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!