The Link Between Bras And Back Pain

Are you a woman who experiences frequent bouts of back pain? If so, it may be time to clean out your undergarment drawer. Bras are infamous for contributing to an array of health problems, with upper and lower back pain ranking in near the top of the list. 

How Bras Cause Back Pain

Your breasts are suspended from your trunk by ligaments. Over time, these ligaments can stretch out, pulling your breasts in a downward motion. It is the job of your bra to support your breasts and keep them from sagging, but a bra that doesn't fit can't do this job. And when your bra doesn't fit and your breasts begin to sag, it's likely that you'll try to compensate for this shift in weight by leaning backwards and/or tilting your head backwards. This shift in posture interferes with the natural curve of your spine and can create tension and add pressure in all the wrong places, thus creating back pain.

That's not all, though. Tight bra bands can pinch the nerves in your shoulders and back, causing sharp pains in these locations. And if your bra straps are too tight, your shoulders are carrying all of the weight of your breasts when they should be responsible for only about ten percent of it. Not only will wearing a bra with tight straps not support your breasts correctly, but it can also inhibit the blood flow and cause pain and numbness in your shoulders, arms, neck, and back.

Tips For Curbing Bra-Related Back Pain

So how do you stop your bra stressing out your back and causing you pain? Here are some tips that should help.

Don't Fall Into The Favorite Bra Slump. Do you have a favorite bra that you've had forever and still wear all the time? If so, it's time to say goodbye to it. The typical lifespan of a bra is six to nine months. After that, they begin to lose their elasticity and can't effectively support your breasts. If you're guilty of wearing the same bra a couple days in a row, it's time to stop doing that, too. Bras need to rest in-between wears so that their elastic can tighten back up after being stretched by your body. Change your bra every day, and wash them every few wears in cold water and then let them air dry for maximum performance. 

Know The Proper Adjustment For Tight Straps. If your bra straps are digging into your shoulders, it makes sense that you probably need a bigger bra, right? Wrong. In most cases, having tight bra straps actually means your bra is a little bit too big for you. When the band of your bra does not fit snugly around your body, it can't lift your breasts from below as it is supposed to. As a result, your straps pick up the slack. If your straps are digging into your shoulders and leaving the tell-tale grooves of an ill-fitting bra, try wearing one with a slightly smaller circumference. With the band closer to your body, it can take some of the weight load off of your bra straps, making them looser and more comfortable.

Learn The "Swoop And Scoop". If you're standing up straight when you put your bra on in the morning, you're doing it wrong. The proper way to put on a bra involves bending over so that your upper body is parallel to the floor. From this position, all of your breast tissue will slide forward and can be easily slid into the cups of your bra. It's not uncommon for breast tissue to migrate over time, landing under your armpits or underneath your breasts in the form of a roll. With this maneuver, called the swoop and scoop, you'll gather up all that migrated tissue and keep it where it belongs.

If you're experiencing back pain, there is a very good chance that your bra is to blame. Use the above tips to help curb back pain with a properly-fitting bra, and if your pain persists after heeding the advice, visit a back pain treatment center to rule out any serious conditions that wearing an ill-fitting bra may have caused. Furthermore, share this information with the adolescent ladies in your life. Research shows that when adolescent girls are educated on how to select the right bra for them, they do so. Therefore, providing young ladies with this crucial information could lead to fewer instances of bra-related back pain later down the road. For more help treating back pain, contact a professional like Isaacson Wayne MD.