Women naturally carry more weight in their shoulders, resulting in shoulder and back pain. When my personal trainer asked me if I knew the cause, I answered confidently, that it was the purse that was the culprit. The purse certainly ranks right up there, but that’s a conscious choice women make that can easily be resolved.
Women who are naturally endowed are more likely to suffer from back and shoulder pain. Research in survey form has been conducted. The results concluded that an ill-fitting bra could be the culprit.
Often, women who are naturally endowed wish for a breast reduction, but cannot afford it or their health insurance won’t cover it. Getting a professional bra fitting is a much more viable option when comparing the costs. Women of all breast shapes and sizes should invest in getting a professional bra fitting. While it can seem costly, the repercussions of an ill-fitting bra are far more costly.
Is Your Bra Causing You Pain or Discomfort?
Learn how to identify the signs you’re not wearing the right bra.
The Strap Trap
A common misconception of bras is that the support is provided by the shoulder straps. When in fact, the majority of the support comes from the bra band that goes around your back. Sure signs that you’re not getting the support you need from the bra band that goes around your back are bra straps that dig in or slip off.
Bra straps that dig in can range from being slightly bothersome causing temporary pain, such as shoulder and back pain or even headaches. An obvious indicator you’re wearing the wrong bra style or your straps are not adjusted properly is if you see indentations from your bra strap.
First, try adjusting your bra straps, remembering all breasts are not created equal. Your straps should be adjusted on a per breast basis as your breasts may not be exactly the same size. It is possible to adjust your straps to loosely or too tightly. If your straps are too tight they will leave indentations or the bra band will ride up in the back.
Adjustable bra straps also lose their elasticity over time, especially if you launder your bra in the dryer, which further promotes loss of elasticity. Consider investing in bra shoulder cushions as well, which relieve pressure and irritation.
If your bra bands and cups fit correctly and comfortably, a professional bra fitting may help you decide on a style that will reduce painful strap symptoms, if they’re still occurring after adjusting your bra straps.
Of course, you can always torture yourself even further by going from store to store trying on different styles of bras. Trying on a bra for a few minutes, then taking it home only to find it is uncomfortable after a few days or weeks is like buying a car without test driving it.
Your Cup Runneth Over
Double-boob or quad-boob refer to the spillage of your breasts outside of your cup. If your breasts are spilling over the top or sides of your bra, your cup size may be too small. The correct cup size, combined with certain variations of bra styles, determined by a professional bra fitting will assist you in resolving these woes. Many smaller chested women often wear bras that are too large for them and larger chested women are often caught wearing bras that are too small for them.
Just as all breasts are not created equal, neither are cup sizes. A 34-C bra will not have the same amount of space in the cup area as the 36-C. Saying “I’m a C cup” will not solve the equation of the perfect bra. Nor will shopping for bras purely based on appearance. At the end of the day, the actual area of the cup will be determined by the band size.
A Band that Doesn’t Rock
If avoiding back bulge is high on your list of priorities when finding a bra, think again. The consequences of an ill-fitting bra band can be the demise of your whole breast support system. The bra band that goes around your back is meant to provide the majority of the support, combined with the cups.
The two-finger test will help you quickly determine whether your band is too loose. If you can fit two or more fingers under the bra band area between your two breasts, it’s too loose. If you find your band size is too loose, you may also have to go up a cup size, especially if you suffer from spillage at the bra’s bottom.
To avoid back bulge, while ensuring a properly fitted band, try a bra with a larger, wider band. This will achieve a smoother appearance.
Painful underwire can be caused by simply wearing the incorrect bra. Taking all the above tips into consideration, it is possible to find a comfortable underwire bra. Spillage rules apply! If you’ve violated one or more of the spillage rules, an underwire bra will never be comfortable. There are some times in life when it’s best to wear a non-underwire bra.
The biggest mistake is laundering your bra in the washing machine instead of hand washing and even worse, the dryer!! Improper care, specifically for underwire bras can cause the underwire to break and poke out of the bra itself through the inside of the cup, between the breasts or just below your underarms, causing painful jabbing.
Out With the Old, In With the New
Bras aren’t meant to last forever. Regular wear of the bra, even as little as a few times per week in a regular bra rotation, can wear the bra out within as little as a year. To extend the life of your bras, hand wash and air dry them. If you choose to wash them in the washer, use a bra wash bag.
Finding the Best Bra for You
We’ve just touched on the tip of the iceberg when it comes to bra selection. Solutions to problems such as wrinkled or gapping cups, difficulty hooking your bra, desire for a smaller or larger breast size, as well as pregnancy or medical issues, can be found by getting a professional bra fitting. At the very least you should treat yourself to a quick measure at home using a bra size calculator.