Finding the right bra can be more difficult than finding the right man. The right bra can lift your mood and make you feel confident but the wrong one can cause discomfort all day. Many of you will be familiar with the pain of a strap digging into the skin or the underwire sitting too tightly on the rib cage. You could be adjusting your bra all day because the band rolls up or the strap is cutting into your skin, but it is possible to not live in such discomfort.
There is a right bra size for everyone and you only need to get measured for it. There could be many signs that you are wearing the wrong size such as the back of your bra doesn’t sit level with your front, or you feel the wire cutting into your skin, or your breasts are not filling the cup or you’re spilling out, according to Better Homes and Gardens. Apart from these signs, a badly fitted bra can cause many problems like chronic pain over a period of time. Some studies have suggested that ditching the bra altogether could be the best favour you do your breasts.
It is important to get yourself fitted regularly since hormonal changes, weight gain/loss, and other medical reasons can cause a change in bra size. Here are some consequences of wearing the wrong size:
1. Breast and back pain
If you’re wearing a bra that is a few sizes too small, you could experience pain in your breast. There can be other causes for pain in the breasts too. However, if your back and ribs hurt after wearing a bra, then it could be time to try something new. “As a chiropractor, it is common for me to treat women with aching ribs and mid-back pain all from wearing a bra that isn’t the right fit,” chiropractor Dr. Rubina Tahir, DC tells Bustle.
According to a study published in Orthopedic Proceedings, larger breasted women with non-specific back pain (NSBP) appeared to show some clinically important improvements after a short term intervention. “Provision of correctly fitting breast-support garments may contribute to better clinical management of NSBP in these women,” the study said.
The wrong bra, which doesn’t provide enough support for the breasts, can cause breast skin damage, which can be seen as stretch marks. While stretch marks and sagging is normal, when it happens rapidly, it could be due to an ill-fitting bra. Skin damage on the breast can be caused by stretching the skin beyond its recovery point, according to Joanna Wakefield-Scurr, a researcher in breast health at the University of Portsmouth said in The Conversation.
“Bouncing with little support from a wrongly fitting bra can cause irreversible sagging and stretching of the Cooper’s ligament,” Nicola Rodney-Crook, CEO of GetBras.com, told Bustle. “This is the ligament that is attributed to breast sagging, [and] once stretched can not be reversed,” she added. Wearing the right bra can keep these ligaments healthy in the long run.
3. Shoulder and neck pain
When larger cup sized women wear tight bras it can leave chafing on shoulders and pain in the back, neck, shoulder, and breasts. The bras designed for people with large cup sizes come with thicker straps to disperse the weight across the shoulder and prevent chafing or indentation. This pain from the shoulder can spread to the neck too, which can cause issues, especially if you are also using a computer for long hours. “Some customers hold [their] breast weight by taking excess support through the neck area, causing painful neck muscles,” Rodney-Crook told Bustle.
4. Discomfort and embarrassment
If you find yourself adjusting your bra throughout the day since the fitting isn’t right, it can cause some embarrassment. You could be wearing the wrong style, or the cups could be too large or too small for you. You could also be experiencing too much of movement a.k.a jiggling in your breasts while you move around. It could also be that your breasts are slipping out from the bottom or spilling out of the cup. The right bra should cradle your breasts through the day so that moving around isn’t hard. You can try wearing a sports bra with an underwire instead of one that compresses breasts.
“If you have quad-boob, you’re definitely wearing the wrong size bra,” Soraya Pena Hennessy, a fashion and travel blogger, tells Bustle. “If you notice you’re a bit too big, try moving up a cup size.”
5. Bad posture
The pain from your back, breast, neck, and shoulder could be the reason that your shoulders are drooping and the back is curved. This bad posture can cause other issues like clenching your jaw. That can cause your facial muscles to tighten and can result in headaches and jaw pain. It can also cause wearing down in your jaw joint. Bad posture is also a cause for shortness of breath since not enough air would be going into your lungs, according to thejoint.com.