Support Bras for Women & Their Benefits for Reducing Back Pain

By Meegan Domangue, PA-C

As a practitioner, a very common question is whether or not large breast size can be associated with neck or back problems. Although there is very little research on this topic, it is a common thought among medical providers that there is indeed a link. Very heavy breasts are thought to commonly cause neck pain, shoulder pain, and back pain. Other effects can include damage to soft tissue and shaping of the skeletal anatomy.

Professional Bra Fitting

The most common piece of advice given to women with large breast size is to have a professional fitting for a full back support bra. Many studies in recent years indicate that over 70% of women are actually wearing the wrong bra size. Wearing undergarments that don’t fit can have medical repercussions including muscle tightening and pain, increased likelihood of dysfunctional segments in the upper back, added stress on bones and muscles leading to breathing problems, and even constriction of the rib cage with resultant digestion affects.

A properly fitted full back support bra can decrease pain, increase quality of life, improve breathing, and even reduce fatigue. While extremely beneficial, one must be aware that such bras are more expensive and less fashionable. It is recommended that when selecting a bra, “buy quality” and it will not only give better results but last longer and require fewer purchases over time. Wardrobes can be adjusted to better cover unflattering and less fashionable undergarments.

In summary, it is commonly thought that large breast size can lead to neck and back pain. A high quality, full back support bra can help reduce tension on the upper and lower back and ultimately help reduce chronic pain. When considering spending a bit of extra money on that next undergarment, splurge for your spine!