Breast pain and discomfort is a common concern among women of all ages. While most cases of breast pain are not typically associated with an underlying health condition, some can be a cause for concern.
It is essential to seek medical attention when experiencing any unusual or unbearable pain. Let’s have a look at some common reasons for breast pain.
1. Bra Fit
One often overlooked factor that can contribute to breast discomfort is an ill-fitting bra. Wearing a bra that is too tight, has an underwire, or lacks proper support can lead to soreness, tenderness, and even long-term damage to breast tissue.
For this reason, it’s essential to pay attention to bra fit and take steps to find the right size and style for your body. It’s worth having a proper bra fitting by a professional will help find the right fit for you.
2. Hormonal Changes
Hormonal changes are one of the most significant causes of such pain. Fluctuations in hormones during menstrual cycles and menopause can cause breast (see also: Why Are My Breasts Getting Bigger After Menopause?)sensitivity, soreness, and pain.
Estrogen and progesterone are two hormones primarily responsible for the growth and development of breast tissues. During the menstrual cycle, these hormones fluctuate, which can cause cyclic breast pain.
The pain can be mild, moderate, or severe and may last from a few days to a week before the onset of menstruation. Cyclic breast pain occurs in both breasts, and the pain can vary from a dull ache to a sharp, shooting pain.
Apart from menstrual cycles, hormonal changes caused by oral contraceptives, infertility treatments, hormone replacement therapy can also lead to breast pain.
Breast pain is one of the side effects of oral contraceptives, and it may resolve on its own within three months of starting the pill.
Hormone replacement therapy, which is also given to women to manage menopause (see also: Medicinal Mushrooms For Menopause – Best Mushrooms For Women)symptoms, can cause breast pain as well.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is another common cause of breast pain that occurs due to hormonal changes. Remember to be kind to yourself during these times and understand that this type of breast pain is perfectly normal and not dangerous.
3. Scar Tissue
Scar tissue is a common issue that can develop after breast cancer surgery or radiation therapy. Scar tissue forms as a result of the body’s natural healing process.
The body produces collagen fibres to repair damaged tissue, which can lead to the formation of adhesions and scar tissue.
Unfortunately, scar tissue can lead to pain, numbness, and physical changes to the appearance of the breast. The development of scar tissue can cause discomfort and make it difficult to perform everyday activities.
In some cases, scar tissue can also lead to a decrease in range of motion, nerve damage, and poor healing of the incision site.
Physical therapy is one option for treating scar tissue after breast cancer surgery or radiation therapy.
A trained physical therapist can work with the patient to help stretch and mobilise the tissue around the scar, which can promote proper healing and reduce pain and discomfort.
Some medications can cause breast pain as a side effect. It is important to be aware of these medications and to speak with a doctor if experiencing such pain.
Digitalis preparations, used to treat heart conditions, can sometimes cause breast pain. Chlorpromazine, an antipsychotic medication, and certain diuretics, which are used to help eliminate excess fluid from the body, can also cause breast (see also: What Causes Smell Between Breast?)pain.
Oxymetazoline, an anabolic steroid, and methyldopa, which is used to treat high blood pressure, are also known to cause breast pain.
There are treatment options available for breast pain caused by medications. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help alleviate discomfort.
Additionally, practising good posture and keeping your chest open when sitting up can prevent internal pinching and potentially reduce breast pain.
Costochondritis is a condition that causes inflammation of the costal cartilage that connects the ribs to the breastbone. This type of inflammation results in chest pain and discomfort, which can be quite distressing if you experience it.
The causes of costochondritis are not always clear, but some common triggers include physical strain or injury to the chest area, viral infections, and respiratory illnesses.
This condition can also occur as a result of rheumatoid arthritis or other autoimmune disorders.
Symptoms of costochondritis typically include acute pain and tenderness in the chest area, which can often be mistaken for a heart attack.
Sometimes the pain can radiate to the back or abdomen, and it can worsen with deep breathing, coughing, or physical activity. Again, taking some anti-inflammatory medications will likely alleviate symptoms temporarily.
6. Breast Cysts
Breast cysts are fluid-filled sacs that develop in the breast tissue.
These cysts are usually round or oval and can range in size from as small as a pea to as large as a golf ball. Breast cysts are common in women of all ages, but they are most common in women who are between 35 and 50 years old.
The exact cause of breast cysts isn’t known, but hormonal changes and imbalances are believed to play a role. This is because breast cysts typically develop or become more pronounced during certain times in a woman’s menstrual cycle.
Additionally, postmenopausal women who take hormone replacement therapy (HRT) are also at an increased risk for developing breast cysts.
Common symptoms of breast cysts include a lump that feels smooth, round, and movable, and breast pain or tenderness. The lump may also be accompanied by swelling or redness of the breast tissue.
Many women may not experience any symptoms at all and may only discover the cysts during a routine breast exam or mammogram.
The treatment for breast cysts often depends on the size and severity of the cysts. Small cysts with no symptoms may not require any treatment and can resolve on their own.
For larger or painful cysts, the doctor may recommend draining the fluid out of the cyst with a needle. This procedure is called fine-needle aspiration and involves inserting a thin needle into the cyst to remove the fluid.
In conclusion, breast pain can arise from a variety of causes, including hormonal changes, chest injuries, and breast tissue infections.
It is crucial for women to be aware of these potential causes in order to identify the root cause of the pain and receive appropriate treatment.