As well as backache, neck or shoulder pain and headaches, some experts link poor posture, arthritis, slipped discs and ‘A bra that’s too tight restricts movement in the upper back, causing stiffness as well as spine restriction,’ says physiotherapist Tim Allardyce. And it’s not good news if your bra is loose either. A bra that is slightly too big doesn’t support your cleavage, so your neck and upper back muscles have to work harder to support the weight of your boobs. ‘As soon as the neck muscles are over worked, you’re far more likely to get a headache,’ says Tim, ‘this isn’t so much an issue with smaller breasts, but with larger breasts, it can be quite a strain.’ Go for comfy, you might not have to reach for the paracetamol several times a day.
Rehab my Patient with Tim Allardyce Photo Gallery
BIG BAND The most support comes from the back band, so if that’s too loose, your bra isn’t performing its function. ‘When the band is too big, bras can travel up the back,’ says Julia. Or you could be suffering from ‘underboob’, when your breasts spill out from to slip underneath the band; if the band is too tight, you might notice back fat bulge – which won’t look pretty in that slinky top.
CUP HALF EMPTY
Have you lost weight recently? Well done! But it’s time to check that your cups are still the right size and they offer adequate support to the delicate breast tissue. Since your breasts are made of up to 75% fat, they can if you drop a few kilos, so reducing.
Ugly indentations on your shoulders at the end of the day are a clear sign your straps are too tight. ‘This happens when the straps have been over-adjusted with the intention of giving support,’ says Julia. ‘If straps are shortened too much, the breast will fall forward and the back of the bra will work its way up, therefore not giving you any support at all.’ Check that you’re not being over-zealous with your straps by slipping them off your shoulders – if your boobs drop suddenly, you need to loosen the straps, as the cups should always stay in place and support your breasts.
CUP RUNNETH OVER
If your bra’s ‘You’ll see spillage at the cleavage area, under the arms and across the back,’ says Julia. You might also notice a bit of side-boob or a ‘four boob’ effect when the breast spills out over the sides and top of the cups – not a good look! ‘The sitting fully back at the centre front, with no wires digging into the breast tissue,’ advises Julia.
There are four key bra shapes: plunge, balconette, full cup and strapless. Discovering what’s right for you is the key to having your ‘just right’ Goldilocks moment in the bra department. ‘Most girls can wear a full cup or strapless,’ says Julia, ‘but if you have a small frame along with close For those with wider shoulders and a gap between your breasts, it’s best to go for a balconette for the most comfort.
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