Why Your Bra Hurts the Rib Cage

Why Your Bra Hurts the Rib Cage

Why does my bra hurt my ribs? This is one question that many women, especially those that wear underwire bras have. Read on to find out what makes the bra hurt the rib cage and how you can fix a painful underwire bra.

If your bra tends to dig into the skin around your rib area, it’s either because your ribs are unusually high or the bra fits too tight.

Why Does My Bra Hurt My Ribs?

When the bra band fits too snugly around your body, it causes unnecessary pressure on the muscles and nerves around that place.

Moreover, if the bra fits too tightly and also has an underwire, the pain will be worse.

woman wearing a bra that is too tight

Any bra in your collection should provide a snug fit at the back and around the ribs. It shouldn’t dig into the skin at any point.

When you remove the bra at the end of the day, your body shouldn’t have any markings or indentations where the bra was sitting. If you see any marks, this is a sign that your bra is ill-fitting, or that it hurts the rib cage.

Nothing would feel worse than your bra ruining an outfit or an entire day. Whether it’s the band cutting into your skin, straps continually sliding off the shoulders, an underwire that’s too wayward, or cups that run over, you do not want these issues. These are the main causes of pain and discomfort when you are wearing a bra.

Most women don’t wear correct bra sizes. In fact, 70% of women wear bras that are quite small. Therefore, it’s not a wonder that most of them complain about their bras and feel relieved after taking it off at the end of the day.

How Should Bras Fit?

For complete comfort and high-level support, the bra should fit properly. This means wearing an appropriate band size and the correct cup size.

A bra that fits perfectly well doesn’t dig into the sides nor pull down on the shoulders. Additionally, the breasts should sit appropriately on the cups without any spillage or a uniboob effect. The bra’s center bridge should firmly sit against the body, with no gaps between it and the sternum.

why does my bra hurt my ribs

To solve the uniboob problem, go for wireless bras or those with no underwires.

Most of us associate wire-free bras with full coverage with boring styles. However, there is a wide variety of stylish wireless full coverage bras on the market. Some of these bras have low V-necklines and are quite supportive.

You can also try contour or molded wire-free bras, if you prefer something that looks like a regular bra.

How to Fix Underwire Bras

Underwires can cause pain on the ribs, especially if they tend to stick out and jab you between the bust or the underarm.

Sometimes, buying new bras all the time can be costly. Therefore, instead of always buying, consider repairing the bra before getting rid of it.

Here’s how to fix a bra underwire:

  • Grab a masking or electrical tape then wrap a little amount around the wire’s tips. Don’t go overboard. Just wrap enough that you can slide back the wire through the minute rip. Thickening the end prevents it from re-poking out. You can then push the underwire back to its position.
  • Get your sewing kit and select the strongest, thickest thread inside the box. We recommend you use an upholstery thread or any heavy-duty thread. Sew the torn part, beginning from right under the underwire. Continue stitching to the farther side of the ripped hole to secure it.
  • To ensure the underwire doesn’t poke again, use some fabric glue or nail polish to cover the stitches.

After this, you can wear your bra and won’t have to worry about experiencing any pain on the ribs.

If you need a quick fix when you already out of the house, MacGyver the bra by covering the visible underwire with a soft fabric, such as cotton. You can also use some tape to make it stay in place. It won’t be a permanent fix but will save the day from those irritating jabs.

Bra Alternatives

If bras make you sick altogether, make your nipples free with these alternatives!

Sports Bras

Sports bras are quite comfortable. These are an ideal alternative to traditional bras, especially for women with high rib cages. You can certainly wear one even when you not working out.

See the best sports bras you can buy.


If you still find sports bras too restricting, go for a bralette. Dainty and super light, you will feel like you not wearing a bra at all.

Check the bralettes we recommend.


Are these options still confining? There are pasties! The likes of Lil Kim and Miley Cyrus have made the look popular by not putting on anything save for pasties! They’re practical when you wear them underneath clothes too.

Here are the best pasties you can buy.

Many people believe that taking off the bra at the end of the day is quite relieving. While it’s not entirely wrong, the respite level women feel going braless would be nearly as good when you get the wear the right bra size.

Love a good book and a good laugh. I'm the founder and strategist at Brabbly. My ultimate goal is to help women of all body types find fitting bras and underthings.

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