Sarah* is a 39 year old mother of three whose last baby was 4 months old at the time of her first Physiotherapy consultation. Sarah* suffered from mastitis in all of her past pregnancies, throughout the breast feeding period. Her physician and midwife had explained to her that she had blocked breast ducts.
Four weeks prior to coming into the practice, Sarah* had experienced an acute bout of mastitis, she was treated with antibiotics and had been to see a lactation consultant. The consultant had given her strategies to reduce her breast engorgement and blocked ducts. Sarah* had also been advised to consult with a Women’s Health Physiotherapist to treat her blocked ducts.
On physical examination there was visible engorgement of the breast ducts, palpable hardness and tenderness in both breasts. Sarah* had no signs of acute infection/inflammation and was treated with therapeutic ultrasound, to dilate the blocked ducts. To help to further relieve her symptoms, Sarah* was taught gentle massage techniques.
Her Physio showed her techniques to help drain her breast ducts and breast pumping to empty both breasts during the day. The use of a heat compress was also recommended prior to feeding/ breast pumping to assist milk flow. After 12 sessions of Physiotherapy (once weekly for 12 weeks) Sarah* had reduced engorgement, breast hardness and tenderness, she also felt much less congestion in both of her breasts.
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*The name has been changed to protect the privacy of our client.