In the last 15 years, the average bust size has increased from 34B to 36C and some sources suggest it may actually be a 36 D average within a few years. Extremely large breasts have been linked to a number of physical complaints including backaches, neck pain, and numbness in the fingers in hands. It is not a mystery the link between large breasts and these symptoms. As obesity rises this issue no longer remains solely a female concern. Males too are experiencing an increase in problems from an increase in weight of the chest.
Cup Size B and upwards increase stress on the spine and distort posture
Increasing the size of breasts actually increases the weight supported by your spine, as well as changes your center of gravity. Studies have found that the size of breasts from a B cup and upwards, have increased postural distortion patterns, such as an increase in the hump (hyper kyphosis) of the upper back, as well as an increased curve of the lumbar spine. This problem affects most women of all breast sizes. As gravity pulls down on the body, an increase in breast size adds more stress to the middle thoracic spine. This begins to stress the spinal vertebra, and degenerate the vertebral discs. In addition the muscles become strained sending signals of stress as back pain. This change in the curve of the spine affects the nerves that run through out the body. Most commonly noticed is tingling/pain in the arms and hands, as well as an increase in headaches.
The weight of breasts changes the body’s center of gravity and stresses the muscles of the back.
The back pain is a signal from the body that the spine, muscles, and nerves are being stressed. If this is not resolved greater damage and disease will develop leading to distorted, hunched over posture, as well as potentially immobilizing spinal complications. All though breast reduction augmentation has gained popularity in recent years there are other more conservative ways to help support your breasts and prevent these postural distortion patterns from developing.
First check to see if this is a problem that is affecting you. Check your pictures. Are you leaning/hunching forward? Are your shoulders rounded in? Are you a breast size of B or larger? These are all factors that lead to this postural distortion pattern and eventually spinal disease. To find out for sure if you are developing these postural distortion patterns get your Posture Diagnosis Online from the American Posture Institute at www.AmericanPostureInstitute.com.
4 Natural Tips to improve your posture
Posture Habits Re-education
- Chest Out
- Most females tend to slouch forward allowing their chest to fall down and their shoulders to round forward. Set a posture reminder to pull your shoulders back, head over your shoulders, and chest up. Focusing on this consciously for a few weeks will develop the correct posture habits to maintain this position.
- Scapular Strengthening
- Stand with your back against a wall with your shoulders and pelvis touching the wall. Bring your arms up to shoulder level with your elbows touching the wall. Raise your arms upwards as far as you can, while maintaining the elbow contact against the wall. Now bring your elbows down towards your side, squeezing your scapulas together. You should feel this muscular contraction between your shoulder blades. Do this 5 times every day.
- Thoracic Muscular Reinforcement
- Lay on your stomach. Place your fingertips on the back of your head and raise your upper chest and head off the ground. Hold this position as long as you can. You should feel this exercise in your upper and mid back. To increase the difficulty, raise your feet at the same time, supporting both your upper and lower body on your pelvis. Repeat this exercise for 5 repetitions, every day.
- Thoracic Traction
- Lay on your back. Place a small cushion in the middle of your back so that it causes you to slightly arch over it, with your arms raised over your head. Lay in this position for 5 – 10 minutes everyday. As this position becomes easier, increase the size of the cushion.
For more information on how your posture may be causing your health problems, how to stay healthy through proper posture, or for more ways to improve your posture contact Dr. Mark Wade at: API@AmericanPostureInstitute.com or find more information like this at www.AmericanPostureInstitute.com
Dr. Mark Wade DC, DrPH, CPE, CPEP
Certified Posture Expert
Doctor of Chiropractic
Doctor of Public Health
Founder of the American Posture Institute
- Outcomes After Breast Reduction: Does Size Really Matter? Spector, Jason A. MD*; Singh, Sunil P. BA†; Karp, Nolan S. MD. Annals of Plastic Surgery: May 2008 – Volume 60 – Issue 5 – pp 505-509. doi: 10.1097/SAP.0b013e31816f76b5
- Findikcioglu, K., M.D., Findikcioglu, F., M.D., Ozmen, S., M.D., & Guclu, T., M.D. (2007). The impact of breast size on the vertebral column: A radiologic study. Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, 31(1), 23-7. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00266-006-0178-5