Self-management

Lifestyle and home remedies

Even though there is little research to show the effectiveness of these self-care remedies, some may be worth a try:

  • 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.
Dec. 31, 2015
References
  1. Golshan M, et al. Breast pain. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 24, 2015.
  2. Jokich PM, et al. ACR Appropriateness Criteria breast pain. American College of Radiology (ACR). https://acsearch.acr.org/docs/3091546/Narrative/. Accessed Oct. 24, 2015.
  3. Rapkin AJ, et al. Premenstrual syndrome. First consult. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 24, 2015.
  4. Balleyguiera C, et al. Breast pain and imaging. Diagnostic and Interventional Imaging. 2015;96:1009.
  5. Mastalgia (breast pain). Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gynecology-and-obstetrics/breast-disorders/mastalgia-breast-pain. Accessed Oct. 24, 2015.
  6. Rodden AM. Common breast concerns. Primary Care: Clinics in Office Practice. 2009;36:103.
  7. Pruthi S (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 1, 2015.
  8. Rikers A. Breast Disease:  Comprehensive Management. New York, N.Y.: Springer; 2015: 79.
  9. Vitamin E fact sheet for consumers. National Institutes of Health. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminE-Consumer/. Accessed November 11, 2015.