Backache and Big Busts

Many women are naturally endowed with larger breasts or may undergo breast augmentation to increase their bust size and do not consider the impact of a bigger bust. It often leads to backache, affecting both the mid back and lower back and can cause long term back problems. The additional weight from larger breasts causes an abnormal curvature of the spine or straining of the back muscles when trying to maintain a good posture. In order to reduce back pain, it is important to wear a good supporting bra and correct the posture to distribute the weight evenly.

The body’s weight is evenly distributed along the spinal column and dissipated across both legs. The upper body weight can affect both the back, lower limbs and gait (walk) if it is unevenly distributed.

With a larger bust, there is significantly more weight at the front of the torso. In order to compensate for this increased weight, women with large busts tend to extend backwards, often giving the impression that they are pushing out their chest. The natural S-shaped curvature of the spine is therefore affected. However women who are conscious about their breast size tend to stoop forward in order to hide their breast size. This increases the curvature of the mid back and also contributes to back pain.

Most of the weight of the upper body is carried in the lower back and in the case of a larger bust, the change in posture may also increase the curvature of the lower back or lumbar vertebrae. This accounts for the low back pain experienced in women with bigger busts. To compensate for the increased weight on the lower back, some women with larger busts may protrude the lower parts of the spinal column. This causes a typical ‘protruding butt’ posture and coupled with the ‘pushed out’ chest, the walk may appear unusual, and is often described as a ‘duck-like’ walk.

By wearing a well-fitting bra that provides support under the breast, mid and lower back pain can be relieved to some degree. In cases of a very large bust, breast augmentation to reduce the bust size may be considered to prevent or ease long term back problems. Apart from backache, a larger bust can also cause a pinched nerve in the cervical (neck) or mid back (thoracic) vertebrae with tingling, numbness or pain running down the arms. The change in posture, especially when walking or standing, can cause leg and foot pain and may also contribute to conditions like sciatica.