How Wearing The Wrong Size Bra Impacts You

Bras are at the root of many intense love-hate relationships. A perfectly-fitting bra is strangely comforting (it is, after all, close to our hearts), while an ill-fitting one ranks up there with leaky faucets and chipped nails as one of life's major irritations. Whether it's bra straps that dig into your shoulders, bands that ride up your back, or unwanted bulges, the wrong size bra has lots of ways to make life miserable. But did you know that the problems associated with the wrong-size bra can go beyond just being annoying, and actually impact appearance and health in a more serious way?

According to Glamour, a poorly-fitting bra can lead to breast and back pain, skin abrasions, postural problems, premature breast sagging, and more. Problems occur regardless of whether the bra is too small or too big. Sammy Margo, spokeswoman for the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, explains that "If a bra is too tight, it can create pressure on the nerves, muscles and blood vessels around the shoulders, upper back and rib cage, leading to pain, headaches, and even constant pins and needles in the arms" (via Cosmopolitan).

Getting fitted for the right size bra can make all the difference

Bras that are too big aren't any better. Margo adds, "Wearing a bra that doesn't support the breasts efficiently can lead to postural problems, such as rounded or hunched shoulders, as the woman will naturally sit and stand awkwardly to compensate for her unsupportive, ill-fitting bra" (via Cosmopolitan).

Not only that, but while it's doing all that damage, it's also super uncomfortable to wear. Ra'el Cohen, head of design at online bra retailer ThirdLove, says "We believe the best bra is one you never think about, and in order to achieve that level of comfort, your bra has to fit really well" (via Bustle).

Considering that around 80 percent of women are wearing the wrong size bra, what can be done? To start with, get fitted for the right size bra, either by a professional at a quality lingerie store or department store, or do it yourself using an online bra-fitting guide. Your breasts, your shoulders, your back, and the mirror will thank you!