Physio for mastitis

Mastitis is pain and inflammation of the breast, usually in breastfeeding mothers.

Non-infective mastitis is when a milk duct gets blocked and milk builds up within the breast, causing painful lumps and bumps.

Infective mastitis is when bacteria enters the breast. Symptoms include:

  • A red, swollen, hot and painful breast
  • Tight and shiny skin over the affected area, sometimes streaked with red
  • Fever, aches, pains and feeling very unwell

You should see your GP as soon as possible if you think you have infective mastitis, as you might need treatment with antibiotics.

What causes mastitis?

Mastitis happens for a number of reasons, including:

  • Poor latch or sucking
  • Missing feeds
  • Weaning
  • Damage to the nipple, such as cracked nipples or a nipple piercing

Ultrasound therapy for mastitis

If you’re a breastfeeding mum, a physio can apply therapeutic ultrasound to help clear a blocked milk duct.

This method involves high-frequency sound waves making a vibration in the breast tissue, helping to reduce swelling and pain. We will use this therapy in conjunction with lymphatic stimulus and soft-tissue massage of the breast tissue.

Your breast should feel better after one treatment, and you should have minimal symptoms after two treatments. If your breast hasn’t cleared after two visits, you’ll need to go back to your GP.

If possible, you should make your appointments for consecutive days and time them for just before a feed.

Ultrasound is considered to be a relatively safe treatment with little potential for side effects, however you should speak to us first if you’re pregnant.

We hope you find this article helpful and informative, however it is not intended as medical advice and should not be taken as such. We always recommend you see a medical professional if you have specific concerns about your health.

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