Women may experience breast pain and swelling due to injury or trauma, infections, breastfeeding complications, cancer, or surgery. Overuse or injury of the pectoralis muscle can result in a strain and cause breast pain and swelling. Many times there is pain along the sternum (breastbone) and anterior chest wall. Another source of breast pain may be costochondritis which is an inflammation of the junctions where the upper ribs join with the cartilage that holds them to the sternum. Trauma can include vigorous coughing or vomiting. The resulting strong, sustained contractions of the intercostal (rib) muscles can lead to chest wall tenderness that may be perceived as breast pain. Some women experience mastitis, infection of the breast glands/ducts, which can lead to obstruction, pain, and result in inability to breastfeed your newborn. Blocked ducts, stress, fatigue, cracked nipples, and previous mastitis are risk factors. Women faced with breast cancer may develop musculoskeletal impairments following mastectomy and breast reconstruction. Lymphedema and weakness are complications that can affect the entire arm. Women who have undergone breast augmentation may experience swelling, scar tissue tightness and myofascial pain.
How can Pamela Morrison Physical Therapy help with breast issues?
These are all serious breast issues and Pamela Morrison Physical Therapy, P.C. can provide you with an expert evaluation and sensitive care of your specific complaint. Whether the breast issue is from trauma, disease, surgery, or breastfeeding complications, we evaluate the entire upper quadrant. This can include assessing the cause of pain and swelling, neck and arm range of motion, strength, scar tissue mobility, joint mobility, and flexibility. Treatment may consist of pain relieving modalities, manual therapy, prescriptive exercises, and stretching. Other more specific treatment can include manual lymphedema drainage to reduce accumulation of lymph fluid post-mastectomy. Our therapists are trained in a specific protocol to quickly resolve obstructed breast ducts and help resolve or prevent mastitis.