From back pain to bad posture, your ill-fitting bra is causing more damage than you may think, says Marla Ahlgrimm. Here’s how:
Reduced blood circulation
A too-tight bra may reduce blood circulation, causing skin damage. And it’s not only large cup sizes, says Marla Ahlgrimm, who explains that a well-fitting bra is one that does not shift about throughout the day. It will be firm enough to stay put without causing indentations in the skin.
Large breasted women may notice they have more headaches while wearing a poorly-fitted bra. According to Marla Ahlgrimm, this is because a lack of support may cause the upper back muscles and neck to work harder to support the weight of the breast, which weigh on average two to five pounds each. Headaches that originate in the back are known as cervicogenic headaches.
Marla Ahlgrimm explains that a restrictive bra can inhibit movement across the entire back. This can cause the spine feel uncomfortable as it has to fight against the pressure of the fitted material to bend and rotate. Back stiffness and pain often originate in women near the bra strap.
Shortness of breath
While a tight bra will not cause symptoms similar to COPD, restrictive material can affect breathing capabilities. Marla Ahlgrimm notes that some experts believe that overly tight bras may restrict rib movement, which can impact breathing mechanics and cause shallow breathing. Most women will not notice this issue, however, failure to consistently intake deep breaths may affect the body’s oxygen and carbon dioxide levels.
Women, especially those who exercise regularly, may experience general breast tenderness if the breast are not supported properly. Marla Ahlgrimm notes that women who run or jog should utilize a sports bra, which restricts breast movement by approximately 80% compared to 35% provided by a standard underwire bra.