A bra is a staple in every woman’s life. After all, it’s an undergarment. But did you know it can harm your health?
According to the Journal of Physiotherapy, between 70 to 100 percent of women are wearing the wrong size bra. This issue is more common in ladies with bigger breasts.1
It’s also no surprise. Shopping for bras is confusing! There are so many different fits, styles, and types. Plus, these features vary from brand to brand. Even the condition of a bra can affect the fit.
All of this matters more than you think. An ill-fitting bra can cause a load of problems, including these five issues.
It’s plain and simple. A bra that doesn’t fit well is annoying to wear. This can be distracting when you’re trying to work, drive, or just hang out.
If a bra is too tight, you’ll feel constricted. And if it’s too big? Wearing certain clothes will be difficult. It’ll look awkward, too.
2. Skin Indentations
A tight bra will suffocate your body. This might even leave deep marks in the skin. It might not seem like a big deal, but it can hurt.
Over time, these furrows may evolve into bruises or permanent marks.2
3. Neck And Back Pain
Women with larger breasts often experience back and neck pain.3
A bra, however, is designed to provide support. This is key for reducing pain in these areas.
Unfortunately, an ill-fitting bra will have the opposite effect. It won’t offer the support a woman needs. Back and neck pain will continue, making it hard to sleep, exercise, or even walk.
4. Poor Posture
The weight of breasts might make some women slouch. This is bad news for the back! Over time, posture can take a turn for the worse.4
Poor posture is a common problem, to begin with. It’s often seen in office workers who sit in a chair all day. To improve your posture, take frequent breaks and stretch it out.
Most importantly, wear a bra that fits.5
5. Upper Nerve Injury
Between the poor posture and constriction, nerve injury is likely.6
Of course, it’ll be focused in the upper half of your body. But if it gets worse? You might feel it elsewhere, too.
Symptoms may include pain, weakness, tingling, prickling, and numbness. But it can easily be mistaken for a muscle or bone problem. Pay attention to these sensations and let your doctor know.
To treat nerve injury, you might need anti-inflammatory medicine. Give yourself a rest and be gentle with your body.7
How To Buy The Right Bra
Get professionally fitted. Not sure where to go? Head to the mall. Stores that sell different types of bras typically offer these services. This way, you’ll get the correct measurements for your breasts.
When trying on bras, look at the following: band, cup, underwire, front, and straps.8 Make sure every detail fits. If one or more is not right, try a different bra.
|↑1, ↑2, ↑3, ↑4, ↑6||McGhee, Deirdre E., Julie R. Steele, and Bridget J. Munro. “Education improves bra knowledge and fit, and level of breast support in adolescent female athletes: a cluster-randomised trial.” Journal of Physiotherapy 56, no. 1 (2010): 19-24.|
|↑5||Posture. BetterHealth Channel, Victoria State Government.|
|↑7||Neal, Sara L., and Karl B. Fields. “Peripheral nerve entrapment and injury in the upper extremity.” American family physician 81, no. 2 (2010).|
|↑8||Bra fitting. University of Portsmouth.|