Breasts Feeling Sore: 10 Causes and Relief Remedies

How sore, where the pain is and how long it lasts can be different for every woman. It can come as an aching, throbbing, dull, sharp or stabbing pain. It may be located in part of the breast or felt in the entire breast, both of them, or even your armpit. For most, the tenderness will hardly seem noticeable. Others will have their daily life impacted because the pain is so great. It generally will go away with time. There are several reasons why your breasts may be sore.

Why My Boobs Feel Sore?

1. PMS

Many women understand tender breasts may be a sign of their impending period. It is the normal response in the body for the shift in estrogen, causing tenderness and swelling the day before and the first day of your flow. This type of tenderness is called cyclic pain because of its relation to your menstrual cycle. It generally subsides when your period ends. You can use birth control to help keep estrogen stable. You can use OTC pain relievers or primrose oil supplements to ease the pain.

2. Heavy Workouts

Did you drive home a serious workout or get in a bunch of pushups? If you did, you may think you’re suffering from breast pain when it’s tender muscles underneath. Those pectoral muscles may have received a workout and are tender. You can find relief with pain meds or heating pads.

3. Pulled Muscle

Even if you haven’t been hitting the gym extra hard, you may have pulled a muscle moving something around the house. If you were doing some unusual physical activity, it is likely you pulled a muscle and that is why your boobs fell sore. Treat this discomfort in the same way you would for overexertion.

4. Clothing Doesn’t Fit

Clothing that doesn’t fit properly can cause serious problems. If you have a bra with too small of cups or that is too tight, the underwire may be digging in, all day. This can create sore boobs. Make sure you are wearing clothing that fits properly to stay comfortable.

5. Lack of Support

If you are exercising and not providing enough support for the ‘girls’, you can wind up tender. The bouncing and jolting can cause strain on your breast tissue. Studies indicate one in three female runners will report that boobs feel sore. Get properly fitted for the right sports bra to prevent digging in, slipping out or spilling over.

6. Lumpy Breasts

Some women have fibrocystic breast tissue, or lumpy breast tissue. This can mean you will see definite tenderness, especially during your menstruation. This uneven breast tissue is not linked to cancer and is actually fluid-filled cysts. They may be more sensitive during hormone changes. 

7. Too Much Caffeine

There are studies indicating that cutting caffeine out can help alleviate discomfort. This is especially true if you have a heavy habit. It may make your fibrocystic breast tissue have problems. If you are concerned, you should ask your doctor about it.

Generally speaking, breast tenderness shouldn’t make you concerned, especially when not accompanied with lumps. If the pain lingers, you should visit your doctor.

8. Birth Control

This can be another symptom caused by birth control. Whether you are on the ring or on birth control pills, your body will need time to adjust to the hormones. This can have side effects–your boobs feel sore. Hopefully, this will disappear after some time on the pills. If you don’t see improvement, speak to your doctor about possibly a different formula or brand. 

9. Infection

Did you think your breasts couldn’t get an infection? The truth is, they can. It can be caused by a number of things such as clogged sweat glands, blocked milk ducts, ingrown hairs or bacterial illnesses. They tend to have other symptoms such as swelling, redness, nipple discharge or a fever. If you have any of these, please see your doctor immediately.

10. Pregnancy

The hormone that causes breast tenderness, progesterone, jumps in production when you are first pregnant. For many women, breast tenderness is the first sign of pregnancy. This may seem scary, but often there are subtle differences in the kind of pain. If the soreness is from pregnancy, it usually is accompanied by other symptoms as well. 

How to Relieve Breast Soreness

Diagnosing Breast Soreness

Your doctor may consider the following to discern why your breasts are tender:

Managing Breast Soreness

Pain management is different for everyone. There are some things that you can do to help with the discomfort and soreness.

It may take a few weeks, but the following may help:

Other things to try: 

If you are unable to find relief with various OTC aids, then you should seek the advice of your doctor or OB.

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