Researchers estimate that eighty percent of women may be wearing a bra that is the wrong size for their needs. In addition to sizing problems, shoulder straps, fabric choices, and certain bra styles could contribute to health problems. Experts recommend that women look for a bra with straps that do not dig into the shoulders. Some women find that they have gaps at the top of the bra cups, and this may be solved by selecting a smaller cup size, tightening the straps, or trying a different style. Underwires can be painful and annoying. An underwire-free style may be useful in this case.
The best bra is one that fits properly. Women who are wearing the wrong bra should go for a professional bra fitting. This should help them find the right bra for their needs. One such example is the best bra for larger sizes. Athletic women may need a special fitting to find the right high impact racerback sports bra. Wearing a properly fitting bra should help women avoid serious health conditions.
Women often find that they experience posture changes while wearing an uncomfortable or improperly fitted bra. When straps dig into the shoulders, patients might slouch in an attempt to reduce discomfort. Underwires that poke into the skin contribute to slouching and muscle tension as well. If women wear an improperly fitted bra during exercise, it may not provide enough support. This could become especially problematic for activities that involve running or jumping. It might mean that patients are unable to use proper posture and alignment during exercise.
Women may want to try several different bra sizes and styles for daily wear to reduce poor posture caused by an uncomfortable or unsupportive bra. It is especially important to wear bras specially designed for the type of exercise being performed during workouts.
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Patients may develop breast pain from wearing a bra that is too tight or too small. When bras are undersized or excessively tight, they compress the breast tissue. This is uncomfortable. Underwire bras, sports bras, and push-up bras are the bra styles that are most frequently associated with breast pain. Underwire bras can cause sharp pain in the breast if the underwire pokes the skin. Sports bras tend to flatten the breasts significantly, and both sports bras and push-up bras push the breasts into each other. The combination of excessive compression and friction could cause pain in one or both breasts. Switching to a larger size or a wire-free bra could alleviate pain. It may help to have a bra-fitting session with a professional too.
Since breast pain can be a sign of an underlying medical condition, patients should keep track of the pain's location, frequency, and duration. It is vital to make a note of activities that seem to trigger the pain. For example, some individuals experience breast pain during and after exercise. If the pain continues for longer than a few days, the patient should see a doctor for an evaluation. An urgent appointment should be made if the pain is accompanied by breast lumps, nipple discharge, or breast tissue swelling.
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Although the breasts gradually droop due to aging, wearing a supportive and properly sized bra could prevent premature sagging. Properly sized and sufficiently supportive bras may reduce the strain placed on a type of connective tissue in the breast called Cooper's ligaments. These ligaments are made of collagen and elastin. They gradually stretch and break down with aging and exercise. If bra cups are too small, the bottom of the breast could slip out beneath the bra band. The bra would not be supporting any of the breast weight, and the breast would move excessively. This places significant strain on the Cooper's ligaments.
Bra cups or bands that are too large could also strain the connective tissue. The breasts would move around too much inside the bra, and the band would not provide any lift for the breasts to reduce the stress on the Cooper's ligaments. During physical activity, the breasts move much more than with everyday activities, and they move in several different directions. This motion is especially pronounced with running and other high-impact exercises. This repetitive motion could cause the connective tissue in the breast to stretch and break down more quickly.
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Many women deal with back pain because of the weight of their breasts. Bras that do not provide adequate support could cause women to lean forward for prolonged periods. This posture change directly contributes to the development of back pain. Bra bands that are too tight could also contribute to the pain. Pain could be increased if the bra band does not sit flat against the back. It is important to look for a bra with a supportive band that wraps underneath the breasts to reduce back pain. The band should be snug. A wide band may provide additional support. Ideally, most of the support and lift that a properly fitted bra gives will come from the band itself. The shoulder straps of the bra should not be the main source of support.
Occasionally, back pain could be a sign of a serious medical condition. Patients should see a doctor if they have constant or intense back pain that gets worse at night or while lying down. A doctor should also be consulted when back pain is accompanied by tingling or numbness in the legs.
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Wearing the wrong bra can cause significant skin irritation. Some people also notice skin irritation from wearing bras made of certain fabrics. Improperly sized bras tend to be too tight, causing chafing and sweating, especially on the underside of the breast. The skin might become red and itchy, and there may be a burning sensation. When perspiration is present underneath the breasts, the fabric of the bra can absorb it. This creates a very moist environment that could promote the growth of bacteria or fungi. It may also block the sweat glands.
If sweat remains on the underside of the breast or the bra band for too long, patients might develop heat rash. This itchy rash is characterized by tiny red and prickly bumps. To prevent heat rash due to wearing the wrong bra, doctors suggest wearing cotton bras. It may help to apply powder to the underside of the breasts before putting on a bra. Some individuals could develop skin irritation due to the nickel used in certain types of bra clasps. If this occurs, it may help to switch to a bra without clasps. It is essential to wash new bras before wearing them. Bras should be washed frequently. A bra that has been worn during exercise should be washed immediately after the workout.