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How to Cope with Breast Pain

Discomfort, tenderness, or sharp pain in one or both breasts affect most women at least once in their life. The main cause of breast pain is hormone fluctuations, specifically of estrogen and progesterone. These hormonal changes can trigger inflammation of breast tissue, resulting in pain. Breast pain can range from mild to severe discomfort, and can include symptoms like burning and swelling.

How to Cope with Breast Pain

De-stress

Stress weakens the body and makes it more susceptible to breast pain and infection. To improve your overall health, try and reduce stress as much as possible. Yoga and meditation are both excellent stress relievers. Reading, listening to music, or making time to see friends can also be helpful in relieving stress - whatever works best for you.

Eat Right

Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is essential to your overall well-being, as well as looking your best. Ideally, a proper diet should include protein, fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates, dairy, and good fats. Try to eat three healthy meals a day, in addition to small, healthy snacks every three to four hours. Salmon, avocados, chicken, walnuts, spinach, kale, and guavas are all nutrient-rich foods that have been known to help lessen breast pain.

Exercise

The British Journal of Sports Medicine recently published a study that concluded exercise influences breast pain. Researchers say that ill-fitting sports bras are the main cause of breast pain during exercise, so it's crucial to get a properly fitted, supportive bra before working out. Remember that studies have shown that exercising regularly can significantly increase energy, improve mood, and significantly reduce stress. Walking, biking, and swimming are all excellent low-impact workouts that can help ease breast pain.

Home Remedies

Cold compresses or heating pads can help reduce breast pain. Other helpful at home remedies include taking a warm bath with soothing essential oils, like rosemary or lavender, and wearing loose-fitting cotton clothes.

Herbal Remedies

Herbal remedies are a natural method of treating breast pain. Two widely used herbs for treating breast pain are chasteberry and soy. Chasteberry helps reduce the production of prolactin, which can cause pain when women are not breastfeeding. Soy contains phytoestrogenic compounds, which help restore estrogen levels, making it popular among menopausal women.

Breast pain is a frustrating and sometimes debilitating symptom. The primary reason for breast pain is the fluctuation of estrogen and progesterone, restoring hormonal balance can correct the pain. There are several approaches to coping with breast pain, which include reducing stress, exercising regularly, and eating healthy.

Right Breast Pain

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.

6 Causes to Consider for Sudden Breast Pain

Excessive alcohol and stress are some causes of sudden breast pain. It's crucial to be aware of your lifestyle and diet to pinpoint possible triggers.

Breast Pain and Tenderness

Many women will experience symptoms of breast pain and tenderness during menopause. These symptoms can be highly disruptive. Learn why here.

Sources:
  • Brown, N. et al. (2013). The experience of breast pain (mastalgia) in female runners of the 2012 London Marathon and its effect on exercise behavior. The British Journal of Sports Medicine, 48(4), 283. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2013-092175
  • Mason, B.R. , Page, K.A. & Fallon, K. (1999). An analysis of movement and discomfort of the female breast during exercise and the effects of breast support in three cases. Journal of science and medicine in sport, 2(2), 134-144. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10476977
  • National Health Service UK. (2014). breast pain. Retrieved August 22, 2014, from http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/breastpaincyclical/pages/introduction.aspx
  • National Institutes of Health. (2014). Premenstrual breast changes. Retrieved August 22, 2014, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003153.htm
  • NYU Langone Medical Center.(n.d). Chasteberry. Retrieved August 22, 2014, from http://www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=21649
  • University of Maryland Medical Center. (2012). Breast pain. Retrieved August 22, 2014, from http://umm.edu/health/medical/ency/articles/breast-pain