Breast injuries in both men and women can result from the pressure of the seat belt during an accident, blunt force trauma and repetitive sports movement, such as during an extended run. Treatment requires both prevention and care.
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Injuries to the breast can result from a direct blow from a blunt object, nipple problems from friction and repetitive trauma from movement and bouncing.
When the breast has suffered an injury, symptoms include swelling, pain, firmness, discolouration or a hard painful ring surrounding the nipple. Calcium deposits (breast calcifications) can result from injury but won't show up until a later mammogram.
At first, use ice massage by freezing water in a styrofoam cup, tearing a portion of the cup away and rubbing firmly over the sore area. Do this for 15 minutes, three or four times a day. After 48 hours, apply heat via heat lamps, heating pads, hot showers or ointments. Wear an elastic bandage wrap in between the treatments.
If a lump forms in the breast and does not dissipate after a few weeks, see a doctor. Breast calcifications that appear on a mammogram should be investigated further, although they are usually harmless and noncancerous.
Wear a sports bra to provide support. Wear protective gear for the chest if there is a high risk of injury. Apply petroleum jelly or zinc oxide tape to nipples before exercise to reduce friction injuries. Protect an injured area until it is fully healed.
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