|Ever-present breast pain isn’t something that should be ignored.
It’s taken me quite a while to even mention it. Partially,
because I’ve always had it and didn’t think it was unusual and partially because, well, it’s embarrassing to talk about.
Since developing breasts at 13 years old, they have hurt. I’ve mostly ignored it, however, until this past month when this pain became a nagging nuisance.
Breast pain is not something I’ve ever talked about with others except the time I got mastitis when breastfeeding and when I was weaning from breastfeeding. That pain was fevered, swollen, and excruciating.
About 10 years ago, I began to have localized, sharp pain in both of my armpits. This type of pain was new and had me worried. I brought it up to my OBGYN at the time. It was time for my annual physical, so she set me up with a mammography appointment with directions to get close to the chest wall and the armpit.
Up On Tippy Toes
As you can imagine, being someone with tender, lumpy breasts makes going to have a mammogram especially daunting. The technician, friendly but fierce, took her job seriously. She had me disrobe to my waste (none of this leaving the hospital green kimono over one shoulder for modesty-sake). She asked for me to raise my right arm up onto the cold metal of the machine while she guided what little breast flesh I have onto the even colder bottom plate of the X-ray machine. To do this, I literally had to stand on my tippy-toes. She bragged, “I’m very good at getting as close to the chest wall as possible.” With an uncomfortable laugh, I leaned in preparing for the paddle to be lowered, smashing my aching breast and pulling in as much of the skin from my underarm as possible. This process, with slightly adjusted angles, was done a few more times on either side.
|Correctly aligned chaturanga dandasana.|
The great news was, my greatest fear was calmed. The specialist my OBGYN had sent me to explained that I had tight muscles (we both surmised from my frequent and probably ill-aligned chaturanga dandasanas as I was heavily into fast-paced yoga at the time). I was given stretches for this area and sent on my way.
To this day, the pain has remained, despite the stretching. However, I now didn’t’ worry about it. My mammograms have been normal, so I just assumed this is how I am. Last year, I was told I had dense breasts and would be getting a more detailed mammogram from now on ( Tomosynthesis which takes more images in rapid slices to create a 3-D image).
Why Do I have Sore Breasts?
Pain GONE! (For two days)
FMS (Fibromyalgia Syndrome) Connection
And so, I’ve gone on a research binge on what might be happening. In a study titled “” and published in the journal found that, “…coexistence of mastalgia and FMS is more frequent than previously estimated, suggesting that these two disorders could share some unknown common mechanisms in their etiopathogenesis. Additionally, mastalgia could be a part of central sensitivity syndrome and could be included among the somatic symptoms in the fibromyalgia criteria based on its high prevalence in patients with FMS. Therefore, patients with FMS should also be asked about the presence of mastalgia during routine examinations.”
Shouldn’t Be Surprised
Taking Care of the Girls
- Lymphatic System (video of explanation)
- Who Can Benefit from Lymphatic Massage
- Breast Massage for Pain
- What is Scattered Fibroglandular Breast Tissue
- Women’s Health: Mastalgia-Breast Heavy Pain
- Non-cyclic Breast Pain: Important Things To Know
- Fibromyalgia and Breast Pain
- Mayo Clinic: Breast Pain Overview
Thank you for your understanding.