Poor Fitting Bras Can Cause Harm

Close to 80% of women are wearing the incorrect bra size currently. Wearing the wrong bra size which tends to be ill-fitting, can lead to shoulder, chest, neck, and spine pain, along with headaches. How could such a small clothing garment cause so much pain? Your bra might be causing you pain throughout your entire body.

Does Your Bra Fit?

Posture and bra support play a huge role, especially with women that are large busted. A large bust can cause postural changes that include but are not limited to forward, rounded shoulders, forward bent neck, and spinal changes to counter the weight of the chest. Pain, posture, strength, and flexibility all become more problematic when you aren’t wearing a bra that properly fits you. Check here to see if you are in the right size https://www.calculator.net/bra-size-calculator.html

Does Your Bra Fit Correctly?

A few pointers you can check at home when looking at your bra fit are:

  1. Make sure the underband fits firmly around the ribcage. It should not slide or move with activity.
  2. The shoulder straps should not be so tight that they dig into your shoulders or leave imprints. 80% of the support should come from the underband and 20% should come from the straps. If the straps are too tight, they may cause additional pressure that can lead to neck or shoulder pain and headaches.
  3. The center part of the bra isn’t lying flat with your body. This can be due to the cup size being incorrect for your body.
  4. Make sure your breasts fit comfortably in your bra, both in the cup and on the sides. Too tight a cup size can cause your breasts to spill out.

Good Posture Makes a Difference

Now that your bra fits properly, it is time to focus on posture. Good posture is important because it decreases the fatigue and strain on the muscles and ligaments in your body. Good posture reduces pain and muscle asymmetries that come about due to poor body positioning.  Good posture even improves breathing, circulation, and digestion. What does good posture look like?

Seated: Feet should rest flat on the floor, weight evenly distributed between both hips. Your back should be straight while maintaining the natural curves in your back. Knees should be at or below the level of your hips. Shoulders should be back, but relaxed and your ears should be in line with your collarbone.

Standing: Legs should have a slight bend in the knees when standing and about shoulder width apart. Weight should be through the balls of your feet. Your arms should hang naturally down at your sides and your shoulders should be back, but relaxed. Keep your earlobes in line with your shoulders.

Quick Posture Tips

  • Change positions every 20-30 minutes.
  • Make yourself reminders to check your posture throughout the day
  • Invest in chairs and furniture that fit you


Regardless if you are big busted or small-busted, it is important to wear bras that fit your body. Wearing properly fitted bras can help to reduce pain, improve posture, and improve your overall quality of life. Your bra might be causing you pain throughout your body if you have shoulder, neck, and back pain or experience frequent headaches.

Bra specialists can fit you in the correct bra size for your body. Physical Therapists can then work on improving your posture to help decrease your pain. https://freedompt.com/services/breast-health-services/

Physical Therapist at Freedom Physical Therapy Services
Molly Rittberg received her master’s degree in Physical Therapy in 2007 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and went on to receive her doctorate from Rosalind Franklin University (North Chicago) in 2009. She has since worked in an outpatient orthopedic practice where she worked with patients of all ages, injuries and disabilities. She has a wide variety of experiences including knee, ankle, foot and shoulder injuries, post-operative conditions, spinal rehabilitation and peripheral neuropathies.