Mastalgia is a condition characterized by tenderness and pain in the breast. Also known as mastodynia, this condition affects almost 80 percent of women all over the world. The condition is often associated mainly with benign breast disorders, like the fibrocystic breast disease. It may also be due to psychological disorders, pre-menstrual syndrome, and in rare cases, an indication of malignancy.
Fibromyalgia and Mastalgia
Fibromyalgia and mastalgia may coexist in women. This has led some to believe that mastalgia may be a potential symptom of the chronic pain syndrome. In fact, a study published in the Clinics Journal focused on this topic.
In the study, researchers investigated the reason behind the coexistence of fibromyalgia and mastalgia. They studied how both these conditions affect pain patterns. The study consisted of 114 female participants. 61 of these women were suffering from breast pain while the remaining 53 had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. All patients in the study had complained about breast pain. This includes patients under the fibromyalgia group who had suffered from mastalgia 3 months before the study has started. Participants answered a Breast Pain questionnaire during the study. All patients under the mastalgia group were also screened for fibromyalgia to determine the coexistence of the two conditions.
Results of the Study
Researchers observed that about 47% of fibro participants were shown to have mastalgia during their admission. In addition, they found out that about 37% of women with mastalgia were also found to have fibromyalgia symptoms. The overall breast pain scores registered in participants belonging to the fibro group were higher than those in the mastalgia group. In addition, participants belonging to the mastalgia group and found to have fibromyalgia showed higher widespread pain. They also scored high in the symptom severity scale as compared to those belonging in the fibro group.
The researchers highlighted that the link between fibromyalgia and mastalgia is more frequent than previously estimated. In addition, mastalgia was seen to be a part of the central sensitivity syndrome. Therefore, researchers concluded that mastalgia is a potential symptom of fibromyalgia.
However, it is important to noted that there are two forms of mastalgia. One is cyclic mastalgia and the other is non-cyclic mastalgia. Cyclic mastalgia is more common, which is mainly due to menstrual periods. On the other hand, non-cyclic mastalgia affects only a small percentage of women and does not indicate pre-menstrual exacerbations.