A breast contusion is bruising of the breast tissue, caused by a direct impact to the area. Common examples of this are being hit by a ball such as in hockey or cricket or being elbowed in contact sports. Pain, tenderness and bruising are the main symptoms and these can be helped by icing the area and supporting the breast.
Breast contusion symptoms
Symptoms of a breast contusion will be the obvious pain at the point of impact. Afterward, the patient will feel tenderness and bruising may appear. The breast may appear swollen compared to the other one.
Structure of the breast
The breasts are composed of mainly fatty tissue with the mammary glands and muscle. The muscle is deep so cannot help much in supporting the breast.
Coopers Ligaments help hold the breasts up. They are thin bands interwoven into the breast and are not very strong. If the breasts are not supported properly with a good sports bra then repetitive bouncing from running can stretch the Coopers ligaments permanently.
The main injuries affecting breasts are nipple problems (joggers nipple or friction injury), a direct blow to the breast causing a contusion and repetitive trauma caused by constant movement and bouncing whilst running (jogger's breast).
Apply cold therapy and support the area. Occasionally if the injury is bad you may need to see a Doctor who will aspirate the injury (suck of the fluid with a needle). Wearing the correct sports bra which can include padding for protection. In some sports such as martial arts, a plastic cupped bra can be worn over the top