Studies have shown that seventy percent of women experience breast pain during menstruation.
And while it can be serious for a few, it is usually mild for most of them.
There is also the group that experiences breast pain, which is also known as mastalgia, regularly; and a good number of them are advanced in age.
However, the causes of breast pain may vary based on the type or category of breast pain. And according to studies, breast pain can either be categorized as cyclical pain or non-cyclical pain.
1. Cyclical pain
Just as the name implies, cyclical pain is the pain that is associated with menstrual cycle. It is the most common type of breast pain and usually occurs in both breasts.
Known to come with a heaviness or soreness that radiates to the armpit and arm, the primary cause of cyclical breast pain can be linked to the fluctuation of estrogen and progesterone.
However, observations have shown that cyclical pain tends to subside during or after menstruation period.
2. Noncyclical pain
Unlike cyclical pain, noncyclical pain can have many causes which includes injury to the breast, breast size, cysts, muscles or tissues rather than the breast itself, and other numerous unknown factors.
Nevertheless, noncyclical pain has been found to be much less common than cyclical pain, and its causes can be very difficult to identify.
Here are some home remedies for treating cyclical pain
Medical practitioners have advised that applying cold compresses or heating pads to the breasts can help reduce cyclical breast pain.
Additionally, taking a warm bath with soothing essential oils, like rosemary or lavender can help relieve the pain as well.
It has also been advised that wearing loose cotton clothes and massaging breasts in the shower with soap can help bring relieve breast pain.
2. Lifestyle changes
Some experts have also suggested that breast pain may be improved by:
- Reducing your intake of caffeine, which is found in tea, coffee, and cola
- Reducing your intake of saturated fat, which is found in butter, crisps, and fried food
- Not smoking (if you smoke)
However, the benefits of making these changes have not been scientifically proven.
In addition to the solutions stated above, herbal remedies have long been proven to be a natural and economical method of treating breast pain.
And two popular herbs for relieving cyclical breast pain are chaste berry and soy. Chasteberry helps reduce prolactin levels, which in turn reduces breast pain.
On the other hand, soy contains phytoestrogenic compounds, which raise estrogen levels and ease breast pain, making it popular among menopausal women.
Other nutrient-rich food that can help relieve breast pain includes Salmon, avocados, spinach, kale, and guavas.
4. Nonprescription medicines
It is also possible to reduce breast pain with the following nonprescription medicines. But ensure to read and follow the instructions on the label!
- Acetaminophen, such as Tylenol
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen(Advil or Motrin), naproxen (Aleve or Naprosyn), or aspirin (Anacin, Bayer)
However, it is advisable to visit a doctor if breast pain becomes severe or lasts longer than three weeks.