Breastfeeding should be a joyful experience, but mastitis, engorgement, and blocked ducts can be painful, debilitating and stressful.
Mastitis & Blocked Ducts
Blocked ducts are usually characterized by a painful, swollen, firm mass in the breast. The skin overlying the blocked duct is often red, but less intensely red than the redness of mastitis. Unlike mastitis, a blocked duct is not usually associated with fever, though it can be.
Mastitis is usually more painful than a blocked duct, and is characterized by bacterial infection of the blocked duct. 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 (flu-like symptoms)
Mastitis can occur for a number of reasons, including:
- Poor latch or sucking
- Missing feeds
- Damage to the nipple, such as cracked nipples or a nipple piercing
Mastitis Ultrasound Treatment
Therapeutic ultrasound and lymphatic massage can be very effective in relieving inflammatory symptoms such as redness, swelling and tenderness, often giving women the relief that they need to continue breastfeeding their baby.
OHP Kelowna chiropractors are trained to use a therapeutic ultrasound, a non-invasive, painless modality producing high intensity sound waves that can be transmitted into the tissue of the breast.
How Mastitis Ultrasound Works
The mastitis ultrasound treatment method involves high-frequency sound waves making a vibration in the breast tissue, helping to reduce swelling and pain. This therapy in conjunction with hot packs, lymphatic stimulation soft-tissue massage of the breast tissue is an effective treatment for mastitis and blocked ducts. Ultrasound is considered to be a safe and effective treatment for mastitis and blocked ducts.
Your breast should feel better after one treatment, and you should have minimal symptoms after two treatments. If possible, OHP Kelowna chiropractors encourage appointments for mastitis ultrasound to be booked for consecutive days and timed as soon as possible after noticing a blockage or palpable lumps in the ducts.