Life as a new mum involves challenge after challenge. Adjusting everything in your usual routine, coming to terms with the sleepless nights, long days and constant feeds. Imagine on top of all of this developing a blocked milk duct or mastitis. You may well have experienced this, or know someone who has – after all it is thought that around 10% of breastfeeding women experience mastitis, with many more having a duct blockage at some point.
Early symptoms of a blocked duct include a red, sore, or hardened area of the breast. If left unmanaged this can progress to mastitis which usually consists of increasing pain, redness and swelling in the affected area of the breast, and often a fever or flu-like symptoms.
Most people don’t realise that Physio may help with this!
Research shows the use of therapeutic ultrasound can be effective in managing a blocked duct, helping with these symptoms and therefore avoiding progression onto mastitis. If infection is present, and you have been prescribed antibiotics, evidence has also shown ultrasound to improve their effectiveness by increasing cell wall uptake.
If you are unable to clear the blockage yourself within hours, seek help! If a blocked duct is caught early, Physiotherapy can help to clear the blockage. Therapeutic ultrasound treatment takes just minutes and can be combined with effleurage / massage to help clear the ducts. Usually only 1-3 treatment sessions are required. However, if symptoms persist or you start to feel unwell see your GP as antibiotics may be needed.