BREAST PAIN (MASTALGIA): CAUSES, SIGNS, SYMPTOMS, AND PREVENTIVE MEASURES
Breast pain is also known as mastalgia by doctors. It is a common condition described as a pain, sometimes stabbing, sharp, throbbing, or burning in nature. Also, refers to tightness in the breast tissue. Additionally, it is a common condition among women aged between 30 to 50. Consequently, it affects about 70% of women at some point in their life. The pain might be mild or severe. However, it might be a constant pain or occasional pain. Also, it affects all kinds of genders (like males, females, and third gender). However, women suffer most from this condition.
There are two types of breast pain:
- Cyclical Pain
- Non-cyclical Pain
Cyclical Pain is the type of pain that is related to menstruation. Additionally, it is a common type of pain. Also, almost the majority of women experience this when they are on their periods. Moreover, hormonal fluctuations are referred to as the main cause of such pain.
Non-cyclical pain is not the same as cyclic pain. Also, it is not related to periods. Additionally, it is a pain that stays constantly in one specific location. Therefore, it is a rare kind of pain. Also, Trauma is one of the main factors of such pain.
There are many causes of breast pain. Some of them are:
- Hormonal changes
- Bra fit
- Fibrocystic breast changes
- Inflammation or swelling of the breasts (Mastitis)
- Certain medications
- Shoulder sprain
- Neck sprain
- Back sprain
- Costochondritis. It is the inflammation of the costal cartilage. Also, it connects the ribs to the breastbone.
Signs and Symptoms:
The signs or symptoms of breast pain can be divided into two categories.
Signs of cyclical breast pain are:
- Swelling of breasts
- Tenderness of breasts
- Pain spreads to the underarms
- Intense pain before the start of the period
- Breasts may become lumpy
- A heavy and dull ache
- Stabbing or burning pain
Symptoms of non-cyclic breast pain are-
- It affects one breast. However, the pain may spread across the chest
- Occurs in the post-menopausal state of a woman
- The pain is continuous
- Mastitis. It refers to the inflammation of the mammary gland in the breast.
- Extramammary pain. A person feels as if the source of pain is within the breast. However, the actual location is somewhere else. Therefore, it is also called referred pain.
There are several ways to limit or prevent breast pain. Some of them are:
- A balanced diet and nutrient-rich diet
- High fiber diet
- Limit sodium intake
- Proper bra fitting (not too loose and not too tight)
- Avoid birth control pill
- Treat infection
- Take primrose oil
- Limit caffeine
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