Bras, short form for brassieres, have over the years become indispensable in every woman’s wardrobe and have slowly moved from being undergarments to overgarments. They are worn for long hours per day. Over a woman’s timeline, these can be summed up to many years. Do you, however, know how these Lil essentials may affect your health. Here is a list of 8 health problems bras may cause if wrongly worn.
- There are many reasons for back pain, but the bra is hardly thought of as one of them. Back pain is less of an issue with smaller breasts, but with bigger breasts. A properly fitted bra should take off some of the breast’s weight from the back and redistribute it to the neck. Women with large breasts who wear bras with weak straps, exert more work on their back muscles. This could lead to or worsen back pain. Contrary to popular belief, the straps (neck and back straps)
- We all know that sigh of relief when you get home and take off your bra, it feels like you automatically start breathing easier. Well, this is true if you wear your bra too tight. Tight bras might put pressure on the diaphragm and also resist movement of the ribs. This will, in turn, reduce the quality of your breathe and make you a shallow rib breather. Imagine what happens after hours of shallow breathing? Tiredness, irritability, fatigue etc.
Tension in the neck and neck area
- Point 2 continues here. Your neck muscles are considered secondary respiratory muscles. If your breathing is shallow due to tight bras, your body might recruit more muscles from the neck area in order to breath. Over time you may develop tensed neck muscles and even headaches as these neck muscles shorten and tighten up.
Stiffness of the spine and girdle areas
- Tight bras restrict movements around the spine of the upper back. Your spine is meant for movement on the contrary. It is meant to bend, rotate etc. Restricted spine movement can lead to localized stiffness and backaches.
Fungal infection and other skin rashes
- Air circulation under bra straps is limited depending on the material. If worn for long hours, this can create favorable conditions for fungal infection and other skin rashes.
- All the above-mentioned changes in muscle and skeleton caused by bras can eventually lead to so-called cervicogenic headaches (headaches originating from your neck spine). Besides too tight straps could over time leave grooves in the shoulder area. This might put pressure on muscles, nerves, blood and lymph vessels in these areas, which eventually could lead to pain and headaches.
Indigestion and Heartburns
- Too tight bras might obstruct movement of the diaphragm which affects the digestive process. This might also lead to heartburns.
Increased sports associated breast tenderness
- Breasts move up to 8cm during sports, which can cause pain during and after exercise. Big breasts or not, if the wrong bra is worn during sports, this movement will not be rightfully reduced. A properly fitted sports bra will reduce that movement by up to 83% (compared to less than 35% provided by a regular bra).
Tips on wearing a bra:
- wear the right size for YOU. Not universal standards
- don’t wear bras longer than 12 hours in a row
- avoid oversized bras, it will permanently relax the breast tissue. This leads to a “hanging chest”
- make sure your straps, are not loose especially if you have big breast
- wash your bras regularly to avoid skin infections
- wear well-fitted sports bras during exercise