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A Guide to Breast Pain – Causes, Symptoms, And Treatments

Breast Burning Sensations

Burning Sensation In Breast - (Image Credit: Shutterstock)

 

Introduction

Breast pain is common in women. Even men and transgender persons can experience it. Symptoms of breast pain include a burning sensation in the breast, aching and heavy breasts, tender or sore breasts and nipples, etc. Though women feel scared when breast pain happens, often, it is treatable. Hormonal fluctuations, an injury, inflammation, muscle pull, wearing an ill-fitted bra, breastfeeding, and certain medicines may cause breast pain and a burning sensation. If the pain or burning sensation in the breast bothers you, consult your healthcare provider to determine if you need tests done. Non-serious issues, pain relief medicines may come in handy, or your doctor may prescribe medications.

 

What Is Breast Burning Sensation?

Women often fear that they have breast cancer when they feel a burning sensation in their breasts. However, the burning sensation in the breasts can be a hormonal or structural issue and is highly treatable. According to medical doctors, breast pain is rarely linked to breast cancer. Most breast pain is either cyclical or non-cyclical. Cyclical breast pain is tied to women’s menstrual cycle due to a change in estrogen and progesterone levels in their bodies. Many women experience a stabbing or burning sensation in the breast or a heavy, dull ache. Breastfeeding women can also have breast-burning sensations due to clogged milk ducts.

 

What Are The Causes Of Breast Pain?

Breast pain is broadly categorized as cyclical and non-cyclical, and different factors contribute to it. Cyclical breast pain returns cyclically in women during menstruation. The breasts may swell or feel heavy, tender, or lumpy, and women may feel dull or intense pain as their period starts. Postmenopausal women undergoing HRT may also have a similar painful experience. In addition, a clogged milk duct in lactating mother may cause a burning sensation in the breast tissues. An infection within the breast may also cause breast burning sensation. Subareolar abscesses beneath the nipples, neurological disease, bacterial infection, old bra, fibrocystic breasts, and too much caffeine consumption are other factors that contribute to breast pain.

 

Breast Burning Sensation – All The Symptoms To Consider

breast and pain

As discussed, several factors create a burning sensation in the breast and pain. If you are experiencing any of the following reasons, you also look for other accompanying symptoms.

1. Clogged milk duct

Infrequent feeding, clogged nipple pores, or a tight bra may block milk ducts. Breastfeeding women may feel a breast-burning sensation or nipple pain due to a clogged milk duct. Clogged milk duct symptoms include low fever, dense and tender lump or swelling, slower milk flow, and lumpy skin.

2. Ductal ectasia

This occurs when milk ducts in the breast widen and their walls thicken. One symptom of ductal ectasia is thick and sticky nipple discharge. Overweight or obese women[1] or women approaching menopause may suffer from ductal ectasia that causes inflammation, tender nipples, discharge from the nipple, or pain in the nipple. It is one of the benign breast disorders in which ducts around the nipples get plugged.

3. Breast injury

This can cause pain, burning sensation, lump, or tenderness. Female athletes are prone to breast injuries[2], especially the ones involved in playing softball, volleyball, and basketball. Symptoms of typical breast injuries include swelling, scar tissue development, discoloration, abrasion, etc. Car accidents, assaults, or a fall can cause traumatic breast injury.

4. Breast and nipple thrush

‘Why are my nipples sore?’ is commonly asked by women who feel pain in their breasts. Pregnant and breastfeeding women are prone to yeast infection in their nipples and breasts, which causes breast discomfort. Symptoms of nipple thrush include:

  • Cracked or red nipples
  • Sore nipples
  • Itchy or flaky skin on the nipples
  • Stabbing or burning pain in the nipples
  • Nipple sensitivity

‘Why are my nipples sore?’ is commonly asked by women who feel pain in their breast. Though the common types of breast discomfort or pain are benign, it is suggested to take medical advice to rule out serious issues. Women may experience the following symptoms, along with a burning sensation in the breast:

  • Alterations in sensation
  • Tingling feeling in the breast
  • Painful sensitivity to slight touch
  • Nerve soreness
  • Aching nerves
  • Sharp, stabbing pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Breast pain while walking

 

Breast Pain Fast Facts You Need to Know

Breast Pain

Breast pain is not equal to breast cancer. Though breast pain or a burning sensation may scare many women, doctors find it most non-threatening and treatable. So if you have a burning sensation in the breast, relax and take a deep breath before fixing an appointment with your healthcare provider.

Breast pain during menopause. Hormonal alterations during menopause affect breast tissues. Women in perimenopause transition often experience a burning sensation, tenderness, stabbing, or throbbing pain in their breasts.

The treatment for breast pain. In severe breast pain, stick to your GP’s advice. A range of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain relief medications and prescription medications are available for treating breast pain, but some may have adverse effects[3].

 

Most Common Breast Pain Symptoms

Cause breast pain

Depending on the factors that cause breast pain, the symptoms may vary. Here are some common symptoms associated with different types of breast pain:

Cyclical breast pain symptoms. Cyclical breast pain is linked to menstruation. It occurs during the luteal phase when progesterone levels rise. Many women experience mild symptoms that start a few days before a period. However, some women may experience severe pain that may last longer. The following symptoms are common in cyclical mastalgia:

  • Both breasts are affected.
  • The pain can spread to the armpits.
  • There’s an increase in breast size.
  • The breasts feel swollen and heavy.
  • There might be a lumpiness which may improve when the period starts.

