Ladies, I’m here to tell you — your body is always communicating with you. So, pay attention!
We have amazing bodies that signal us all the time. And those messages don't always mean something scary is going on, so let’s stop putting our head in the sand when our bodies feel ... "off."
And it turns out, our "girls" have a lot to say.
In case you didn't know, they're made of lymph glands, ducts and lobes, fat and fibrous tissue. As such, our breasts swell and shrink; they have lumps and sometimes pain. But we don’t always know why, and that can freak us out. Our minds usually leap to our biggest fear: breast cancer.
But there are a variety of "normal" things that can cause pain or tenderness in your breasts. So let’s bring those tatas out into the light of day and talk about them. Here are four possible reasons your boobs feel so sore:
1. Your bra is poking or pinching
Are you wearing an underwire bra, or a bra that’s too tight or ill fitting? An international survey found that 64 percent of women wear the wrong bra size (and 29 percent of those women KNEW they were wearing the wrong size ... what's up with that?). And ill-fitting bra pinches, pokes, and aggravates your breasts, potentially causing sore spots and tenderness. Love your boobs enough to get a properly fitting bra (and replace it when it wears out or loses its support or shape). Or better, go bra-free when you can. What woman doesn't love the relief of taking her bra off at the end of a long day?
2. It's that time of the month
Our breasts change throughout each month, in harmony with our menstrual cycle. Right before your period, hormones fluctuate. Estrogen causes breast ducts to enlarge while progesterone production causes the milk glands to swell. The result is swollen and tender breasts. during different times in our cycles. Diet can make things worse. Caffeine, alcohol, and foods high in fat and salt usually increase discomfort. Switch to a wireless bra at this time of month to ease pressure on tender breast tissue.
3. Blame it on drugs
SSRI’s (medications for depression) and other medications can sometimes cause breast sensitivity. And, of course, the hormones in birth control pills are notorious for causing changes in your breasts. Speak with your healthcare provider about taking an OTC pain reliever to help ease symptoms while you take that medication.
4. You're knocking them around too hard
Despite how roughly they're sometimes man-handled (pun intended), your breasts are actually quite sensitive. A whack from an elbow can leave a mark. Also, because your pectoral muscles are underneath your breasts, weight-lifting, chest presses, or high-impact cardio can make your boobs feel incredibly sore. A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine reports that more than half of well-endowed women and 25 percent of those who wore an A cup or smaller reported experiencing breast pain post-workout. So, handle your "girls" with care and remember: a quality sports bra is your friend.
So, other than changing your bra, what else can you do to ease breast pain? There are a few great options:
- Try taking some supplements. Talk to your alternative healthcare provider about adding fish oil, primrose oil, essential fatty acids, and Vitamin D to your diet (via food or supplements). Your body needs those good oils to support and nourish your lovely breasts.
- Apply castor oil packs. This is an age-old cure that's wonderful for cramps, and also works on breast tenderness. Dr. Christine Northrop, MD is a great proponent of them. She recommends them for breast tenderness, lumpiness, inflammation, pain, cysts, and calcifications. Apply a castor oil pack to your breasts three times per week for one hour for a span of two or three months. This often eliminate breast pain, particularly if there is swelling of breast tissue. You can maintain the program once a week after that.
- Jump on a rebounder. Rebounding (jumping on a small trampoline) for five to 30 minutes per day is a powerful way to care for your lymphatic system. If you can't do that, walk or do some yoga or tai chi. The lymph system can’t circulate on its own, so it needs the body to move to help flush medications and toxins out.
- Give your "girls" a massage. Breast massage also helps stimulate your lymphatic system. You can definitely do it yourself, but why not get your partner in the action and give in to your sensual side?
Whether they're big and bodacious or itty bitty, your tatas are beautiful. So don't neglect them when they're clearly telling you they need some TLC. Give your boobs some love, and they will love you back.