Mastitis is an inflammatory breast condition mainly associated with breastfeeding.
Signs of mastitis include breast firmness, redness, swelling, pain on touch and at rest, fever and a general feeling of being unwell. Mastitis can be both non infective and infective with the same symptoms.
New guidelines from the American Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine 2022 are moving away from the understanding that the cause of mastitis is a ‘milk plug’. Rather, a persistent narrowing of the ducts causing milk status, resulting in the inflammation of the surrounding breast tissue and the development of mastitis symptoms.
The inflammation can then narrow the ducts further, reducing the flow of milk even more.
Physiotherapy can be a great therapeutic step in your treatment for mastitis.
Physiotherapy treatment may include:
- Therapeutic Ultrasound can reduce inflammation and pain quickly.
- Lymphatic Drainage techniques to improve the inflammatory drainage of the breast and gentle breast mobility techniques to enhance milk flow.
- Light taping to promote lymphatic draining and gentle support.
If you have symptoms of mastitis it is also important to also see a lactation consultant for guidance on latch, appropriate expressing etc.