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The Correlation Between Breast Size and Back Pain

According to studies, women with large breast sizes are more prone to back, shoulder and neck pain than those with smaller breasts.

heavy breasts and back pain shoulder pain and neck pain with large breast size

Heavy Breasts

Dr. Kenneth Hansraj, the spine doctor and researcher most noted for coining the term “text neck“, performed a study on the effect of breast size on the spine. In his study he measured the forces on the spine for women with differing size breasts. Based on the large variation in breast size and breast weight, Dr. Hansraj found that the spine can feel an effect of anywhere from 8.5 to 100 pounds of force. The article also states that:

“It is a well-established fact that women who have large, heavy breasts suffer from spine pain.”

Heavy breasts may be the result of a woman’s natural structure, body mass index or breast implant surgery. Regardless of the cause, the additional weight from heavy breasts leads to increased pressure on the spine and more frequent pain in the middle / upper back and shoulder / neck areas.

Relationship Between Breast Size and Posture

A large chest size can impact a woman’s posture. The additional weight of heavy breasts can cause the woman to walk more hunched over and affect the curvature of her spine. Studies have even shown that some of these postural changes don’t immediately correct themselves after breast reduction surgery! Special therapy to help “re-train” the back muscles is sometimes recommended after breast reduction surgery to help the individual correct their posture.

What to Do About Back Pain if you Large Breasts

If you have large breasts and think your chronic back or neck pain is related there are some things you can do to help alleviate your pain.

First you should make sure you’re wearing the correct size bra. One study on the subject found that the larger the woman’s breast size the more likely she was to be wearing an incorrect bra size!

Other options include taking NSAID’s and improving your posture and muscle strength with physical therapy and exercise.

If you are overweight, losing weight will help reduce the weight of your breasts and the load on your spine.

Finally, if the pain and weight is extremely burdensome you may want to talk to a doctor about breast reduction surgery. This surgery has led to a reduction in back, neck and shoulder pain for many women…and even helped some with headaches and respiratory function!



*Please Note: Information on this site or any recommended sites should not be used as a diagnosis or a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.
Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery