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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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What Our Patients Have to Say

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Testimonial by S.S., age 54

Heather is the best! I saw her today for terrible hip/groin pain. I was so impressed with the safety measures in place and felt completely safe . Thanks for the healing hands.

S.S., age 54

Testimonial by Julie T.

Femina PT (née Fusion Wellness & Physical Therapy) has honestly changed my life. Before receiving treatment at Femina, I was going doctor to doctor to try and find the answer to my pelvic pain. It has taken me YEARS to find someone that can help fix this. It wasn't until my gynecologist recommended your clinic that I finally felt relief. My pelvic pain is almost gone, and granted I still have a lot more to work on with Laureen (my PT), my original problem is nearly cured. I am so grateful to her.

What is even better is she gave me practical exercises to do at home that were not tedious and provided instant (and lasting) relief. Although I mainly work with Laureen, my interaction with the owner (Heather) has been great. She is very generous, kind, and committed to her business.

It hurts to know there are women out there suffering who will never know or have the opportunity to work with women like Laureen and Heather because this issue is hardly talked about and this field is so rare. I hope more doctors and physical therapists see the value in this work and can relieve more woman of their pain.

-- Julie T., 12/4/16 via Yelp!

Testimonial by R.S.

I wanted to thank you so much for helping me get through something I thought I may never be able to. We have achieved pain-free intercourse and this has really solidified our marriage. We are so grateful to you for all the work you do! Thank you!!

-- R.S.

Testimonial by Julie T.

Femina PT (née Fusion Wellness & Physical Therapy) has honestly changed my life. Before receiving treatment at Femina, I was going doctor to doctor to try and find the answer to my pelvic pain. It has taken me YEARS to find someone that can help fix this. It wasn't until my gynecologist recommended your clinic that I finally felt relief. My pelvic pain is almost gone, and granted I still have a lot more to work on with Laureen (my PT), my original problem is nearly cured. I am so grateful to her.

What is even better is she gave me practical exercises to do at home that were not tedious and provided instant (and lasting) relief. Although I mainly work with Laureen, my interaction with the owner (Heather) has been great. She is very generous, kind, and committed to her business.

It hurts to know there are women out there suffering who will never know or have the opportunity to work with women like Laureen and Heather because this issue is hardly talked about and this field is so rare. I hope more doctors and physical therapists see the value in this work and can relieve more woman of their pain.

-- Julie T., 12/4/16 via Yelp!

Testimonial by M.M.

My husband and I were married for 5 years and unable to have intercourse, but I never knew why. After numerous awful experiences at doctor’s offices (where many doctors told me I “just needed to relax”), a surgery that didn’t fix the problem, and a year of owning dilators that didn’t get me anywhere, someone finally referred me to Heather for Physical Therapy. I finally had answers and information from someone who knew exactly what I was dealing with!

Read more: Testimonial by M.M.

Testimonial by Y.L. (mom of 2)

After having my second baby via C-section I searched for months to try to find help for my lower back pain and separated abdominal muscles. I finally came across Heather Jeffcoat via a mommy blog. I reached out to her via email and set my first appointment. My first appointment went amazing … she listened to what my symptoms, check my separation and explained to me in detail what the next steps would be. Not only did my abdominal separation go from 3 to about 1 -1/2 but my back has pain has significantly reduced. I’m personally recommending all my mommy friends to Heather!

Y.L. (mom of 2)

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