What happens when I get hit in the breast?

A hit to the breasts hurts - as any woman who has suffered this will tell you- and it’s a part of the body more sensitive to hits than others.   A recent US study showed that 47% of college girls participating in sports reported suffering a hit to the breasts during sport.  

Causes of breast injury may include:

  • Bumping into something hard
  • Being elbowed or hit while playing sports
  • Running or other repetitive movement of the breast without a supportive bra
  • A fall or blow to the breast

Symptoms of breast injury:

A breast injury can result in:

  • Pain
  • Tenderness. 
  • Breast contusion (bruises)
  • A lump known as fat necrosis and this may take some time to disappear. 
  • A hematoma may also develop around where the trauma occurred. 
  • It is not widely thought that breast impact injuries can lead to breast cancer, although one study did find a link

Breast injury causes loss of confidence and enjoyment

An unseen and very real issue is that a hit to the breasts takes you out of the game and can decrease confidence and enjoyment in your sport. In a study carried out by QP Sport and Sheffield-Hallam University, one of the surprising results was that women often “suck it up” when they are hit in the breast and experience pain. Women told us they don't want to make a big deal of being hit in the breasts and let others watching the game see them hurt in that area.   Watch this TV interview discussing breast injuries in contact sport.

What treatment is there for breast injury:

  • These symptoms usually heal on their own after a few days.  
  • If you have a persistent lump or pain in your breast seek medical advice.
  • Prevent breast injury and increase confidence by using a chest protector.

Don't hesitate when you compete - protect your chest with a range of strong and comfortable upper body, full chest or breast only protection.


See our guide: Help choose the right protector for your sport >