Health Problems of a Poorly Fitted Bra

Something told me I was wearing the wrong size bra. I had been wearing the same size for the past 3 years, but suddenly it didn’t feel right. So I went to Victoria’s Secret for a proper bra fitting. Surprise! I was wearing the wrong size bra. And after I bought 2 new bras in my correct size (and MYOB on that!), I can honestly say my body feels better overall. It’s true when they say a poorly fitted bra can cause health problems.

Bad posture = bad back

If you have large breasts, you know how heavy they feel. So you need a bra to carry and support their weight. Otherwise, your breasts will sag, pull on your shoulders, and curve your spine. That leads to poor posture, which is responsible for health problems like back pain. Since I’ve been wearing my new bras, my breasts actually feel lighter and I hunch over less, taking stress off my back

I can breath clearly now

Wearing a poorly fitted bra that is too small or too tight can affect your respiratory function. When your rib cage is compressed, you cannot take deeper breaths and this interferes with gas exchange in your lungs. And we all know how important oxygen is for survival! So can I breathe easier with my new bras? I have to say yes, I am able to take nice deep breaths without stress or pain.

Skin integrity

As a nurse, I am always concerned about a patient’s skin integrity. Breaks in the skin can open the door for health problems like infections. When you wear a bra that is too small or the should straps are too narrow for your breast size, the straps, the underwire, and the backband clasps can dig into your skin. Over time, this can lead to potential skin breakdown. My new bra has thicker padded straps that sit comfortably on my shoulders. This adds to that “lighter” feeling in my breasts.

Headaches and indigestion?

Who would have thought a poorly fitted bra could lead to health problems like headaches and stomach aches? Apparently, these can be potential side effects of poor posture when the weight of your breasts is carried in the upper part of your back rather than the lower back. I can’t honestly say my headaches and stomach aches have lessened in the 3 weeks I’ve been wearing my new bras, but at least my back does feel better.

Are you wearing the wrong size bra?

Signs that you are wearing the wrong size bra include:

-The backband moves up your back. It should stay in place even if you lift your arms. Otherwise, your bra is too loose.

-The middle front of the bra does not lie flat against your chest. That usually means cup size is too small.

Many lingerie shops and department stores like Macy’s and Victoria’s Secret offer free bra fittings. It’s worth it to avoid potential health problems in the future.


The Independent, Is your bra making you ill?, December 2, 2008

Leah Melby, How to Know if Your Bra Fits, RealBeauty.com

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If you feel that you have a health problem, you should seek the advice of your Physician or health care Practitioner.

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