Mastitis in women
Sore and engorged breasts are the last thing a new mum needs to deal with and is a common complaint of lactating women, apart from a decreased and insufficient milk production.
Mastitis is an inflammation of the breast often as a result of a milk stasis. This build up of milk protein is interpreted as a foreign substance, signally the body to mobilise its immune army to help resolve this. In the process there is increased blood flow and a migration of inflammatory mediators which results in heat and sometimes redness of the area. In worst case scenario, persistent block ducts may lead to abscess formation therefore it is imperative to work along side your lactation consultant to determine the cause of your symptoms.
Therapeutic ultrasound is a quick and effective non-pharmacological treatment for the inflammatory symptoms of Mastitis as it helps to breaks down the blockage and prevents ongoing symptoms. It also enhances healing rates, tissue relaxation, local blood flow and tissue healing.
We also focus on manual handling techniques such as lymphatic drainage, supportive taping, positioning and self-management techniques to ease the pain and also to prevent recurrence.
Seeking help from a Women’s Health Physiotherapist can be incredibly beneficial in keeping you on your breastfeeding track. I work alongside your Lactation Consultant to help you determine the source of your problems. I can also help to recommend a Lactation Consultant, if required.
Amir, L. H., & Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine Protocol, C. (2014). ABM clinical protocol #4: Mastitis, revised March 2014. Breastfeed Med, 9(5), 239-243. doi:10.1089/bfm.2014.9984
Cooper, B. B., & Kowalsky, D. (2015). Physical Therapy Intervention for Treatment of Blocked Milk Ducts in Lactating Women. Journal of Womenʼs Health Physical Therapy, 39(3), 115-126. doi:10.1097/jwh.0000000000000037
Witt, A. M., Marinelli, K. A., Gill, S. L., Bolman, M., Kredit, S., & Vanic, A. (2015). Therapeutic Breast Massage in Lactation for the Management of Engorgement, Plugged Ducts, and Mastitis. Journal of Human Lactation, 32(1), 123-131. doi:10.1177/0890334415619439