain.
Ways to Prevent Breast Pain and Tenderness
Reduce sodium intake to prevent breast pain & tenderness:
A high salt intake can cause water retention which can cause you to experience breast pain. Make sure to follow a diet with low levels of sodium at least 14 days before your period.
Avoid methylxanthine to prevent breast pain & tenderness:
Methylxanthine is found in many foods like mushrooms, bananas, coffee, cola, tea and more. These are all foods that cause breast swelling, especially cyclic breast pain because of having methylxanthine.
Wear a perfect fit bra to prevent breast pain & tenderness:
Wearing bad fitting bras can cause noncyclic breast pain. Make sure to get your perfect fit the next time you go lingerie shopping.
Limit your caffeine consumption to prevent breast pain & tenderness:
A less intake of caffeine is often related to good health and breast health is no exception to this. Limiting caffeine intake can reduce the chances of experiencing breast pain.
Avoid packaged food to prevent breast pain & tenderness:
Packaged food contains hydrogenated oils that can hinder the body’s ability to break down fatty acids. When eaten in excess, they become foods that cause breast tenderness and swelling.
A sound relationship with your healthcare professionals to prevent breast pain & tenderness:
Have a good professional relationship with your healthcare professionals so that you can be comfortable while having this talk with them. Go for regular check-ups and inform them immediately in case of worsening breast pain and tenderness.
Breast pain and tenderness should not be ignored as they can be early signs of serious health disease. There are many home remedies for breast pain that can treat swelling and tenderness effectively. But, in case of prolonged or burning pain at a specific spot, you should immediately seek medical counsel and do not delay.