The shocking reality of what happens to your body if you’re wearing a badly fitted bra


The shocking reality of what happens to your body if you’re wearing a badly fitted bra 

The shocking side effects of a badly fitting bra have been revealed in a new study – and why you should be refitted every six to nine months to avoid them. 

Of the 1,000 women surveyed, many experienced back, neck and chest pain, stretch marks, bad posture, skin abrasions and breakouts due to poorly-fitting underwear.

A whopping 91 per cent of women surveyed were not getting their bras fitted regularly enough and 10 per cent admitted to wearing a bra that was between six and 10 years old.

The most common issue women reported from wearing the wrong-sized bra were rubbing and chaffing and painful marks on the shoulders.

Research conductors from lingerie brand Pour Moi made a 3D model, they named Melanie, highlighting the impacts wearing the wrong bra long term can have on the body based on the findings.

Andreas Anastasiou, a sports therapist with expertise in body corrective exercise, and general practitioner Dr Hana Patel explained the signs and symptoms of a too-tight or non-supportive bra and how to combat them.

Shoulder dents

Melanie has clear indents on her shoulders which nearly two-thirds of respondents said they had also experienced which Andreas said is because of straps that are too tight.

‘Over time the tight and narrow brassiere straps dig into the soft tissues around the shoulders and exert direct downward pressure onto the clavicles which can narrow the space in the costoclavicular passage,’ he said.

He said the indents can be easily fixed if you catch the signs early enough so to look out for initial red marks on the shoulder or pain when carrying a handbag.

A way to make sure your straps isn’t too tight, Andreas said, is to keep at least a one finger gap between the strap and your shoulder and adjust the straps until they are comfortable after it has been washed.


Hunched shoulders

Hunched posture is a result of wearing bras that are too loose which has resulted in the shoulders taking the weight of the breasts.

‘Hunching the shoulders further narrows the costoclavicular passage by pushing the scapula forwards. As well as neck, shoulder and back pain; this can lead to nerve damage in the thoracic outlet (the space between your collarbone and your first rib),’ Andreas added.

Early signs a bra could be causing this problem include pain across the arms, chest and shoulders as well as back pain.

Dr Hana recommends massaging the chest and shoulders to loosen the soft tissue or physiotherapy to mobilise the spine.

‘Yoga or Pilates are also great exercises to stretch and open up the chest, as well as any back strengthening exercises that specifically target the upper back which will be most affected by this,’ she added.

Back and shoulder spots

When the bra band and straps don’t fit properly or get washed enough it causes friction on the skin.

The right bra won’t rub against the skin or cause breakouts but Dr Hana advised using antibiotic cream or medication if your ill-fitting bras result in severe acne.

She also said if it is severe enough people should find a thorough cleansing regime for clothes and skin to cure it.

Stretch marks

‘Stretch marks are a form of scarring to the skin that can be permanent,’ Dr Hana said.

A bra that is too loose can cause the breasts to sag leading to stretch marks.

If you notice stretch marks starting to form with no explanation, like weight gain or pregnancy, then this could be a sign that you need to get a more supportive bra so that the skin on and around your boobs isn’t being overly stretched.

10 most common health issues caused by poorly fitting bras

Rubbing or chafing – 37%

Marks on shoulders – 33%

Indentations on shoulders – 26%

Marks on chest – 20%

Shoulder pain – 19%

Back pain – 18%

Tight shoulders – 17%

Skin abrasions – 13%

Cuts on chest – 10%

Chest pain – 9%

 Source: Pour Moi

Six tips for getting the perfectly fitting bra every time 

  1. Get measured or measure yourself regularly
  2. Listen to your body as it tells you if something is wrong
  3. Throw on a tight-fitting t-shirt, if you can see the bra clearly then you are wearing the wrong size
  4. Understand your boob shape and buy the right bra for you
  5. Throw out your tired old bras and buy new ones – bras do lose their shape over time
  6. Read the washing instructions! Washing your bra incorrectly can damage the structure so they won’t fit properly

Source: Belle Lingerie