Are you having that chronic pain in neck , shoulders & that tingling sensation in your hand and fingers ???

You have taken a lot of medicines, done lot of physical therapy but it does not seem to go away; then you might want to have a look at your Bra. If your bra is leaving red marks on your skin, that's usually a sign that you have what we call Bra Strap Syndrome. 

Costoclavicular Syndrome, also called as Bra Strap Syndrome happens when, your bra strap is tight and pressurizes your shoulders and cause pain in neck, shoulders , upper back and arm.

When can it Happen?

  • Very tight bras with tight small and thin straps
  • Very tight chest band
  • Wrong cup size 
  • Heavy breasted and middle aged women tend to have more impact as the gravity pulls down on the breast mass.

What happens if the straps are too tight: When you wear bras that have very narrow straps and /or cut very sharply on your shoulders because they are really tight, they may compress the veins and arteries around your neck and shoulders. Straps cut into the soft tissues around your shoulders, they exert downward pressure on collar bones(clavicle). This, in turn, narrows the costoclavicular passage. When this happens, it also stretches away the nerves and the vessels.

What happens when breast are too heavy: Breast-related shoulder-neck pain is thought to result from changes in the centre of gravity, and large or heavy breasts may lead to continuous tension on the middle and lower fibers of the trapezius muscle and on associated muscle groups. Ryan et al., proposed that elevation of the breasts in a brassiere increased downward forces on the outer scapula. He suggested that the posterior straps of a brassiere act as pulleys over the shoulders, doubling the total downward pull on both shoulders.

What effects it can have:

  • Permanent indentations (red marks and groove)
  • Headaches
  • Chronic neck, shoulder, back pain and even nerve damage
  • Muscles of the neck like trapezius gets easily fatigued
  • This pain increases when carrying bags, handbags on your shoulder 
  • Pain is ok after taking rest but increases as you keep doing your daily activities
  • Rounded shoulder and forward neck posture

What to do:

  • Remove your Bra while sleeping and also when you don't need to wear it.
  • Keep at least one finger gap between your strap and the shoulder.
  • Get a shoulder pad for the straps.
  • Wear Cross Strapped Bra and make sure the straps are broad in size.
  • The cup size should be of fit.
  • The underwire bras should not be worn for long hours as it can damage the nerve bundles.
  • The side support can be opted for which is available in posture bras .
  • Follow proper guide for breast fitting- Follow these three bra fitting steps. Measure your band. Wear a lightly lined (non-push-up) bra so your breasts are as close to natural as possible. Now measure your bust. Place the tape at the fullest part of your bust. Subtract the band size from your bust size to find the right cup size. (an look other professional guides as well).

Which all muscles to train

  • Start Stretching -Pectorals, Upper Trapezius, and Levator scapulae

  • Start Strengthening - Rhomboids, Middle and lower trapezius, Serratus anterior and neck flexors

  • Watch your posture and keep doing chin tuck ins.