Breast Size and Your Posture
Your posture can be influenced by your lifestyle, screen time, daily habits, and even what you wear. But your anatomy may be the single biggest factor.
If you have larger breasts, the weight of the breast tissue can trigger pain in the neck, shoulders, and back. Heavier breasts make it more challenging to maintain good posture as the front centered weight tends to make one hunch forward.
Over the years, different studies have linked breast size with back pain. In a 2016 study published in Surgical Technology International by Hansraj, the researcher measured breast forces on the spine and observed that
"Magnitude of forces generated by the breast to the thoracic spine ranged between 8.5 pounds of force for underwire size 30 to 110 pounds of force for underwire size 60."
A woman wearing a 36H bra size could expect to feel a combined 52 pounds of force against her spine. In that context, it's not hard to believe why a woman's anatomy can have such a profound effect on her posture and back health.
In a 2020 review, researchers McGhee and Steele at the University of Wollongong in Australia, observed that women with larger breasts experienced an "excessive loading of the muscles and soft tissues" around the spine, and noted that these women complained of more musculoskeletal pain.
Pregnant and nursing moms also complained of higher levels of musculoskeletal pain as their breast size increased and due to pressure exerted on the spine from breast-feeding.
Bra straps have a part to play
Consider that the industry standard for bras feature narrow straps, but the average bra size is a 34DD in the US and 36DD in the UK.
In an earlier post, we covered bra strap syndrome also known as Costoclavicular syndrome. Some women experience recurring pain, exacerbated by wearing narrow bra straps that are too tight, which applies pressure against the clavicle (collarbone).
Wear a supportive bra to combat imbalance
Wear a well-fitting bra where the underbust band fits snugly, has excellent side support, and features wide straps to reduce pressure on the collarbone and shoulders.
Kinflyte's line of bras are designed to provide all-around comfort and support to relieve pressure on the shoulders and back, and help cue shoulders and back in better alignment.
Breast Size & Upper Back Pain I Everyday Health
Breast Biomechanics I American Physiological Society
Breast Forces on the Spine I PubMed