Breast tenderness can cause a lot of discomfort (especially while moving) as well as heaviness, soreness and increased sensitivity of the breasts.
Breast tenderness refers to softness in the breast tissues accompanied by pain. It is common to experience breast tenderness just before your menstrual cycle, during pregnancy, while breastfeeding and after menopause. During these times, hormonal fluctuations take place in the body that cause the breasts to hurt and swell.
Other causes of tender breasts include a condition called fibrocystic (lumpy) breasts, your diet, shoulder or muscle pain, chest congestion, certain medications, smoking and poorly fitted bras.
For many women, breast tenderness and pain resolves on its own over time. However, there are many home remedies that can help ease the tenderness. From herbs to dietary and lifestyle changes, there are many things that can help you get rid of the discomfort.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for breast tenderness.
1. Gentle Massage
Many times, muscle pain in the chest or upper body can contribute to breast tenderness. In such a scenario, massage helps a lot.
Massage improves blood circulation, which helps reduce the pain and tenderness. It also keeps fluid retention in check, further reducing the discomfort.
- Apply some warm olive or coconut oil on your breasts.
- Gently massage one of your breasts using upward strokes, followed by circular motions.
- Repeat on the other breast in a similar pattern.
- Do this 2 or 3 times a day until your condition improves.
Note: When massaging your breasts, do it gently and never opt for a deep tissue massage.
2. Ice Pack
To deal with breast tenderness and pain, an ice pack also helps a lot. Ice packs are especially good for alleviating pain due to some kind of injury or fibrocystic breasts as well.
The cold temperature helps numb the nerves around your breasts, which in turn reduces tenderness and dulls the pain.
- Wrap a handful of ice cubes in a small piece of cotton cloth.
- Place it over the painful area, such as under the breast or on the right or left side.
- Keep it there until the ice cubes are completely melted.
- Repeat this remedy 3 times a day to soothe tender breasts.
Caution: Do not apply ice directly on your breasts, as it may damage your skin and breast tissue.
3. Warm Compress
Some women may find relief by using a warm compress or taking a warm bath. Using heat on tender breasts helps relax the sore muscles and reduce the pain.
A warm compress also helps by increasing blood circulation in the breasts.
- Soak a hand towel in a bowl of warm water and squeeze out the excess water.
- Place the warm, moist towel over the affected area.
- Keep it on until the towel cools off.
- Do it 3 or 4 times in a row.
- Repeat this remedy 2 or 3 times a day to get rid of tenderness and soreness.
4. Supportive Bra
An uncomfortable or poorly fitted bra can cause mild breast pain and tenderness. So, when you suddenly suffer from mild breast tenderness for no apparent reason, consider changing your bra.
It is recommended not to wear a bra that is too tight or has underwires. Instead, opt for a soft sports bra or a well-padded bra without underwires to support your tender breasts.
Wear a sports bra while exercising, especially when your breasts are more sensitive. If needed, wear your bra to bed to reduce nighttime jostling.
When shopping for a new bra, make sure it cups your breasts perfectly and does not pinch your breasts. Always throw away old and stretched-out bras, as they do not provide the support your breasts need.
5. Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose oil is rich in linoleic acid that helps make the breasts less sensitive to hormonal changes. This will ease breast tenderness and pain if you often suffer from this problem before your periods.
- Apply warm evening primrose oil on the affected area and around the armpits. Gently massage the breasts using upward strokes and circular motions. Repeat twice a day for best results.
- You can opt to take 500 mg of evening primrose oil standardized extract daily for about 3 months, but only after consulting your doctor.
Caution: Pregnant women and women with a history of epilepsy should not use evening primrose oil.
6. Castor Oil
Castor oil contains ricinoleic acid, which has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. This greatly helps reduce breast tenderness and pain.
It also heals the nerves and promotes better blood flow.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of castor oil with 2 tablespoons of any lighter oil, such as olive oil.
- Massage it over your tender breasts.
- Then, put a warm cloth over your breasts for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Rinse the oil off with lukewarm water.
- Do this once daily until the tenderness is gone.