Women of all ages go through similar kind of problems at a level. Almost all the women experience breast pain of some sort in their life which is caused by an underlying condition. This could be because of multiple reasons and degree of pain may also vary according to different problems. It also happens after the menopause and thus there is almost no escape from it. Breast pain needs to be diagnosed if it remains for longer duration and for that you need to know what all conditions can be responsible for causing breast pain. Today we will discuss about 10 common condition because of which breast pain occurs.
Breast Pain in Women
We talked to Dr. Bindiya Khera, Senior Gynaecologist and Consultant at Sahara Hospital, Lucknow to know about various causes of breast pain. Doctor told us that having breast pain is very common in women of all ages and it usually starts from 12-13 years of age. At this age the reproduction system in the body develops and different changes take place because if which it happens. Then there is tenderness, inflammation, tightening, pregnancy, menstruation and menopause which results in breast pain. Between these stages there are different enzymes and hormones that could also possibly as reason for having breast pain in women.
Various Causes of Breast Pain
1. Having Breast Cysts
Some women have higher tendency to get breast cysts whereas some do not. This totally depends on every individual. Milk duct and glands change at various levels which result in painful breasts and results in the formation of cysts on the breasts.
Cysts are basically small lump formation that cause pain and are filled with some fluid. In some cases they may grow during your menstruation cycle and it becomes hard to handle it. A cyst can be treated easily with some ointment and treatments.
2. Because of Medications
In some point, there are certain medicines that have a big affect on your breast and causes pain. They could be linked to various conditions and treatments such as-
- Cardiovascular treatment
- Drugs that are given for reproductory hormones
- Mental health disorder drugs
- Oral hormonal contraceptives
All these drug treatment may have an effect on your breasts and cause pain in certain way. However it only remains for a given period of time, after the treatment gets over or the effect of medication reduces, the pain also goes away.
3. After Breast Surgery
Breast pain can also happen after breast surgery when there is a formation of scar tissue on the breast. The severity of the pain depends on type of surgery that has been done, in normal surgeries, the pain lasts for a couple of days and then it becomes normal. However if it is a major surgery that involves nerve damage or inflammation of breasts, then it may take breast pain to last for almost a month of more. Usually long term breast pain that occurs after a surgery has the following symptoms-
- Increased sensitivity
- Pain on touching the area
- Reduced sensitivity
- Inability to raise the arm
- Problem in driving or doing works
This condition happens because of inflammation in the breast and the cartilage that connects the ribs with breastbone. This type of condition occurs with arthritis and is quite painful; it results to numbness in the breast and causes physical strain.
It may cause swelling in the breast region and burning pain that may affect people over the age of 40 years more often. Actually the burning pain that is caused in the rib cage is also mistaken for breast pain because it occurs in the same region. Hence it needs to be given medical attention.
5. Fibrocystic Breast Changes
This is a breast condition which is caused because of lump formation, tenderness and swelling. It can cause pain in one or both the breast depending it has affected both breasts or not. Fibrocystic breast cancer occurs when there is fluid build-up in the fibrous tissues of the breasts; it may also result in discharge from the nipples.
- Some changes that may reduce the discomfort are-
- Following a low salt diet
- Using mild pain relief medications
6. Because of Mastitis
This is also a common cause of having breast pain in women. It is a breast infection which usually occurs during breastfeeding. When the milk ducts becomes clogged because of any condition, it results in the condition of mastitis. Symptoms of having mastitis breast cancer includes-
- Changes in the breast like swelling, pain, redness, and getting warm
7. Poor bra fitting
This is experienced by numerous women around the world, sometimes they do not have proper understanding of which bra size should they wear. It is also possible that they take tightly fitted bra to make their breasts look in good shape, this may later cause pain in their breasts. The reason behind this is that the circulation of blood is affected if you wear a tighter bra. Wearing a loose bra also causes pain because of discomfort and lack of support. Hence wearing a right fitting bra is very important.
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8. Breast Cancer
Breast cancer can be very discomforting and it can cause prolong pain in the breasts which might not reduce soon. In some conditions breast cancer does not cause pain, but in other such as having inflammatory breast cancer and tumours may result to pain in the breasts. Breast pain is also a symptom for determining the breast cancer, hence one should get herself checked up once she experiences breast pain for long. Seek a medical help if you experience any of these conditions-
- Lump formation in the breast
- Pain in the breast during menstruation
- Nipple discharge
- Breast pain without a known cause
- Redness, pus or infection in breast of some sort
9. Back, Neck, Shoulder Sprain Causing Breast Pain
Sprain in the body can also cause painful sensations in the breast. Having pain in any of the regions such as back, neck and shoulder also affects breast and leads to pain. Breast pain might also occur if there is problem in the distribution of nerves in the upper torso.
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10. Chest wall pain
Chest wall pain is not one single condition; it is the variety of problems that occur in the chest that result to pain in the breast. Chest wall pain may not be directly affecting your breast but the muscle pull or condition that affects the breast. It can be because of the following other conditions like-
- Pulled muscle in chest
- Inflammation of tissue in ribs or surrounding tissues
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