Women with back pain often have understandable concerns about choosing the right bra, often because of a belief that wearing the wrong support garment can result in distracting spine-related discomfort. Conversely, some women believe the right bra will minimize or even eliminate back pain. Whether you feel bras are an asset or a contributing factor to your spine-related symptoms largely depends on what you’ve been told or what you’ve discovered while searching online. To help you separate fact from fiction, let’s take a closer
look at three common myths about bras and back pain.
There’s no conclusive evidence suggesting a link between poor-fitting bras and back pain. An ill-fitting brassiere can definitely be uncomfortable or leave you with red marks and skin indentations that are painful. However, most medical experts agree that a “bad bra” isn’t going to cause spinal discs to shift or affect the spinal column and related structures.
A good-fitting bra is certainly one that’s comfortable to wear, but there’s no bra designed to automatically help you improve your posture as you wear it and go about your daily routine. You’ll still need to be actively mindful of how you sit, stand, and sleep throughout your day to take pressure off your spine and its supporting muscle groups and soft tissues. You can improve your posture while wearing a comfortable, supportive bra by:
• Keeping your head above your shoulders
• Sitting in supportive chairs
• Doing regular posture self-checks throughout your day
Breast hypertrophy is an overgrowth of breast tissue. For some women, this extra breast tissue contributes to spine-related discomfort. However, you don’t have to accept back pain as an unpleasant fact of life simply because you have breasts that are larger than what’s average for most women. It can be beneficial to have a discussion with your doctor or a Los Angeles spine surgeon to fully understand the factors likely contributing to your back-related pain.
Many women with breast hypertrophy find relief with exercises that target core spine-supporting muscles along with muscle groups within the upper back and shoulders. As your spine’s support system becomes stronger, your backbone and its various parts may be able to handle stress more effectively. You may also experience relief from a pain management plan that includes:
• Core-strengthening exercises
• Targeted stretches
• Controlled-movement exercises like yoga and Pilates
• Massage therapy to relax tense upper back/shoulder muscles
Some women unable to find relief with physical therapy and other conservative care methods may reach a point where breast reduction surgery becomes a consideration. In other cases, there may be an upper spine or middle-back issue not related to excess stress from breasts that needs to be addressed to increase the odds of experiencing welcome relief.
If you’re experiencing severe or prolonged back pain of any kind, don’t wait to seek out the advice of a spinal health expert. At The Spine Institute, our pioneering physicians specialize in the most innovative techniques for alleviating neck and back pain, from total disc replacement to back fusion alternatives. Los Angeles residents are urged to call us today at 310-828-7757.