Here at the Bedford Chiropractic Clinic I see a lot of women with neck, shoulder problems, back pain and headaches who’s poor posture and in many circumstances breast size is a significant contributing factor to these symptoms. Research by the British Chiropractic Association in 2008 actually showed that 25% of UK women would like their breasts to be smaller with the main reason being back pain. 70% of the women in the survey reported to having suffered from back pain at some point in their lives and 47% believed their breast size affected their posture.
The most common postural change large breasts can cause are an increased kyphosis (curve in the upper back) and rounded shoulders. This is due to the weight of the breast but also to tight pectoral muscles and women trying to hide themselves. The resulting posture is known to predispose people to suffer from neck and back pain, and can even lead to shoulder problems such as impingement syndromes.
Your body is designed in a particular way to carry itself. You have a spinal curve that acts like a shock absorber, and the curves are set at an angle to create maximal effect. If these curves change stress is placed on your spine and back pain can develop.
In fact back, neck and shoulder pain is created by three main issues:
Muscle Imbalance – this is where certain muscles tighten and others lose strength. The loss of strength may not just be physical strength but a loss in blood or nerve supply.
Joint Imbalance – this is mainly centred around the pelvis which is like a foundation to a house. If the pelvis is out of balance then the entire spine will distort and lead to back pain and muscle imbalance. You can also have individual joint imbalances which relate to the small intrinsic muscles around the joint and the joint itself.
Trigger Points – these are small nodules of muscle spasm which can develop after trauma to a muscle, whether this is chronic strain or an acute trauma situation. Trigger points can commonly refer pain remotely to their location.
The point is: when your cup size is too large for your actual frame, you place stress on the muscles and joints in your spine. The curvature of your spine fails to be balanced and back, neck and shoulder pain is likely.
Often these problems are not felt when younger, but can gradually develop over the years. Over time these postural changes set in but it doesn’t mean that something can’t be done to help reduce the pain and to improve posture. Chiropractic treatment focuses on correcting joint restriction and muscle tension and involves home exercises too which can all help to reduce pain and improve function. Along with treatment it is often worth looking at how well your bra fits, especially if you have larger breasts. It is important to get the right size and style of bra to suit you.
According to a recent study done by Swiss lingerie company Triumph, a startling number of women are choosing their bras incorrectly. The international survey of 10,000 women found that 64 percent are wearing the wrong size bra, reports Women’s wear daily Out of that 64 percent, “29 percent know they are wearing the wrong size.”
What’s worse is that those women are admittedly unhappy about it. 73 percent of women agreed that badly-fitting undergarments can make or break their day, writes WWD.
Despite it being the 100th anniversary of the brassiere this year, eighty per cent of women in the UK are still wearing an ill-fitting bra, usually as a result of never having been measured properly.
Even if you are not in pain getting the right sized bra when young can help prevent problems in the future.
When checking your bras at home the British Chiropractic Association recommends that you check the following key areas;
- The under band/wire,
- The shoulder straps,
- The back strap and the centre fold.
When you raise your arms up in the air your underwire should stay next to your body and not come away.
It may be surprising to hear but the underwire should take 80% of the support whereas the shoulder straps should only take 20%. If the shoulder straps dig in, the under strap may be too loose.
The most common thing I see with patients is the bra strap at the back if not fitted properly will creep up the back and can even rise as high as the top of the shoulder blades. This will certainly increase the stress on the upper back and allow the shoulders to roll forwards. Again this can occur if the shoulder straps are too tight or if the under band is too loose.
The final most important thing to check is the centre fold; if this is lifting away from the body the cup size may be too small. Following these simple steps will allow you to see if you could do with a fitting and many shops now provide this as a free service.
The important thing to know is that if you are suffering with neck, shoulder or upper back pain then a chiropractic consultation will help you find the cause of the problem. If this is something you or someone you know could benefit from then just give the clinic a call on 01234 353 937 to book your consultation today.
Check out our Website: http://bedford-chiropractor.co.uk/