Let’s shunt aside modesty for the moment and face the obvious truth. If you’re a woman, you most likely wear a bra. Bras are part of life, and unless you boldly embrace your femininity and are willing to go braless (good for you!), then you most likely own at least a few lacy, push up, or classic underwire bras. If you are like the vast majority of American women, you strap your bra on in the morning and don’t experience the blessed relief of removing it until the long day is over and you are in the comfort of your own home. But, did you know that your underwire bra may actually be harming your health?
Any busty woman will know the unavoidable pain that comes from carrying heavy breasts around all day. This pain, however, is intensified when you wear an underwire bra that doesn’t fit perfectly. The pain radiates from your shoulders and through your neck, creating tension and knots. Keep in mind, that over time, bras (and the underwire in them) can become misshapen and stretched out, causing undue pressure and fatigued muscles. Even if your bra was once a perfect fit, your body and the bra may have changed. Be sure to measure yourself often and invest in new bras at least every few years.
Underwire can chafe against the skin and lead to skin conditions such as contact dermatitis, cuts or punctures from worn out or exposed wire, or severe allergic reactions to cheap metal.
Headaches can stem from a variety of serious health conditions, but if you are having trouble figuring out why you get headaches on a daily basis, your bra may be the culprit. Underwire bras (especially ones that don’t fit) can cause your neck and back muscles to work overtime to support your breasts, leading to a headache. You may have a bra-related headache if you only have pain on one side of the head that seems to originate from your neck. Often you will feel relief when you remove your bra.
The truth about underwire and cancer
For years, there has been a myth circulating that underwire bras cause cancer. Perpetrators of this myth claimed that “Underwire bras cause breast cancer by blocking the drainage of lymph fluid from the bottom of the breast so it can’t get back into your body.” In fact, scientific studies have been unable to determine any link between underwire bras and breast cancer, so you don’t need to be concerned about increasing your risk if you choose to wear this type of bra.
So what’s the answer?
Obviously, the solution isn’t to stop wearing a bra entirely, as going braless is unacceptable in most jobs and professional situations due to societal concerns. Many women also feel more comfortable when wearing a bra and actually feel like the support from their ever-present padded companion can give them confidence and help relieve some of the weight off their chest.
The good news is, there are a few ways to make sure that your bra is helping you rather than harming you.
Many of the health concerns related to wearing a bra stem from poorly designed or ill-fitting underwired bras. This issue can be solved by simply investing in a comfortable wireless bra. Believe it or not, you can get just as much support and padding from a wireless bra without the irritating and uncomfortable wire digging into your skin.
Make sure your bra fits right
If you’re not sure about ditching underwire altogether, then it is probably time to upgrade your bra collection. Get rid of any overworn, uncomfortable bras in your closet and purchase high-quality bras specially designed for comfort and stability.
Get a fitting
Many stores will allow you to get a custom bra fitting for free, and the retail workers will help you find a bra that fits your size and your needs perfectly.
Stop sleeping in a bra
On the off chance that you sleep in a bra, its probably best to stop this habit. Though there is no scientific evidence to prove that sleeping in a bra is harmful, contrary to popular belief, it won’t do anything to help keep your boobs perky and can be incredibly constricting and disrupt your natural sleep patterns.
Have you ditched your underwire bra? Let us know in the comments below!
-The Alternative Daily