Breast pain (mastalgia), a common complaint among women can include breast tenderness, sharp burning pain or tightness in your breast tissue
Breast pain can have causes that aren’t due to underlying disease. Examples include a tight fitting bra, pregnancy, menstruation, breast feeding or exercise.
The pain may be constant or it may occur only occasionally and also range from mild to severe
Sometimes, it’s not possible to identify the exact cause of breast pain. Contributing factors may include one or more of the following:
1. Reproductive hormones:
Cyclic breast pain appears to have a strong link to hormones and your menstrual cycle. Cyclic breast pain often decreases or disappears with pregnancy or menopause.
2. Breast structure:
Noncyclic breast pain often results from changes that occur in the milk ducts or milk glands. This can result in the development of breast cysts. Breast trauma, prior breast surgery or other factors localized to the breast can lead to breast pain. Breast pain may also start outside the breast in the chest wall, muscles, joints or heart, for example and radiate to the breast.
3. Fatty acid imbalance:
An imbalance of fatty acids within the cells may affect the sensitivity of breast tissue to circulating hormones.
4. Medication use:
Certain hormonal medications, including some infertility treatments and oral birth control pills, may be associated with breast pain. Also, breast tenderness is a possible side effect of estrogen and progesterone hormone therapies that are used after menopause.
Breast pain may be associated with certain antidepressants, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants.
5. Breast size:
Women with large breasts may have noncyclic breast pain related to the size of their breasts. Neck, shoulder and back pain may accompany breast pain due to large breasts.
6. Breast surgery:
Breast pain associated with breast surgery and scar formation can sometimes linger after incisions have healed.
Natural Remedies for Breast Pain
1. Castor Oil
Castor oil is a time-tested remedy for sore breasts. Saturate a clean cloth in castor oil and place it on the sore breast. Cover it with another clean, dry cloth and then place a heating pad on top of that.
Leave it on for at least 30 minutes, more if you have time. Repeat for several days and you’ll soon be feeling much better.
If you suffer from premenstrual breast pain, make sure that you incorporate magnesium-rich foods like bananas, beans, brown rice, oatmeal, and green leafy vegetables into your diet.
If you up your magnesium intake particularly in the week or two before your period, you’ll have less soreness
3. Watch the Salt
In the week or so leading up to your period, cut down on your salt intake as much as possible. Salty foods could be a source of breast pain because they cause bloating.
As much as you might be tempted by premenstrual cravings, try to wait until your period starts to indulge in salty treats.
4. Natural Oils
If neither of these suggestions seems to help, you can try some natural moisturizers like avocado oil or vitamin E. They’ll both bring quick relief.
5. Mother’s Milk
Another great tip for breastfeeding moms: after your baby finishes feeding, rub a little of your milk into the sore nipples. It contains natural antiseptic oils that will moisturize your skin.
As a bonus, the scent it leaves behind will help your baby find your breast faster.
6. Rinse Cycle
If your nipples are sore from breastfeeding, don’t wash them with soap; rinsing with water will do just fine. Soap will dry out the nipples, and interestingly enough, the nipples produce their own antiseptic oils, so you’re not slacking on cleanliness.
7. Limit or eliminate caffeine
Adietary change some women find helpful, although medical studies of caffeine’s effect on breast pain and other premenstrual symptoms have been inconclusive.