Wearing a bra is a highly polemical subject which has been tackled from different views. Most of us are conversant with free the nipple movement. Their website does explain that they focus on empowerment, equality, and freedom for all human beings as well. Among the things they major on, this movement questions what bras represent throughout history as an oppression tool. The campaign also believes that we are all the same regardless of gender, whether man or woman. And this is to say that women’s nipples are not to be censored when men’s aren’t.
Anyhow, what is the viability of this movement when the majority of female species are accustomed to wearing bras? And are there benefits associated with wearing bras?
Most women cannot go braless when out of the house or when running errands. And with the blazing heat, sometimes we are tempted to whip off the bra and dump in our handbags. Women can agree that wearing a bra, especially during the hot weather usually delivers a host of nightmares from chaffing, fabric discoloration, to boob sweat!
More than 80% of women out there wear the wrong bra size. Others are even wearing smaller bras while a small percentage take on bigger sizes. Additionally, from The Institute of Osteopathy, a study shows that large breasts and cup sizes could also be a contributing factor to posture change. The changes in posture are known to cause musculoskeletal pain.
Can an Ill-Fitting Bra Cause Back Pain?
It depends on the woman’s build and the type of bra you wear. Several factors could contribute to back pains when it comes to a woman. For instance, some women are not comfortable with their shape and may, therefore, tend to slump or arch the shoulders, which affect the back muscles. Concerning musculoskeletal pain and the bust, it’s not only as a result of the bra or their size.
Sports bras can provide high-level support preventing the ribcage from functioning normally. And this would weaken the back muscles and put more strain on the breast ligaments. However, if you regularly exercise, support is vital as you might risk damaging the breasts’ internal structure. When you go braless during your workout sessions, the neck muscles, back, and trapezius work harder to balance out the weight.
Variety is ideal when it comes to wearing bras; you can liken it to swimming strokes. You should always monitor how your body feels, and the activities you take on that need structural support. Wearing a bra or going braless both come down to encouraging your body to learn how to work. Not only bracing it tight for a quick solution to postural problems and back pains as well.
Are Bras Entirely Cosmetic?
The primary function of the bra is to support the structure and the weight from the breasts. However, women tend to have some stiffness and pressure at the position of the bra straps. A bra that fits snugly can also affect the ribcage severely and even cause neck and back pains.
However, if the straps fit loosely and the back strap is tighter, it will cause an incorrect balance. Most people rely on how the back strap fits without putting in mind the uplift support. For instance, it’s virtually pointless if you go for a strapless bra. Also, wearing a bra can help the spine and muscles to get into position although it can’ be a one-stop solution.
For women who don’t wear bras, stretching, and activating muscles instead of strengthening helps create a healthy tissue groping. Breathing exercised based on the floor, which has nothing do to with posture will also come in handy. You can also use resistance bands that activate the muscles without additionally overloading them.
Pros of Wearing a Bra
If the bra’s band fits perfectly well and is also firm enough, the breasts’ weight will be distributed equally. And this means that the primary muscle groups in the shoulders, neck, and back won’t be under strain. In other cases, breathing could feel easier since the right bra size tends to lift the breasts off the ribcage. Plus, a bra that fits correctly will boost your confidence and self-esteem as well. These steps will help you know if you are wearing the right bra size:
- Band – Majority of a bra’s support usually comes from the back band; it, therefore, should feel firm yet not too tight.
- Wires – When fitting the bra, you should ensure the wires sit away from the breast tissues but sit perfectly well on the ribcage.
- Cups – The cups of the bra should encompass the entire breasts, thereby ensuring no gaping or overspill.
- Straps – Only a small percentage of the bra’s support comes from the straps. The straps are not responsible for holding up the breasts, the back band should. The straps should comfortably sit on the shoulders; neither should it dig in nor slip off. The thumb rule says that you should be able to fit at least two fingers under the straps comfortably.
- Bridge – The bra’s bridge (middle front part) should sit flat against your body.
- How the bra feels – It should always feel comfortable on the body. If you feel slightly uncomfortable in any of your bras, you are likely not to wear it again. It, therefore, would mean that a different shape and style may be ideal.
Most of us are still asking ourselves if we should wear bras 24 hours a day or at least give the breasts a break. It’s not recommendable to wear an underwire bra all through the day. However, some women still find it comfortable to even sleep in wire-free bras for support. It, therefore, comes down to what you would personally prefer. When wearing an underwire bra, ensure the wires sit behind the breast tissues and not on it. If you want to check this, try pressing gently against the wire – if the wire does bounce back, it means that it’s sitting on the tissue. Flexible wires and wires with padded casing would feel a lot more comfortable.