The Importance of Wearing The Right Size Bra

This one is for the ladies!

When it comes to back pain, most people blame age, inactivity or poor posture as the reason for their discomfort. However, when is the last time you thought about your bra being the problem?

Breasts can be a fairly heavy part of the body, due to their composition mostly being made up of fatty tissue. They can put additional stress on the surrounding muscles and joints in the upper body and if not correctly supported it can give rise to neck pain, upper back pain and headaches. Research has found this is due to larger breasts increasing the curvatures in the neck and mid back and therefore it shifts the centre of gravity away from the spine. This increases the muscular effort required to maintain an upright posture and places these muscles under continuous tension.

A recent study found that 80% of women wore incorrectly size bras, with the majority of these bras being too small for the individual. There was also a correlation established between large breasted women being more likely to wear incorrectly sized bras.

A well-fitted bra should, above all, be supportive. It should be able to distribute most of the bust’s weight near the bra’s rear band and the straps should be tight so your bra does not shift. However, if it is too tight it will cause indentations in your shoulders. A condition called Thoracic Outlet Syndrome can occur if your bra is too tight and the symptoms of this include pain in your shoulders and tingling/pins and needles into the arms due to the compression of various nerves.

So my main tips for women are:

  • Get professionally measured! So many of us approximate both the cup size and strap length and, if incorrect, can have a huge impact on weight distribution, which can cause unnecessary back pain.
  • Functionality trumps appearance. Make sure you choose a bra with good support and wide, vertically orientated straps to distribute weight evenly.
  • Seek Chiropractic treatment and massage, as this can help to improve spinal mobility and posture.
  • Integrate exercises to help improve your posture and core stability.
  • Always wear a sports bra whilst exercising.

Contact reception on 01276 21637 or via email at to book your FREE 20 MINUTE ASSESSMENT and find out how Chiropractic can help you!


Myint, O, et al., 2012. Relationship between brassiere cup size and shoulder-neck pain in women. [Online]

Wood, K, et al., 2008. Breast size, bra fit and thoracic pain in young women: a correlational study. [Online]