Let’s get down to the bare truth, sometimes your bra can be the root problem of back pain. This is mostly due to the fact that you aren’t wearing the right size and type of bra.
Let’s take a closer look at the science of your bra’s fit and how you can help reverse the back strain.
Why Do Bras Cause Back Pain?
A lot of women state that back pain is primary a problem in more endowed women and that it’s just a problem that comes with the territory of having large breasts.
The problem though, lies in the bra that you wear and how well it does or does not support you. Even if you compare different breast sizes side by side, back pain can and will affect you if you are not wearing the right size.
A Bra that is Too Tight
Bras that are too tight put pressure around your rib cage and on your back. Even if the fit is just a little snug, when you have a bra that doesn’t fit you well, then it is slowly chipping away at your back health.
Around the Rib Cage
“Traditional bras are often too tight around the ribs, creating a pivot point in the middle of the back, dividing it into two smaller areas that can’t work as effectively.” States Richard Moore, a consultant osteopath and sports massage therapist.
When you are wearing a band size that is too tight, it will literally squeeze your ribcage, potentially cutting down on your blood circulation and putting too much pressure on and around your back.
Lack of Support
Thinking that a tight bra is giving you extra support is a myth. When your bra is too tight then it isn’t supporting your breasts, it is just squeezing your back and allowing the cups to fall forward since it is not holding the support.
The straps do are only supposed to do 10% of the work, the band is in charge of 90 percent of the bra’s support. This is why strapless bras work, because of how little the straps are actually supposed to do. If your support is lying primarily on the work of the straps, then you are wearing the wrong size bra.
A Bra that is Too Loose
While too tight bras are a trigger for back pain, bras that are too loose will also cause you problems. This is because they are not tight enough to provide support to your boobs.
If the band is not tight enough to grasp and hold under your boobs and around the back then you will be dealing with multiple issues and pain.
When your bra is too large, the main band will begin to slide around as you are moving. This will cause chaffing and potentially blisters from the constant motion as you move around during the day.
When the band of your bra is sliding, then your breasts are not being supported. They are simply sitting in the cup and putting pressure on your back. This is the same issue you will have if the band of your bra is pulled away from your skin and not touching due to the cups being pushed outwards when your boobs fill them.
Lack of support
Lack of support won’t just affect large breasts, if you have smaller ones you are still at risk for side effects like premature sagging, chaffing and pain in the neck and back due to your bra not holding up its end of the bargain.
You will also notice that when you are not wearing the right size, your breast will hold all of the weight themselves. If you have larger boobs then you may feel a natural pull forwards, bringing your shoulders inwards and forcing you to slump.
A good bra will not only support your breasts, but it will also promote good posture by holding them up and distributing the weight evenly so that you are not feeling the forward pull.
How to Get a Better Bra Fit
It may sound far fetched when studies show that almost 80% of women are wearing the wrong sized bra. To offer some relief, you can go up a cup size and down a band size to get a similar fit for the bra that you are supposed to be wearing.
Due to this ability to adjust, many women end up wearing a similar size instead of their true size. In order to find your true size you need to be measured around the largest part of your bust and again around your rib cage just under your boobs.
Where Can you Go to Get Fitted?
You can do this at home with a dressing measuring tape (not the stiff one from your toolbox) or you can go to a lingerie retail store and allow a professional to help you.
Depending on your size, you can go to popular stores like Victoria’s Secret or Lane Bryant to find a store associate and bra fit specialist to help you find your true size.
Stay with One Bra Brand
Like most of the clothes in your closet, true sizes can range between brands. Certain bra brands will require you to size up or down to find your true fit. This is another reason why so many women are wearing the wrong size bra.
To help relieve the stress of trying to figure out your size in each brand, it is good to find one or two brands at the most that you really like, and exclusively shop from them.
Get Remeasured Regularly
There are a few different factors that can change your breast size, from weight fluctuation to having kids, your boobs will change over time. This means that you should proactively go and get remeasured whenever you notice a body change.
If you lose or gain more than 15 pounds then you could need a different sized bra to fit your changing ribcage area. You should also get remeasured after you have children, once you are done breastfeeding since your boobs will change a little after kids.
Being proactive about your breast’s health and support will help reduce back pain and keep your boobs well supported.
Knowing your true size will not only give you a better bra fit, it will also work to improve your back health and reduce chronic back pain that can occur due to ill fitting bras.
What types of bras will help improve your pack pain and posture?
First of all, a bra that actually fits you, will support your boobs the correct way and begin the recovery for alleviating your back pain. So finding your best fit is the first step you will want to take to help improve your back pain.
There are some other bras and features that can further help you by working on your posture and balancing the weight of your breasts. Here are some things to keep in mind when you are shopping for a bra to help your back health.
Bra Features for Back Pain – Separated Cups
Some bras, especially sports ones, tend to push your boobs together, creating the uni-boob effect. While this may be okay for keeping everything in place and still during a workout routine, for daily wear, you need to find a bra that will keep your boobs separate but equal.
Bra Features for Back Pain – High Racerback Bra
Your posture will play a large factor in helping to improve your back pain. If you have been wearing the wrong size bra for too long and know that you slump forward, then you will want to find a way to boost your posture with the bra you wear.
A high racerback bra can help tighten and lift while keeping your shoulders straight. This type of bra can help retrain your back to not slump.
Bra Features for Back Pain – Lose the Underwire
Underwire bras are the ones that most women love to hate. While wearing an underwire bra will give you great shaping, lift and support it will also provide you with sternum agitation, some wire escaping poking, and can cause rib cage discomfort.
Underwire bras also put pressure on the tissue under your breasts and limit how much lymphatic circulation that you are able to receive. This circulation helps eliminate toxins in your breast tissue. In order for the lymphatic vessels to pump, you need to let your boobs bounce a little.
Instead of swearing off underwire bras for good, work in a wireless bra rotation into your week so that your boobs are able to have a break from the constricting feeling. There are plenty of bras out there that offer great support and shaping without using an underwire.
Knowing how your bra is factoring into your breast and back health will help you be more proactive in finding the best bra fit for you. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help, because you are not the only one who has to.
Wearing a supportive and well-fitting bra will not only decrease your back pain, it will also boost your mood. That will allow your endorphins to be released which in turn gives you an all-over glow and healthier feeling.