Nicola Brown, PhD, from St. Mary's University College, in London, and colleagues conducted a four-part, 30-question survey of 1,285 female marathon runners at the 2012 London Marathon Registration.
The researchers found that 32 percent of participants experienced mastalgia, which was significantly related to cup size. Mastalgia was greater during vigorous compared with moderate physical activity. Mastalgia affected exercise behavior in 17 percent of symptomatic participants. Pain medication and firm breast support were reported to be used to overcome mastalgia. No measures to relieve "discomforting" symptoms were taken by 44 percent of participants.
"This study identified that exercise was the most prevalent factor in mastalgia occurrence which may have implications for its management," the authors write.