Pain & Large Breasts
Breast reduction surgery eases back pain caused by large heavy breasts. But how is this pain caused?
Written by Orthopaedic Patient Healthcare Adviser, Miss. Steffie Watts , BN (Hons)
Published: Thursday, 10 June 2021
How do large, heavy breasts cause back pain?
Imagine having a small sandbag attached to your chest. The added weight to the top part of your torso will change the way you do everything. For example, you may slump your chest forward while sitting or standing. Walking and even lying in bed would be difficult, and don’t even consider running. Plus, you’d likely feel extremely sore and tired by the end of the day by carrying around this extra weight in such an inconvenient place.
This is a way to visualise how very large breasts cause back pain. The effort of carrying around extra weight at the top of the body places stress on the muscles and tendons in the back that support the upper torso, especially if you’ve been dealing with the weight for years and years.
Large and heavy breasts unbalance the relationship between the chest and back. For some people, heavy large breasts cause bad posture, severe back pain and even, in extreme cases, cause spinal deformities because it is so much effort to hold the weight of the chest in a natural posture.
Symptoms of back pain caused by large, heavy breasts include aches, stabbing pains and general chronic pain.
How do large, heavy breasts cause shoulder pain?
People who suffer from back pain caused by large, heavy breasts often suffer from neck and shoulder pain. This pain is caused similarly as explained above.
The neck and shoulders rely on the spine for their alignment. Hunching forward because of the weight of heavy breasts forces the neck into an uncomfortable extension. This tension puts pressure on the muscles and tendons in the shoulders.
Many people who suffer from back and shoulder pain caused by large and heavy breasts also experience uncomfortable bra straps. Depending on the density of breast tissue, breasts can add many pounds of weight to a person. Even breasts that weigh 2.2kg can place a lot of pressure on your shoulders if two rather thin bra straps hold them up.
This pressure slowly over time changes the look of their shoulders as indentations appear where bra straps are usually placed.
How do large, heavy breasts cause neck pain?
When you hunch or have bad posture, your neck is affected as the muscles and tendons have to strain to keep the neck in this unnatural position.
When you hunch, your neck is extended, and the weight of your head puts your neck into a position that can lead to chronically sore muscles in the neck and shoulder.
Again, similar to back and shoulder pain, neck pain related to very large breasts is ultimately caused by constant muscle strain resulting from being in awkward slumped postures for hours every day.
Chest pain from exercise?
People with large breasts often report feeling pain in their chest, neck, shoulders and back while exercising. This pain is largely caused by the increased weight and pressure of the breasts as they move during exercise, especially high-impact sports like running.
Running can also cause pain in the breasts and the back by increasing the strain put on the rib cage and the ligaments that attach the ribs to the spine. This can result in pain in the mid or lower back.
Many people who consider breast reduction do so because heavy large breasts can impede the active lifestyle they lead or want to lead.
If you find yourself in pain or put off from exercising by breast-related issues, it may be time to consider breast reduction surgery. You can find out more and book a free consultation with a Medbelle surgeon here.
Is there a solution for pain caused by large breasts?
Back pain caused by large breasts is no joke. This is why people turn to solutions like breast reduction surgery to end the pain they’re experiencing.
While there are other ways to ease pain caused by large breasts, like stretches, exercise, and painkillers, in many cases, breast reduction surgery is the most effective relief from pain as it addresses the underlying cause.
Is there a solution for this pain that doesn’t involve surgery?
There are many ways to ease or cure temporary or occasional back pain caused by large or heavy breasts.
Regular use of painkillers can ease the discomfort but does not address the cause of the pain.
Strengthening the muscles and ligaments of the upper body can also encourage good posture and make it easier to maintain. This may lessen pain caused by large breasts, but it is unlikely to cure it.
Also, committing to a lifetime of exercises and stretching routines specifically designed to relieve back pain caused by large, heavy breasts can be daunting.
The best way to solve for pain caused by large or out of proportion breasts is to reduce the size of the breasts, which can only reliably be done via breast reduction surgery.
What is breast reduction surgery?
Breast reduction surgery, also known as a reduction mammoplasty, is a surgical procedure that aims to reduce the size of the breasts by removing excess skin and breast tissue.
Breast reduction is also technically a combination of breast reduction and uplift. This not only reduces the weight on the chest but also provides a smaller, firmer, and more uplifted breast shape which most patients find to be an added benefit.
As with any elective procedure, you must be healthy to undergo breast reduction surgery, and it is not suitable for anyone who is currently breastfeeding or pregnant.
Why consider Breast Reduction Surgery?
Most people will experience back pain in their lives. This can be a result of poor posture, intense exercise, injuries and in some cases, very large, heavy breasts.
As non-surgical procedures like highly supportive garments offer little or no relief to back pain caused by large, heavy breasts, many sufferers of breast-related back pain turn to breast reduction surgery for a solution.
What are the advantages of Breast Reduction Surgery?
Breast reduction surgery is a popular procedure for a lot of reasons. Surgically removing weight from the breasts is a simple and effective solution to many chronic pain issues associated with very large, heavy breasts.
While it is major surgery, some patients also find recovery is swift and relatively easy. You can read stories from previous Medbelle breast reduction patients here and find out what recovering from breast reduction is truly like.
There is research that supports the idea that breast reduction surgery can reduce back pain. Reducing the weight of the breasts can also reduce neck, shoulder pain, skin irritation under the breast, skin indentation from bra straps, limited mobility and discomfort during exercise.
Many are motivated to undergo this procedure for cosmetic reasons as well. After breast tissue is removed, the breasts are reformed into a higher position, looking perkier and fuller even when not wearing a bra.
Is Breast Reduction Surgery permanent?
Results from breast reduction surgery are generally permanent; however, some patients do notice their breasts still increase in size when they gain weight. This is why our surgeons recommend you’re at a stable weight before breast reduction surgery.
Ensuring you’re at a manageable weight gives you the best chance of having incredible results that last.
A part of making sure your results last also involves family planning. If you are planning on becoming pregnant, you must understand that your breasts will likely change shape and size during and after pregnancy.
Because of the nature of the procedure, there is also a chance that you will have a reduced ability to breastfeed after breast reduction surgery, though some patients find they are still able to. If you alert your surgeon to your concerns regarding breastfeeding, certain techniques they may use can increase the likelihood that you can breastfeed after you heal.
If you are concerned about breastfeeding after breast reduction surgery or any other topic, speak with your surgeon. Their extensive experience and training make them your best source for information specific to you and your health.
What to do if you want breast reduction surgery?
If you’re looking for a place to start, read this blog about 5 steps to jumpstart your plastic surgery journey. Speaking with your GP and asking around your family and friends can be a great place to start considering surgery.
Connecting with a Medbelle Patient Care Adviser is also a great way to book a consultation with a BAAPS/BAPRAS surgeon in the UK with at least 10 years of experience. They can also provide you with advice and information about the surgery and the UK’s leading surgeons.
All in all, if you are struggling with chronic pain caused by the burden of very large breasts, you have options when looking to find relief.
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