Your Bra Might Be Causing Pain

Neck, Posture, Lower Back, Blog, Shoulder, / By Shi Qi Yap

A study in 2008 found that 80% of women wear sized bras incorrectly. 70% wore bras that were too small, 10% wore bras that were too large.

Do you know that wearing a wrong sized bra can lead to shoulder, chest, neck, and spine pain, along with headaches?

In today’s blog, we are going to uncover how could a small clothing garment cause you so much pain.

Does your Bra Fit Correctly?

Here are few pointers that you can check at home:

  • The under band should fit your ribcage firmly and shouldn’t be sliding or moving with activity.
  • 80% of the support should come from the under band and 20% should come from the shoulder straps. The shoulder straps shouldn’t be so tight until dig into your shoulders or leave imprints. If the straps are too tight, they may cause additional pressure that can lead to neck or shoulder pain and headaches.
  • A wrong cup size can cause the centre part of the bra floating up and not lying flat with your body.
  • Breasts fit comfortably in your bra, both in the cup and on the sides. Too tight a cup size can cause your breasts to spill out.

Possible Consequences of Wearing the Wrong Size Bra

Breast Pain

If your bra is too small, it can dig into your breasts. If it is too big, your breasts may have too much space to bouncing around, contributing to tenderness.

Shoulder & Neck Pain

A tight shoulder straps might cause extra pressure to your shoulder muscles and cause you experiencing shoulder and neck discomfort. You may even experience some headaches with this tensed shoulder and neck muscles.

Back Pain

Bras designed for larger breasts often come with larger straps to disperse weight and provide more support. If your breast isn’t properly support by your bra, you might develop a bad posture which put you in back pain eventually.

Bad Posture

Several of the pains mentioned — breast, back, shoulder, and neck pain may make a person hunch forward, develop bad posture to alleviate the pain. Bad posture may further exacerbate your back, shoulder, or neck pain, creating a vicious cycle.

If you’ve been fitted for a bra, but still experience these symptoms, we recommend seeing a physiotherapist as they will determine the root cause of your condition and treat you accordingly.
If you have any more questions or would like our physiotherapists to assess or treat your problem, feel free to drop us a question or talk to us. Do check out our Instagram page too.

Yap Shi Qi

Rehab Therapist


  • James, N., 2021. 8 consequences of wearing the wrong size Bra. 8 Consequences of Wearing the Wrong Size Bra. Available at:
  • Rittberg, M. & *, N., 2020. Your bra might be causing pain – chronic pain. Freedom Physical Therapy Services. Available at:
  • Wood, K., Cameron, M. & Fitzgerald, K., 2008. Breast size, bra fit and thoracic pain in Young Women: A correlational study. Available at:
  • Wakefield-Scurr, J. n.d. Wearing an ill-fitting bra isn’t just uncomfortable, it’s bad for your health. Blogs | University of Portsmouth. Available at:
  • Image 1, 2, 3, 4