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how bra choices affect posture
bra choices and posture
In this insightful article from Health Digest, I was interviewed by writer Tricia Goss and discussed the intricate relationship between bra choices, posture, and back health. Emphasizing that breast support and the decision to wear or not wear a bra is not solely a matter of fashion but also holds implications for physical well-being. Here is my take on the topic with a link to the original article as well.

Heather Jeffcoat, DPT

Let's Discuss How Bra Choices Affect Posture and Your Overall Health

One might not be keen to know that there is a critical link between going braless and potential side effects, such as back pain and postural changes.

Specifically, for women with a C cup or higher, the absence of proper breast support can lead to strain on the upper back and neck, resulting in postural changes throughout the spine. The discomfort may manifest as a deep ache between the shoulder blades, eventually progressing to more severe neck and shoulder pain and chronic tension headaches.

As I mentioned in the article:

Posture is all about how you hold yourself over your center of gravity. If your sizing is a C cup or higher, there will be more pull in the front that could lead to strain on your upper back and neck and postural changes throughout your spine."I continue noting, "With increased weight to carry in the front, there will be a constant pull to round your mid and upper back, pulling you into a postural kyphosis. This pull will also create a decrease in the flexibility of your pec (chest) muscles, further accentuating the rounding of the mid and upper back."

Since our body needs to counteract the forces that are placed upon it, I recommend to my patients, if they prefer to not wear a bra, that they keep their postural strength at its highest level while reducing tightness in the front of their body. This means they are routinely doing core work, back extension exercises, and targeted mid-back and shoulder strengthening such as rows and shoulder external rotation exercises.

To address these issues, I suggest practical strategies for maintaining postural strength and comfort without wearing a bra. A holistic approach combining core work, back extension exercises, and targeted mid-back and shoulder strengthening, is highly recommended.  Additionally, the importance of stretching to alleviate tightness in the front of the body, especially in the pectoral muscles, should be implemented when choosing to forego a bra.

Acknowledging the constant adjustments the human body makes to external forces, I encourage individuals who prefer not to wear a bra to focus on keeping their postural strength at its highest level while reducing tightness in the front of the body. With a balanced exercise routine that includes strength-building exercises and targeted stretches, individuals may be able to further prevent or reduce the occurrence of pain and discomfort.

Furthermore, the crucial role of fit and support in bra choices for those who opt to wear them. Poorly fitting bras can contribute to a host of issues such as poor posture, back and neck pain, and numbness in the fingers due to compressed nerves in the shoulders. Ultimately, taking a mindful approach to bra choices emphasizes the importance of making decisions that prioritize comfort, alignment, and long-term health. By understanding the potential consequences and taking them into account, individuals can make informed choices that align with both their health and fashion priorities.

Connect with us at Femina Physical Therapy to initiate this empowering conversation today!

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While pregnant with my twins, Heather took care with keeping me on my feet and pain free. She saved my back, my sanity and the holidays! I would recommend her to every “mom” looking to stay on her feet during pregnancy and post-partum.

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Testimonial by T.C.

While pregnant with my twins, Heather took care with keeping me on my feet and pain free. She saved my back, my sanity and the holidays! I would recommend her to every “mom” looking to stay on her feet during pregnancy and post-partum.

-- T.C.

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I wanted to let you know that my pelvic floor held strong and gave me no trouble whatsoever in my trail race this morning (12 miles)! In a way, I felt like I ran better than ever because my core feels so rock solid from all the exercises you have me doing. That was especially valuable on the technical downhill - I just flew down the trail because I had confidence in my balance and form. Thank you for helping me get back to doing what I love.

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Months after giving birth, it was difficult for me to go from a sitting or lying position up to a full standing position without feeling that I had to remain hunched over until a bit of time had passed to get fully upright. However, after taking Heather’s course, I learned exercises to get my body back to normal. She also showed me correct ways to lift and carry my son as well as put him in/take him out of the carseat and stroller. This class was really beneficial and Heather is a wonderful teacher who made me feel very comfortable.

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Testimonial by Jamie M.

I have been going to see Heather for a while now, and I can't tell you enough how much she has improved my quality of life. Heather specializes in issues like pelvic floor, but I see her for other orthopedic issues.

I have a lot of chronic joint pain and dysfunction issues (back, hips, neck) that require that have ongoing physical therapy maintenance. The effects of my problem joints/areas overlap and interconnect with each other in complex ways, so helping me requires really having a complete understanding of the entire skeletal and muscular system. Pain does not always appear where the problem actually is, the human body is a twisty, many-layered puzzle. I have an exercise program I do at home and I am very functional, but there are just something things I need a PT to help me out with.

Read more: Testimonial by Jamie M.

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I had tried Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy before (with another PT) and I had a really bad (painful) experience. A friend of mine and fellow patient, told me about Heather, Laureen and Femina PT (née Fusion Wellness & Physical Therapy) and I decided to try again. I am so happy I did! Femina PT have, literally, changed my life. I was able to do again things I couldn't do for over 10 years!! Their bedside manners are impeccable, their knowledge and understanding make me feel comfortable to recommend this place to anyone in pain. Specially if you have Endometriosis. 100% recommended!!

-- Carolina J., 12/28/16 via Yelp!

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