Non-cyclical breast pain symptoms. This pain is not linked to the menstrual cycle and may come and go randomly. Women over 40 are most likely to experience this type of breast pain. The symptoms include:

  • Burning sensation in the breast
  • Pain radiating from muscles or tissues around the breast
  • Located in a specific breast area
  • Fibrocystic breasts cause tenderness or pain in the upper and outer breasts
  • Red swelling, fever, or chills
  • Small abscesses beneath the nipple
  • Painful discharge

Though breast pain is not usually linked to breast cancer, consult a doctor promptly if you have a family history of breast cancer.

 

Nipple Pain – The Common Reasons

Why are my nipples sore? If you are scared that your nipples feel sensitive, sore, and tender, you are not alone. Sore nipples are very common in women, especially before, after, and during a period. There are many reasons for sore nipples, so if you wonder why my nipples are sore, read on!

Sore nipples before the period. A sore nipple before the period is a part of cyclical mastalgia. It is a common symptom that happens due to hormone fluctuation. Women can have sore nipples throughout the menstrual cycle.

Boobs Sore After Period. This is quite normal due to hormonal imbalance. As estrogen secretion rises during menstruation, it affects the milk ducts causing boobs to be sore after the menstrual period.

Additionally, breastfeeding, infection, friction with clothes, and washing powder may cause nipple pain.

 

The Reason Behind The Premenstrual Breast Soreness

Breast Soreness

‘Why are my nipples sore?’ is a common question of most women during menstruation. The ratio of estrogen and progesterone fluctuates before the period starts, and this causes aching breasts in women, causing nipple soreness. Estrogen level plummets to the lowest in the menstrual cycle, but the progesterone level remains high. This imbalance causes fluid shifts turning breasts tender. If you have noticed sore nipples before your period or tender or heavy breasts before your cycle starts, you are not alone in suffering.

Symptoms:

  • Heavy, sore, aching breasts
  • Mild to severe pain
  • Extreme breast sensitivity
  • Nipple pain

Treatment:

  • Taking vitamins E and B6[4] and magnesium
  • Moderate aerobic exercises
  • Wearing the right kind/size of bra
  • Lessen salt intake
  • Taking NSAIDs such as ibuprofen

Home remedies:

  • Comfort your breasts with hot and cold compresses
  • Eat a low-fat diet
  • Eliminate or lessen caffeine intake
  • Manage stress and anxiety

 

Signs Of Breast Complication You Shouldn’t Ignore

Breasts change with aging, before menstruation, pregnancy, menopause, and after menopause. Common breast problems are highly treatable and don’t cause cancer. But there’s a tendency to link breast pain with breast cancer, which is wrong. However, if you have a family history of breast cancer, perform a breast self-check regularly. You should be aware of some warning signs, and if any of these are noticeable, promptly consult a physician. Here are some red flag indications:

  • Painless lump or swelling in the armpit or breast.
  • If the skin of your boobs becomes thicker or appears as an orange peel, get it checked without delay.
  • If there’s a change in the shape and size of one breast – unexplained swelling or shrinkage.
  • Nipple pain or nipple retraction.
  • Breasts or nipples becoming dry or flakey and turning red.
  • Bloody or clear discharge from nipples

If the above signs are accompanied by sudden weight loss, low appetite, or visible breast veins, see a doctor and get a total evaluation to know if you have breast cancer.

 

Conclusion

Breast soreness or pain is common in women of different ages. Many women feel nervous or scared when breast pain occurs. But breast pain is not generally associated with breast cancer. Due to hormonal changes during menstruation, you may feel achy, heavy, swollen breasts. Certain medications can also give you breast pain. If you have large breasts, wear a full-support bra with the right size to avoid breast pain. A breast infection may give you considerable pain. In addition, if you experience breast pain accompanied by any red flag indications mentioned above, be sure to check with your healthcare provider for proper assessment.

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All Health Web Magazine content is thoroughly reviewed and/or fact-checked by a team of health industry experts to ensure accuracy.

In keeping with our strict quality guidelines, we only cite academic research institutions, established health journals, or peer-reviewed studies in our content. You will be able to find links to these sources by clicking the numbers in parentheses (1, 2, etc.) that appear throughout our content.

At no time do we advise any of our readers to use any of our content as a substitute for a one-on-one consultation with a doctor or healthcare professional.

We invite you to contact us regarding any inaccuracies, information that is out of date or any otherwise questionable content that you find on our sites via our feedback form.

All Health Web Magazine content is thoroughly reviewed and/or fact-checked by a team of health industry experts to ensure accuracy.

In keeping with our strict quality guidelines, we only cite academic research institutions, established health journals, or peer-reviewed studies in our content. You will be able to find links to these sources by clicking the numbers in parentheses (1, 2, etc.) that appear throughout our content.

At no time do we advise any of our readers to use any of our content as a substitute for a one-on-one consultation with a doctor or healthcare professional.

We invite you to contact us regarding any inaccuracies, information that is out of date or any otherwise questionable content that you find on our sites via our feedback form.