What are the treatments for breast pain?

  • Use less salt.
  • Wear a supportive bra.
  • Apply local heat to the painful area.
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers sparingly, as needed.
  • Avoid caffeine. Well-designed studies have not shown that avoiding caffeine can treat breast pain. However, many women report significant improvement in their symptoms when they reduce their intake of tea, coffee, chocolate, and energy drinks.
  • Try Vitamin E. Studies have not consistently shown benefits of vitamin E for treating breast pain, though some women find it helpful. Using vitamin E for a few weeks to see if it will help is unlikely to cause any harm. However, long-term use of vitamin E supplementation is not recommended for breast pain, as there are some studies suggesting this may not be safe.
  • Try evening primrose oil. Similar to vitamin E, studies have not consistently shown evening primrose oil to be helpful in treating breast pain, though it does help some women. Evening primrose oil is found over-the-counter. Side effects might include nausea, diarrhea, and headaches. In the past, there was concern that certain patients might be at increased risk of seizures when taking this supplement, though this is now disputed.
  • Try Omega–3 fatty acid. Though not proven to be effective in rigorous studies, some women find increased intake of fish oils/omega-3 supplements to be helpful. Natural dietary sources include: dark green leafy vegetables, ocean-raised ("wild") cold-water fish, flax, walnuts, and sesame. Omega-3 supplements are also available by prescription and over-the-counter.
  • Give it time. Most commonly, pain goes away on its own after a few months, without the need for any treatment.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/29/2014.

References

  • National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. Breast Pain Accessed 6/3/2014.
  • Cleveland Clinic Center for Women’s Health.
  • Centers for Disease Control. Breast Cancer Facts Accessed 6/3/2014.

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