Can Bras Cause Back Pain? Quick Answer!

Can Bras Cause Back Pain? Quick Answer!

Ladies, we’ve all been there—struggling to find a perfect bra that provides comfort and support and does not leave us counting down the minutes until we can rip it off at the end of the day.

But have you ever wondered if your trusty brassiere might be the culprit behind that nagging back pain you occasionally experience? Well, it’s time to unravel the truth behind this long-standing debate: Can bras cause back pain?

We examine scientific evidence and separate fact from fiction. This article explores the anatomy of the back, whether bras can cause back pain, factors that might contribute to this perception, and tips for back pain relief.

Understanding the Anatomy of the Back of the Body

Before delving into the relationship between bras and back pain, let us first understand the complexity of the anatomical structure of the back.

The ligaments, vertebrae, muscles, and discs are components of the spine that all work harmoniously to support the body and facilitate movement. The back’s muscular system maintains proper posture and provides body stability.

Can Bras Cause Back Pain?

No. There is no direct causal relationship between bras and back pain. Several studies have explored the effects of bra use on various aspects of health, including back pain. Even so, no conclusive evidence supports the claim that bras alone are responsible for back pain.

Factors Contributing to Back Pain

A number of factors can exacerbate back pain. They include:

  • Poor posture
  • Muscle imbalance
  • Weak core muscles
  • Obesity
  • Stress
  • Repetitive strain

Consider these factors when assessing the potential causes of back pain and not solely focus on bra use.

Posture and Bra Fit

One possible reason why some women experience discomfort while wearing bras is due to posture and bra fit. Wearing a bra that doesn’t provide adequate support or is ill-fitting, can lead to poor posture mostly slouching, and strain on the back muscles, potentially causing discomfort.

Always ensure to wear a proper-fitting bra that offers your boobs adequate support. Consult a bra fitting expert to determine your precise bra size prior to bra purchase.

Putting on a bra that does not fit well may aggravate back pain issues. Too-tight bra puts pressure on your back muscles or nerves leading to back pain. Conversely, a loose bra may not offer enough support for your ‘twins’; straining your back muscles.

Other Contributing Factors: Certain Bra Types

While bras may not directly cause back pain, particular types of bras or wearing them for extended periods may aggravate existing back issues. For instance, bras with narrow straps can place intense pressure on the shoulders and upper back, leading to backaches.

Additionally, bras with underwires may cause discomfort or nerve impingement in some individuals. Listen to your body and choose bras that are comfortable and supportive.

See also: Are bras worn during surgery?

Tips for Alleviating Back Pain:

If you’re experiencing back pain and suspect your bra may be a contributing factor, consider the following tips to alleviate discomfort:

Get properly fitted

Many women wear too-tight or too-loose bras that can contribute to back pain. Visit a professional bra fitter to determine your precise bra size and recommend bras that provide proper support and comfort.

Choose supportive bras

Opt for bras with wider straps, good support, and comfortable materials. Wide bra straps help distribute the weight more evenly across your shoulders, lessening the strain on the back muscles.

Choose bras with a wide under-band and full cups to achieve great bra support. You should also take into consideration the bra’s material. High-quality bra materials like cotton and microfiber offer comfort and stability.

Practice good posture

Maintaining a good posture throughout the day alleviates back pain. Avoid slouching, keep your spine aligned and shoulders back, as you sit or stand.   

Engaging your core muscles helps support your back and improve your posture.

See also: Push-up bras for side support

Strengthen your core

If you have weak core muscles, you risk suffering from back pain, muscle injuries, and poor posture.

Engaging in exercises that target your abdominal and back muscles can help strengthen your core, providing better support for your spine. Consider incorporating exercises like planks, bridges, and Pilates into your routine.

Put on a sporting bra during exercises to avoid straining your neck, back, and shoulder muscles as your breasts bounce up and down.

See also: Bra types for every breast shape

Take breaks from wearing bras

If you spend long hours wearing bras, give yourself occasional breaks from them to provide relief to your back muscles. Go braless at home or during low-impact activities to allow your muscles to relax and breathe. You can also opt to wear bra alternatives like bralettes and tank tops.


While many women have reported experiencing back pain while wearing bras, the scientific evidence does not conclusively support a direct causal relationship.

Poor posture, muscle imbalances, and ill-fitting bras are some of the factors that are more likely to contribute to discomfort and pain.

Focus on maintaining a good posture, choosing supportive bras, and considering other potential causes when addressing the back pain problem. If the back pain persists, seek medical attention.

Additional Questions

Can my bra be the reason for my backache?

There is a degree of variance among experts when confirming whether wearing an improperly fitted bra can lead to neck and back pain. While some research argues no direct association, others suggest the possibility of an improper fit, particularly amongst those with larger breasts. In these instances, the lack of adequate support might induce postural changes and subsequent discomfort. From my personal experience in the realm of orthopedics, I’ve interacted with several patients who affirmed an improvement in their symptoms after rectifying their bra fitting issues.

Why does my back hurt due to my bra?

If your bra does not sufficiently support your breast tissue, the additional weight bears down on your back and shoulders. As a result, this weight distribution forces your posture to shift, leading to a curvature in your neck and back that might induce pain. In my years of seeing patients, I’ve seen this occurrence quite often, particularly in those with larger breasts. It’s essential to remember that fit and support in a bra is key to helping reduce this type of discomfort.

How to determine if a bra is causing pain?

Unfortunately, this segment was initially left unanswered. However, discomfort originating from a bra often manifests as soreness in the shoulders, upper back, neck, or upper chest. Tension headaches may also develop due to muscle strain caused by a poorly fitted bra. Signs that your bra might be the culprit include indentations from bra straps, underwire digging in, or an underband riding up your back. I recommend patients speak to a professional bra-fitter if they suspect this to be the case.

Could wearing my bra throughout the day induce pain?

For those who wear bras, it’s important to know that a poorly fit one can certainly cause pain in the chest and neck muscles. Overly tightened shoulder straps can be a particular issue, given that they provide a significant amount of breast support. These factors can create discomfort in the chest, neck, and shoulders when the bra is worn throughout the day. I can’t stress enough the importance of a well-fitted bra to my patients – discomfort and pain should never be a daily recurrence in anyone’s life.