A healthy and anatomically normal human back is strong enough to support heavy breasts through the years. So, the link between upper back pain and large breasts is not completely clear.
Multiple factors cause back pain in women, and macromastia (large breasts) certainly contributes.
While some name very large breasts as a scapegoat for back pain in women, research does demonstrate a connection.
Very large breasts worsen bad posture and add stress to pulled muscles. Several further problems arise from the changes in normal posture caused by excess weight on the chest.
In this article, we look at some side effects of big breasts and some solutions.
What Is the Connection Between Large Breasts and Back Pain?
When breast size is too heavy for the surrounding muscles to support, it leads to continuous tension on the muscle groups that support the back.
Research has shown breast cup sizes D and above can cause upper back pain. They can alter the curvature of the spine and can have a significant impact on posture. Women with size DD breasts or above reported almost constant pain in their back, neck, or shoulders before breast reduction surgery.
Heavy breasts can also cause you to lean forward more. This subjects the spinal column and other supporting structures to strain.
Stabilizing muscles in your back need to compensate for this imbalance. So, the additional tension placed on them increases stress and fatigue on the muscles.
Side Effects of Large Breasts
Neck, Shoulder & Back Pain
Breast-related neck and shoulder pain results from changes in the center of gravity, contributing to poor posture. The tendency to pull the shoulders down and hunch the back leads to chronic neck, breast, and shoulder blade pain.
Women with large breasts also often wear the wrong size bra. Although the bra is not directly linked to the pain, a non-supportive bra could load the mid-back and associated muscles, causing back pain from heavy breasts.
Even wearing the best bra for large breasts and back pain, the weight of huge breasts can cause bra straps to leave large indentations in your shoulders.
Purchasing a wide-strap bra can help but may not eliminate the grooves.
Yeast loves a warm moist place to grow. Big breasts create the perfect environment as they rub against the skin on your abdomen. Combining the moisture, heat, and friction encourages a red, raw, and itchy intertrigo yeast infection in the skin folds.
Some women with very large breasts report numbness in the breasts attributed to poorly fitting bras compressing nerve fibers in the breast tissue.
Poor posture and strain on the torso and neck can lead to compressed nerve pathways down your arms. This can result in numbness in the hands and fingers.
Inability to Exercise & Shortness of Breath
Physical challenges aside, women with large breasts feel self-conscious and embarrassed about their breasts bouncing too much while working out.
Women with large breasts may also experience shortness of breath. The weight of excess breast tissue is thought to constrict the natural movement of the diaphragm.
In a study published in the Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, participants reported that they could breathe more easily following breast reduction surgery.
Many women with macromastia have cited headaches as a symptom of having extremely large breasts. And those who have undergone a breast reduction report relief from headaches post-surgery.
Chronic headaches are likely caused by the muscle tension associated with poor posture and compensation for the weight of the breasts.
How To Relieve Back Pain From Large Breasts
There are several recommendations for relieving back pain from large breasts. These include:
- Wearing the correct bra size for optimal breast support. Choosing a bra with wide straps will help prevent shoulder grooves.
- Exercise that strengthens core muscles, like yoga or pilates, will give added support to heavy breasts and help the back muscles compensate for the weight.
- Address excess weight. Because breast tissue is made of fat, breast size increases as you gain weight. Research shows that many women reporting back pain from large breasts are overweight.
- Mammaplasty is a surgical procedure to reduce your breasts to a size proportionate to the rest of the body. Breast reduction surgery will help you maintain a better posture and ultimately relieve upper body pain so that you can enjoy a better quality of life.
Breast size is commonly blamed for upper back, neck, and shoulder pain. Despite there being several recommended methods for easing back pain, breast reduction surgery has the best results.
If you have very large breasts that are causing you back pain, then a breast reduction might be the perfect solution. Our expert and professional staff at Millenial Plastic Surgery can help you achieve the results you want and take that upper back pain away!