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Wearing a bra and chest pain

The bra is a fundamental part of a woman's wardrobe, often used for aesthetic and comfort reasons. However, its influence on musculoskeletal health, particularly rib pain, has been the subject of discussion and study. The aim of this article is to review the available research on bra-wearing and its potential link with rib pain, and also to give you some pointers on how to relieve rib pain associated with bra-wearing.

Comfort and support

Studies suggest that the proper support provided by a suitable bra can reduce pain in the upper back and cervical region, especially in women with generous breasts.

Wearing a bra can have a significant impact on rib pain and overall musculoskeletal health. While proper support can offer benefits, an ill-fitting bra can lead to problems. It is imperative to choose a well-fitting bra and consult professionals for personalized advice.

Insufficient support can lead to poor posture and increased tension in the back muscles, according to a publication in the "Journal of Physical Therapy Science".

An article in the "Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport" revealed that bras that are too tight can exert excessive pressure on the thorax, which can cause intercostal pain.

Breathing capacity and bra

A study from the University of Portsmouth has hypothesized that over-fitted bras may limit breathing capacity. Compression of the ribs and diaphragm can disrupt normal respiratory mechanics, potentially leading to chest pain and feelings of tightness.

Bra and posture

Research has also highlighted that high-support bras, particularly underwired models, may influence posture. A publication in "Ergonomics" indicated that postural changes associated with wearing an inappropriate bra may contribute to chest pain.

Further research is needed to deepen our understanding of the relationship between bra and rib pain, and to develop evidence-based recommendations for women's health.

Wearing a bra during pregnancy

Pregnancy is a period of great physiological change, which can often be accompanied by a variety of discomforts, including rib pain. These pains can be exacerbated by wearing a bra that is too tight, a frequent occurrence as the body undergoes transformations. Osteopaths specializing in musculoskeletal health, highlight the importance of a whole-body approach to managing this problem.

Pregnancy: a changing body

During pregnancy, a woman's body undergoes significant hormonal and structural changes. Osteopaths know that increased breast volume, weight gain and a shift in the center of gravity can modify posture and induce additional pressure on the spine and ribs.

What do the studies say?

Although there is a lack of specific research directly linking rib pain and bra wearing during pregnancy, osteopathic and chiropractic studies suggest that mobility restrictions in the thorax may contribute to musculoskeletal pain. According to the article "Pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain: pathophysiology, diagnosis and management", published in the Journal of Osteopathic Medicine, close attention to body biomechanics may play a role in pain management.

Osteopathy and rib pain

osteopath versailles costalgie bra

Osteopathy focuses on maintaining joint mobility and, more generally, on the importance of healthy body function. In the case of rib pain linked to wearing an inadequate bra, your osteopath may be asked to perform gentle, pain-free manual adjustments on the ribs as well as the dorsal spine, stretching of the intercostal muscles, advice on posture and specific exercises to strengthen the trunk muscles and support growing breasts.

Here's our advice on wearing a bra during pregnancy:

  • Choice of bra: Opt for maternity bras designed to adapt to body changes, with wide bands and stretch fabrics.
  • Use bra extenders: you can find them everywhere now. Using these bra extenders, you can keep your favorite bra longer.
  • Listening to the body: Pay attention to body signals and adjust clothing and physical activity accordingly.
  • Use brassieresto avoid pain from bra stays
  • Take off your bra as much as possible, for example as soon as you get home.

Costal pain during pregnancy is a common complaint that can be aggravated by wearing a tight bra. Osteopaths offer a unique perspective on managing this pain by focusing on optimal musculoskeletal function and providing personalized advice. It is essential to wear suitable clothing and maintain good posture to minimize the risk of pain and discomfort.

The myth of the bra that protects against breast ptosis

Breast ptosis, or sagging breasts, is a common concern for many women. It is generally attributed to a variety of factors such as aging, hormonal changes, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and weight fluctuations. One question that often sparks debate is whether not wearing a bra could contribute to this phenomenon. Let's take a look at what science has to say on the subject.

Mammary ptosis is characterized by a lowering of the breast, where the nipple lies below the infra-mammary fold. It is influenced by the quality of the skin, the strength of the connective tissue and the density of the glandular breast tissue. Many of you in our practice are reluctant to take off your bra more often for fear of breast ptosis, so here's some insight.

One of the best-known studies is that carried out by Professor Jean-Denis Rouillon of the Université de Franche-Comté in France.

Over a 15-year period, the study followed around 330 women and found that the breasts of women who didn't wear bras were firmer, had fewer stretch marks and the nipples were higher compared to those of women who wore bras regularly.

The theory put forward by some health professionals is that the absence of a bra could theoretically strengthen breast tissue and improve pectoral muscle tone, which could contribute to a more "lifted" appearance.

Clinicians note that breast ptosis is more likely to be influenced by the aforementioned genetic and environmental factors than by whether or not a bra is worn. Breast tissue is primarily fat and glands, not muscle, so wearing or not wearing a bra would not directly affect breast "strength".

Conclusion about bras and rib pain

In conclusion, the debate surrounding the impact of bra wear on costal pain and breast ptosis remains complex and requires nuanced consideration. Current evidence suggests that appropriate bra use, particularly in terms of size and support, may play a role in reducing musculoskeletal pain, including rib pain. Furthermore, during pregnancy, particular attention should be paid to the choice of lingerie, giving priority to comfort and adaptability to body changes.

With regard to breast ptosis, research such as Rouillon's study indicates that wearing a bra is no guarantee against breast sagging, and that not wearing one may even have benefits for long-term breast firmness and position. However, it is important to note that breast ptosis is mainly influenced by genetic factors and changes linked to age, lifestyle and life events such as pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Marie Messager
Osteopath D.O
2 rue Alexis de Tocqueville
78000 Versailles

Marie messager osteopath versailles

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