Even though there is little research to show the effectiveness of these self-care remedies, some may be worth a try:
Jan. 16, 2013
- Use hot or cold compresses on your breasts.
- Wear a firm support bra, fitted by a professional if possible.
- Wear a sports bra during exercise, especially when your breasts may be more sensitive.
- Experiment with relaxation therapy, which can help control the high levels of anxiety associated with severe breast pain.
- Limit or eliminate caffeine, a dietary change some women find helpful, although medical studies of caffeine's effect on breast pain and other premenstrual symptoms have been inconclusive.
- Follow a low-fat diet and eat more complex carbohydrates, a strategy that's helped some women with breast pain in observational studies.
- Consider using an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) — but ask your doctor how much to take, as long-term use may increase your risk of liver problems and other side effects.
- Keep a journal, noting when you experience breast pain and other symptoms, to determine if your pain is cyclic or noncyclic.
- Golshan M, et al. Breast pain. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Dec. 17, 2012.
- Miltenburg DM, et al. Benign breast disease. Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinics of North America. 2008;35:285.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2013:5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-08373-7..00002-9&isbn=978-0-323-08373-7&about=true&uniqId=343863096-23. Accessed Dec. 17, 2012.
- Salzman B, et al. Common breast problems. American Family Physician. 2012;86:343.
- Pearlman MD, et al. Benign breast disease. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2010;116:747.
- Rodden AM. Common breast concerns. Primary Care: Clinics in Office Practice. 2009;36:103.
- Pruthi S, et al. Vitamin E and evening primrose oil for management of cyclical mastalgia: A randomized pilot study. Alternative Medicine Review. 2010;15:59.
- Parsay S, et al. Therapeutic effects of vitamin E on cyclic mastalgia. The Breast Journal. 2009;15:510.
- Evening primrose oil. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Dec. 18, 2012.
- Gallenberg MM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 20, 2012.
- Pruthi S (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 20, 2012.