Breast Pain: Top 10 reasons why breast pain happens
There is substantial levels of stigma prevailing around breast health. Women are embarassed to openly talk about concepts concerning their breasts. An ailment as simple as breast pain is shrugged under the carpet. Nonetheless, recognition is ideal for accessibility. To rally awareness about the same, we will discuss the several causes why breast pain occurs.
Reasons why breast pain occurs
An abnormal sensation of sharp pain, burning, tenderness or tightness in the breast is characterises as breast pain. It is most often a symptom of some underlying breast condition.
Breast pain is also medically referred to as mastalgia. It affects each woman differently. Some women experiences a sudden throbbing pain while others have persistent pain in the chest.
Breast pain reasons are not restricted to a single condition. Here are top 10 breast pain causes:
1. Change in hormones
If every month you find yourself wondering why my breast is paining, your hormonal changes could be the answer. Your body undergoes severe hormone fluctuations each month as your menstrual cycle approaches.
The levels of estrogen and progesterone swift drastically. This shift in hormones can cause your breasts to swell and become tender. You may also experience pain and lumpiness in your breasts at this time. You can expect to feel immense pain 2-3 days before you get your periods.
Treatment – The pain in your breasts caused due to reproductive hormones normally subsides on its own towards the end of your periods.
2. Breast cysts
As you grow old, your breasts undergo several types of non-cyclic changes. Overtime, cysts-like structures can develop in your breast leading to pain. Most often, breast cysts cause breast tenderness.
Treatment – Breast pain reasons associated with cysts need to be examined by your healthcare provider. You can eat a fibrous and low-salt diet to help alleviate the pain.
Mastitis is an infection that affects your breasts. It is most commonly found in new mothers who breastfeed their infants. The clogging of the milk duct can cause mastitis and lead to breast pain.
Besides breast pain, other symptoms of mastitis include fever, fatigue, swelling and redness of breasts.
Treatment: A cure for mastitis requires medical intervention by your healthcare provider.
Also read: Mastitis- causes, symptoms and treatment
4. Injured chest wall
A chest wall is the collective muscles, tissues and bones that surround your heart and lungs. Pain in right breast or left one can also be prompted when your chest wall gets hurt or injured. A muscle pull, fracture, trauma or inflammation can cause pain and discomfort.
Treatment – Your healthcare provider will order a range of tests to identify the cause of pain. Based on the diagnosis, he/she will offer treatment for the area that is hurt or affected.
5. Improper bra fitting
Sometimes the answer to why is my breast paining is hidden in the type of bra or support you are wearing. An improperly fitted bra, whether it is too loose or too tight, can cause breast pain.
Treatment – If your breast pain causes are linked with your bra, the ideal fix is to replace the undergarment with the one that fits better. Make sure that your bra does not ride back up or dig deep into the skin.
6. Breast cancer
The importance of breast cancer screening is heightened because most times, its signs and symptoms are overlooked. Breast cancer rarely causes any pain. However, you would be able to notice a change in the appearance of your breast. Sometimes, you can also find yourself become more tender as a result of cancer.
Treatment – The treatment of breast cancer depends upon the stage of stage and your overall health. Your breast cancer care team will offer you comprehensive treatment options to get rid of cancer.
Also, read: High risk of breast cancer: Screening guidelines
7. Side-effects of medicines
Some medications aimed at treating a completely different condition can cause breast pain. For instance, a few medicines for mental health conditions, reproductive hormone and cardiovascular diseases can trigger sharp pain in the breast.
Treatment – You should discuss these side-effects with your healthcare provider. Your doctor may suggest some lifestyle remedies or clinical care to help alleviate the pain.
8. Back, neck or shoulder sprains
Sometimes, pain in your back, neck or shoulders can travel down to your breasts. This transfer of pain is caused by the structure of upper torso responsible for the distribution of nerves.
Treatment – Your healthcare provider will treat the root cause of pain and offer relevant relief medicines.
9. Breast injury
Similar to any other body part, your breasts can also get injured from high-impact sports or accidents. Breast pain is the foremost sign of a breast injury.
Treatment – Breast pain reasons related to injury require a proper treatment that ranges from medicinal use to surgical procedures. Your doctor will treat the injured site and give relief from all symptoms.
10. Breast surgery
If you have had breast surgery recently, your pain could be a result post-operative health. Sometimes, breast surgery can lead to scar tissue formation that can cause pain and tenderness.
Treatment – You should consult your surgeon if your pain escalates after surgery. Your doctor will give you proper instructions for a swift and quick recovery.
Breast pain can also be triggered by other reasons such as acid imbalance in your stomach, breastfeeding, presence of breast implants, smoking and more.
Tips to manage pain in breast
Most breast pain reasons require clinical inspection and care. Nevertheless, you can still take measures from your end to reduce or alleviate breast pain. These tips include:
- Wear a supportive bra
- Apply heat and cold compressions to your breasts (as suggested by the doctor)
- Maintain a healthy body weight
- Limit your sodium intake
- Take vitamin and calcium supplements
You should note that cyclic pain accounts for nearly 70% of breast pain causes. A change in your lifestyle habits can result in healthier cycles which can further prevent breast pain.
The concluding note
Pain in the left breast can sometimes be misinterpreted as cardiovascular pain. It is important that you understand why breast pain is happening. However, you should not self-diagnose yourself and consult a specialist for investigating the cause.
For more information on breast health, consult Dr Rohan Khandelwal, best breast specialist at the CK Birla Hospital.