Breast pain, also called mastalgia, is a very common condition experienced by women and may also occur in men and boys. There are various causes of breast pain, such as menstruation, pregnancy, menopause, and cancer. The severity of the pain varies, but is usually not related to a serious condition. There are several treatments you can use to reduce breast pain, depending on your symptoms and medical diagnosis.
Method 1 of 2: Relieve Breast Pain at Home
Step 1. Wear a comfortable and supportive bra
Your choice of bra can affect how you feel about your breasts. Wearing a comfortable bra that supports the breasts firmly can help relieve pain and also protect them from the effects of gravity.
- Make sure your bra choice is properly measured by an expert. A bra that doesn't fit your breasts can cause pain. You can see a professional to find the right bra at most department stores and lingerie stores.
- Do not wear underwire bras and push-up bras for several days. Wear a comfortable camisole with a built-in bra or a sports bra for lightweight support.
- Don't wear a bra to bed if possible. If you need support, wear a sports bra made of well-ventilated fabric.
Step 2. Wear a sports bra when you exercise
If you are active and exercise regularly, buy a supportive sports bra. Sports bras are specially designed to help protect and support the breasts from the effects of sports and help reduce the discomfort you feel in your breasts.
- Sports bras are available in a variety of styles, sizes and types of support.
- Women who have large breasts should buy a sports bra with a more stable and firm support. If your breasts are small, you may not need the same amount of support.
Step 3. Compress your breasts
Use a cold compress on the painful area of the breast. This compress can help reduce swelling and relieve pain.
- You can use the ice pack as often as needed for 20 minutes at a time.
- You can freeze a plastic bag filled with water to gently massage the sore breast.
- You can also try frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel. Frozen vegetables can adjust to the shape of the breast and may be more comfortable than an ice pack.
- Remove the compress if it is too cold or numbs the skin. Tuck a towel between the ice pack and skin to help prevent frostbite.
Step 4. Use heat therapy on the sore breast
Using heat on tense muscles can not only relax the muscles and relax you, but it can also help reduce pain. There are many types of heat treatments that can help reduce breast tenderness, from heat pads to warm baths.
- A warm bath or bath will relax you and help relieve breast pain.
- Fill a bottle with hot water or buy a heat pad and place it over the breast.
- Over-the-counter hot rubbing creams can also help reduce pain, although you should be careful not to get them on your nipples. You should also avoid this cream if you are breastfeeding.
Step 5. Limit or avoid caffeine
Several studies linking caffeine and breast pain are still inconclusive, but doctors recommend reducing or avoiding caffeine altogether. This can help reduce breast pain.
- Drinks such as soda, coffee, and tea contain caffeine.
- Foods that use chocolate and some coffee-flavored ice cream may also contain caffeine.
- If you take caffeine pills to stay awake, avoid them as long as you have breast pain.
Step 6. Change your diet
Cut back on fat and increase the amount of complex carbohydrates you eat. There is some evidence to suggest that making changes to your diet can help relieve breast pain.
- Eat lean meats such as chicken and fish for protein and avoid other high-fat foods such as junk food and fried foods.
- You can get complex carbohydrates from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Step 7. Take nutritional supplements
Some studies show that nutritional supplements can help relieve breast pain. Adding vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E and iodine can reduce the pain you feel.
- Try 600 IU of vitamin E per day, 50 mg of vitamin B6 per day, and 300 mg of magnesium per day.
- You can get iodine from salt or liquid doses of 3–6 mg per day.
- Evening primrose oil, which contains linoleic acid, can help with breast sensitivity to hormonal changes. Use three grams of evening primrose oil per day.
- You can get supplements and vitamins at many pharmacies and drug stores.
Step 8. Massage your breasts
Gently massaging the breast and surrounding tissue can relieve pain and also help you relax.
- Several studies show that massage can release tension and stretch tense muscles.
- Make sure you massage your breasts gently. Do not let you damage the fragile breast tissue. Massaging your face or just massaging your ears will also relieve tension.
Step 9. Take pain medication
Take pain medication for severe pain and/or as needed. Pain relievers can reduce breast tenderness and swelling.
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen sodium or acetaminophen.
- Ibuprofen and naproxen sodium may also help reduce swelling.
Method 2 of 2: Using Medical Treatment for Breast Pain
Step 1. Visit a doctor
If home treatments don't work or if your breast pain is affecting your daily life, see a doctor. Breast pain is very common and treatable, and early medical diagnosis can help reduce the pain and/or get proper treatment for the real cause.
- You can see a general practitioner or visit an obstetrician/gynecologist, who specializes in treating conditions such as tendinitis.
- The doctor will do a physical examination to check for pain and also feel for abnormalities in the breast. Your doctor may also ask about your medical history, including factors such as what activities you do and what medications you take.
- The drug that may be prescribed is the oral medication Bromocriptine.
Step 2. Apply anti-inflammatory cream on the breast
Ask your doctor to prescribe a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory cream or buy an over-the-counter cream at the pharmacy. This cream can help relieve pain and reduce swelling associated with breast tenderness.
Apply the cream directly on the sore breast area
Step 3. Adjust the type and dose of birth control pills
Because birth control pills usually contain hormones, they may be contributing to the pain you feel. Talk to your doctor about changing the dose or pills you take, which may help relieve breast pain.
- Not taking placebo pills for a week can also help with breast pain.
- Switching birth control methods to non-drug methods can also help.
- Make sure you talk to your doctor before stopping or changing birth control pills.
Step 4. Cut back on hormone therapy medication
If you are taking hormone therapy for menopause or another condition, talk to your doctor about reducing or stopping the dose of the medication. This may help relieve breast aches and pains, but it also has other side effects.
Talk to your doctor if you intend to cut back on your medication, stop it, or try alternative hormone treatments
Step 5. Consider the drugs Tamoxifen and Danazol
The drug is a short-term solution to extreme pain and is a last resort for women who don't respond to other therapies. Talk to your doctor and consider one of these medications to help with breast pain.
- Danazol and Tamoxifen require a doctor's prescription.
- Be aware that both of these medications have side effects such as weight gain, acne, and voice changes.
Step 6. Get into relaxation therapy
If breast pain is stressing you out, consider relaxation therapy. Although the results of studies in this regard are inconclusive, some evidence suggests that relaxation therapy can help relieve breast pain by controlling the anxiety that accompanies it.