Breast pain can be worrying. And while the chances of developing cancer is unlikely, breast pain is still alarming regardless of the chances.
Truth be told, there are several reasons why women experience it. One of the most common causes of breast pain is wearing a bra of the wrong size. In fact, more than 70% of women wear the wrong bra size, which causes pain, discomfort, irreversible sagging, and even injury when performing vigorous physical activities, according to a study.
In addition to pain, a woman can also experience throbbing, weakness, and fullness. For this reason, it is your responsibility to always pay proper attention to the health of your breasts.
To help keep you informed health and wellness experts from Vivotion have listed below the possible reasons behind the symptoms, including some tips to find comfort from them.
What Every Woman Should Know About Breast Pain And How They Can Deal With It
Pectoral muscle strains are common in most athletes, but anyone, including you, can experience this.
Your pectoral muscles lie beneath and around your breasts. So when you strain this muscle, you will feel the pain that’s coming from your chest.
Muscle strain is typically limited to one breast. You may also experience swelling, difficulty moving your arm or shoulder, or even bruising. Moreover, typical household activities like raking or lifting your baby can also lead to a pectoral strain.
Dealing with Muscle Strain
What you can do is rest. Allowing yourself to rest is probably the most important to find relief. Or you can do some stretching, yoga or Pilates at home.
You can also treat the pain and inflammation with medications like Advil and Aleve.
Bump or Bruises
Bumps or bruises can also happen on your chest. Most commonly it could be due to carrying a heavy cross-body bag, but it can even be caused by bumping into things.
But you don’t have to worry because this kind of pain is minor which generally fades in a few days.
Dealing with Bump or Bruises
To help ease your symptoms and reduce swelling, you can take a pain reliever like Advil and Aleve. You can also apply a cold or hot compress, whichever works to soothe the pain.
Changing your bra into a more comfortable one (without underwire) can also be a great solution to ease the pain, as well.
Commonly known as cyclical breast pain, this can be experienced because it’s associated with your menstrual cycle and hormonal changes.
Did you know that a few days before your period begins, your breasts can swell, which also can be painful or even lumpy? But this type of pain will ease as soon as your period ends.
Dealing with Your Period
What you can do is avoid drinking caffeine for a while as coffee can increase discomfort. Also, reduce your salt intake as salt can increase the swelling in your breasts.
Getting plenty of sleep helps, too! Taking a pain reliever or apply a cold or heat compress can be your other options.
Sign of Pregnancy
Your body goes a lot of hormonal changes during your pregnancy stage.
In the first week of pregnancy, your breast is more swollen and tender. Not only that but your nipples might also stick out.
Dealing with Pregnancy
However, if your breast pain is severe, might as well go to your OB-GYN and tell your concerns. You should also tell your doctor if the pain makes you weak, if you notice some changes in your skin, or if you feel a lump.
Mothers can often experience sore nipples during their first breastfeeding session. Improper latching can cause breast pain.
Dealing with Breastfeeding
What you can do is seek help from your doctor or lactation consultant if both of your nipples and breast are sore, or if you start experiencing symptoms of mastitis, such as redness, pain, and flu-like symptoms.
How Can Exercise Cause Breast Pain?
If you’re a fitness enthusiast and breast pain is one of your main concerns, there are things you need to keep in mind.
When it comes to physical activities, high-impact exercises such as running or jumping, can place the tension on the supporting structure of the breasts, resulting in breast pain, according to Lakeside Healthcare.
How Do Breasts Move During Exercise?
While the breast has limited natural support, studies have found how do breasts of a woman move when exercising without a bra.
Researchers revealed that any unsupported or multidirectional movements of a woman’s breasts, such as up-down, in-out, and side-to-side during an exercise could range from 4cm during a walk to 15cm when running.
Nevertheless, breast motion is not just an issue for women with larger breasts.
Importance of Wearing Well-Fitted Sports Bras When Working Out
There are still chances you might not be paying attention to the health of your breasts when working out. And although the muscles in your chest might be toned-up or well-defined, your breast tissues are highly possible to lose since breasts don’t have muscles.
According to Professor Joanna Scurr, who heads the Research Group in Breast Health or RGBH, working out while wearing a well-fitted sports bra is as crucial as running in the right type of trainers.
Regardless of breast size, you may be surprised how wearing the right size of sports bra can make a difference to your workout, overall health and wellbeing.
Whether it’s for working out or not, a proper fitting and supportive bra can help not only in relieving breast pain but also in preventing back and neck pain, and irreversible breast sag.
In addition, sports bras are perfect for any occasion participation when it comes to playing sports activities.
Know When You Should Wear a Sports Bra
Keep in mind that supportive sports bras are just as essential for occasional exercise as it is for the regular ones.
So make sure to wear a sports bra in all types of physical activity whether you’re going for a low-impact or high-impact activities, and exercise of short and long duration.
Know When You Should Replace Your Sports Bra
To be sure that your sports bra is still giving you the best support it can provide, it is crucial to replace it regularly.
How often you need to replace it will depend on how often you wear it and how often you wash it.
Isabel Speckman is a North Carolina-based freelance writer and work-from-home mother of three. In her 10 years as a professional writer, she’s worked in proposal management, grant writing, and content creation. Her writing skills may be confirmed independently on vivotion.com. Personally, she’s passionate about teaching her family how to stay safe, secure and action-ready in the event of a disaster or emergency.