At Leading Lady, we celebrate women of all shapes and sizes and in all walks of life. Breast size and shape are as unique as our fingerprints and each woman’s feminine shape is beautiful. While we embrace our figures, women with large breasts are sometimes faced with additional complications due to added weight and pressure placed on certain areas of the body. As we are honoring Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October and discussing breast health, today we are exploring how to avoid health problems with large breasts.
The following health problems are common among women with large breasts:
Upper Body Pain
Large breasts put additional strain and pressure on the neck, back and shoulders, which often results in a lot of pain. The weight of large breasts on the chest causes the usually strong upper spine muscles to become sore easily and quickly. As a woman’s body compensates for the strain of large breasts, a chain reaction can occur where posture slowly worsens and deteriorates, which further exacerbates these upper back, shoulder and neck problems. Large breasts can lead to chronic pain and permanent nerve damage.
Women with large breasts tend to experience more skin irritation around and under their breasts and on their shoulders and backs. The folds underneath breasts can naturally cause these problems, especially as sweat accumulates in this area. Also, many women are not wearing bras that fit properly, leaving skin indentations, chaffing and rashes around the breasts, under the shoulder straps and across the back. Uncomfortable bra fabrics can worsen these skin irritations as well.
Large breasts puts pressure on the chest cavity and can make breathing difficult for some women. This may result in shortness of breath, especially during physical activity or while lying down. Poor oxygenation leads to a host of other health problems as well.
Exercising and physical activity can be challenging for women with large breasts. Discomfort and chaffing from bouncing breasts are big limitations for many full figured women. Any type of exercise that requires a wide range of movement – from running and walking, to playing tennis or even golfing – makes working out and regular exercise more difficult.
Solutions for Health Problems with Large Breasts
Despite these challenges, large breasts aren’t all bad. Here are some ways to avoid health problems with large breasts:
- Wear properly fitting bras. Your bra should encapsulate your breast completely and offer light compression to reduce bounce. Your bra should never dig into your skin beneath your breasts, on your shoulders or across your back. Additionally, your full figure bra should support your breasts to prevent sagging and disperse weight evenly and comfortably across your back and shoulders.
- Look for comfort features in your bras. Many of our Leading Lady full figure bras feature padded straps, molded cups and 4 hook-and-eye closures for flexibility. Also, wear bras made of breathable fabrics that stretch and move with your body.
- Wear full figure sports bras for physical activity. Sports bras are designed for movement and offer more compression than regular bras. It is essential to wear the right bra for your level of exercise.
- Exercise to strengthen your body. While certain types of exercise may be uncomfortable, it is essential that women with large breasts get regular exercise, especially to strengthen the muscles of the upper back and shoulders. Weight lifting, swimming and rowing are good, low-impact options.
- Medication may help on a temporary basis. Over-the-counter pain medication or anti-inflammatories can reduce pain to get through your day or exercise routine. If you experience chronic pain, talk to your doctor about stronger pain medication.
- Physical therapy is a good place to start. If your pain is so severe that you’re not sure where to begin your exercise regimen, go to a physical therapist for recommendations. These professionals can tailor a workout to your level of fitness and help you overcome the challenges of large breasts.
- Always sleep in a bra. It is vital for full figure women to wear sleep bras at night. This will ensure your breasts are supported while you sleep and don’t uncomfortably fall to the sides. Sleep bras feature front closures that won’t dig into your back at night. Also, side-sleeping is often a better choice for women with large breasts.
Large Breasts and Breast Cancer
Here’s some good news: Extensive research has been done on various risk factors for breast cancer. Nearly every study indicates that breast size is not correlated to breast cancer. The only possible increased risk factor is for post menopausal women who have small bodies with larger breasts, as evidenced in one study. Body weight may, however, effect breast cancer incidence. Women who are overweight and carry weight in their stomach tend to have a higher rate of breast cancer than those who are not overweight at all or who carry weight on their lower bodies.