As you know, the upper part of our spine is very strong out of necessity. It acts as an anchor to the rib cage and supports the upper body, but due to the weight it must bear, it can be prone to pain.
Like lower back pain, upper back pain is usually (but not always) caused by muscular strain due to factors such as poor posture and over-performing any repetitive motions.
But for women with large breasts, the weight of their breasts alone may be enough to cause upper back pain, rather than poor posture. In fact, large breasts on their own can even lead to long-term chronic pain, lasting from months to years, simply due to their sheer weight consistently putting a strain on your upper back.
Back Pain and Breast Reduction Surgery
Even with perfect posture, just the weight of large breasts alone can be enough to cause substantial pain and discomfort to women.
Women who have never had a professional bra fitting and who believe their breasts are smaller than they actually are especially susceptible to back pain. Some women try to squeeze their breasts into bras several sizes too small, and are shocked when they get a proper measurement. This surprise revelation is often the first time they think that their back pain may stem from their breasts, rather than any of the other things they may blame, like strain or overwork, says Bethannie Snodgrass, MD, a plastic surgeon and author of the new book, When Less Is More: The Complete Guide for Women Considering Breast Reduction Surgery.
Increased Pressure on the Back and Shoulders
As women age, their shoulders tend to roll forward, putting pressure on the ribs, shoulder blades, nerves and other parts of the upper back. The larger your breasts are, the more gravity pulls you forward, and your back becomes more compressed, which can lead to the pain we’re discussing.
Although there are many options to reduce the pain, such as painkillers or buying appropriate bras, these could take a significant period of recovery time with very little to show as a result, so many see undergoing breast reduction surgery as the quickest and easiest way to resolve their back pain and other issues arising from their large breasts.
According to research published by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, out of 179 women with breasts larger than DD polled prior to breast reduction surgery, half of them had almost constant upper back pain or pain in their necks, shoulders, or lower backs. After undergoing reduction surgery, only 10 percent of women had these symptoms. That’s a major, and quick, reduction in pain across the board.
If you are suffering from upper back pain and believe your breasts are responsible, you should talk to your doctor about possible treatments.
Are You Considering Breast Reduction Surgery?
Breast reduction, otherwise referred to as reduction mammaplasty, is a procedure intended for women with large, pendulous breasts. Often, these women face a variety of health problems caused by excessive breast size. Some of these problems include back pain, neck pain, skin irritation, skeletal deformities, and breathing problems.