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4 Best Natural Remedies for Combating Breast Pain

Around two thirds of women will have some sort of breast pain in their lifetime, and this can include tenderness, sharp or burning pain, or a feeling of tightness. In some women, this pain is constant, and in others, it is spasmodic. In most cases, it is completely harmless and is more likely a sign of hormonal changes or tissue trauma than a serious illness. Read on for some of the best natural remedies for combating breast pain.

4 Best Natural Remedies for Combating Breast Pain
1

Limit Caffeine Intake

Studies have shown that women who limit their caffeine consumption have considerably less breast pain and tenderness than women who consume large amounts. It is not entirely agreed upon why this is the case, and some doctors even deny a link, but it certainly helps some women. It is thought that the chemical compound methyxanthine contributes to breast tenderness by widening blood vessels, and this can cause and uncomfortable feeling. Another possible reason is that caffeine seems to increase cortisol levels, which can react with female sex hormones.

2

Wear a Supporting Bra

Breasts, especially larger ones, need to be protected and supported. Vigorous movement without support can cause stress on the muscles around the chest area and even on the breasts themselves, resulting in discomfort. A well-fitting bra is especially important when you engage in sports or exercise, and it is best to avoid bras with a metal underwire, as this can dig and cause bruises or pressure points on the delicate breast tissue.

3

Breast Massage

Breast massage has been shown to relieve breast pain, at least to some extent. A stagnant lymph in the breast can sometimes be to blame for breast tenderness, and so massaging the tissue and encouraging movement and blood circulation could help. Additionally, soothing the area by using a hot or cold compress can provide immediate pain relief when soreness does flare up.

4

Exercise

Regular exercise can combat breast pain that has a hormonal basis by stabilizing insulin and blood sugar levels, and this can reduce hormone fluctuations, which are sometimes the source of breast pain. The reduction in body fat will also help keep the hormones in balance, as excess weight can interrupt normal estrogen levels. Although physical activity is not a short-term solution, frequent and consistent exercise should lead to a decrease breast pain in the long term. Remember to never perform physical exercise without wearing a well-fitting sports bra.

Breast pain affects most women at some point in their lives and is normally harmless. The self-help remedies should be the first resort, as normally the pain will go away by itself. However, if the pain becomes chronic or is accompanied by other symptoms, it is important to seek medical advice and get it checked.

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Women can often feel pain in their right or left breast, and this is usually connected to their menstrual cycle. Click here to learn more.

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Sources:
  • Ahn, S. , Kim, J. & Cho, J. (2011). [Effects of breast massage on breast pain, breast-milk sodium, and new-born suckling in early postpartum mothers]. Journal of Korean Academy of Nursing, 41(4), 451-459. doi: 10.4040/jkan.2011.41.4.451
  • Breast cancer care. (2013). Breast pain. Retrieved September 12, 2014, from http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/breast-cancer-information/benign-breast-conditions/breast-pain#noncyclical
  • National Breast Cancer Foundation. (2012). Breast Pain. Retrieved September 12, 2014, from http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-pain
  • National Institutes of Health. (2012). Breast - premenstrual tenderness and swelling. Retrieved September 12, 2014, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003153.htm
  • Northrup, C. (2006). The Wisdom of Menopause. New York: Bantam Dell.
  • Russell, L.C. (1989). Caffeine restriction as initial treatment for breast pain. The Nurse practitioner, 14(2), 36-37, 40. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2927749
  • Sutter Health CPMC. (2014). Breast Pain. Retrieved September 12, 2014, from http://www.cpmc.org/services/women/breast/breast_about.html