Health: What’s best for your breasts?

George_At_Asda_Lingerie_PictureAre you buying what is best for your breasts?
Believe it or not, between 70-80 per cent of women still wear the wrong bra size and many choose not to wear a sports bra.

For this reason, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) has teamed up with chartered physiotherapist Sammy Margo to create a breast care guide called: Is Your Bra Right for You?

The breast care advice has been produced to ensure all women get it right when purchasing and wearing a bra. The booklet includes details on how to check your bra size; exercises to keep your breasts supported; the importance of wearing a sports bra; and making the most of your bra’s components.

The physiotherapists are urging women to check their size before they buy and get a sports bra to help prevent discomfort from exercise and premature sagging of the breasts that only surgery can reverse.

Margo says: "If you’re planning on splashing out on new lingerie for Valentine’s Day or simply updating what you already have, undergo a professional fitting to help find the best bra for your shape. It is also worth investing in a sports bra. While they are not considered sexy they can help keep your bust looking its best."

Whatever the activity, wearing the wrong bra can cause a multitude of problems, warns Margo. She says: "Wearing the wrong bra size not only looks bad but also puts you at risk of various health problems. It can lead to neck, shoulder, middle and low back pain, pinched nerve in the neck and sagging breasts — not a pretty picture."  

"Sports bras are essential for all women, especially those with a C-cup and above. Breasts are suspended by ligaments that will stretch from bouncing if not held firmly in position. If you are well endowed, an ill-fitting, unsupportive bra can cause you to slump and fold your shoulders forward, and lead to painful postural disorders."

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) believe taking the right steps to ensure your bra fits correctly will make all the difference to your appearance, posture and self-confidence. 

Pictured above:
George French Fancy Padded Bra — Price: £10.00 (Sizes: 32 A-C, 34-36 A-D, 38 B-D)
George Thong — Price: £5.00 (Sizes: 8-20)


To help combat our increasingly sedentary lifestyles, it is vitally important we take regular exercise. Brisk walking and running are excellent ways to stay in shape but have you thought about the impact regular exercise can have on your breasts?

Breasts comprise of soft, fatty tissue. They are supported by the surrounding skin and the Cooper’s ligaments which run from the nipples down to the pectoral muscles in the chest.

Repetitive and high-impact activities make the breasts bounce, stretching the breast skin and ligaments. Exercising in — and wearing — an unsupportive bra can cause problems such as chronic back pain, poor posture, neck and shoulder pain, and premature breast sagging as they lose their natural elasticity.


It is very important to maintain strength in the muscles in your chest, shoulders and neck in order to provide support for the weight of the breasts. Make an effort to work these muscles to give your breasts the additional support they need.

The following easy exercises can be carried out at your desk or in front of the television:
1. Many of us slump with our shoulders rolled forward. While standing, roll your shoulders outwards so that your thumbs are facing backwards. Push your shoulder blades back and down. Try to increase the distance between the shoulders as this will help your breasts to sit higher on the chest

2. Place your hands together in a prayer stance. Press your palms firmly together. You should feel tension in your pectoral muscles which are important in supporting the breasts

3. Interlink your fingers behind you. Stretch your arms out and back. You will feel a pull in the front of your chest, which will help reverse any slumping.


Posture is the position or bearing of the body. Poor posture can lead to mechanical problems, dysfunction and pain from structures that are stressed from slumping or slouching. 

Standing and sitting tall can help improve the look of your breasts as you’ll be able to carry them higher, thereby giving them greater support. In addition, your posture will be improved minimising the risk of developing pain and discomfort. You can improve the look of your breasts by pulling your shoulders back and down. Don’t stick your chest out!

If you are well endowed, an unsupportive bra can cause you to slump or fold your shoulders forward. A supportive bra should hold your breasts firmly in place and help open up your chest. 

picking the right sports bra

picking the right sports bra
There are two types of sports bras:

Compression bras are suitable for small to medium breasted women (cup sizes 32A - 36B). They help press the breasts against the chest wall to minimise bounce and enhance support.

Encapsulation bras are suitable for large breasted women where there is much more bounce. They help support and hold each breast in a sturdy cup. 

 The right fit
Wearing the correct size bra will mean you will look great, be well supported and ward off unnecessary discomfort.

Your band size :
— Using a cloth tape measure, measure around your body directly under your bust. The tape measure should be parallel to the ground and fit snugly

—  Take the measurement, rounding to the closest whole inch (either up or down)

— If the number is even, add a further 4 inches. If the number is odd, add a further 5 inches — this will be your band size.

Your cup size:
—  Measure around the fullest part of your breasts. The tape should be just touching your bust and be parallel to the ground

—   Round the measurement to the nearest inch (either up or down) 

—  Subtract the band size measurement from the cup size — the difference is your cup size (0-½ inch = AA, ½ - 1 inch = A, 2inch = B, 3inch = C, 4inch = D, 5inch = DD or E, 6inch = DDD or F, etc.)

booby traps

booby traps
—  In her lifetime, a woman could wear up to six different bra sizes due to factors such as pregnancy, weight fluctuations and gravity ( It is important to check your bra size annually and make changes if necessary.

— Bra styles and brands vary — when trying on bras, wear them for about five minutes to assess comfort and fit. Lift your arms up, bend down and jump to see if the bra and breasts stay in place. If you find spillage over, under or at the sides, you will need to re-assess the cup and/or band size. Evaluate bounce control and put on your top to see if the bra looks good. Pick fabrics that are comfortable  

— Ill-fitting bra straps can pull or press on your trapezius muscles (running along the neck and back), which can cause pain and discomfort. If you are finding bra straps uncomfortable, placing a shoulder pad under the straps can help evenly distribute the weight of your breasts over the shoulder. If your bra straps fall down, tighten them or change the bra

— Your bra band should be snug and not too tight — make good use of the hooks available. If you find the band rides up, loosen the straps

— Manually position your breasts in the cups to ensure they both sit fully supported and comfortably

— The centrepiece of underwire bras should sit flat against your chest and the wire should rest under your bust. There should be no gaps!

— Many department stores offer a professional bra fitting service. Make use of these services to help find the right bra for you

— Seek out a chartered physiotherapist to get a postural assessment. Visit to locate a physiotherapist in your area.

Taking active steps to make sure you are wearing the right bra for your size and shape, and when you exercise, will help you to look great and maintain good postural health.

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy is the professional, educational and trade union body for the country’s 47,000 chartered physiotherapists, physiotherapy students and assistants.
Visit: CSP for a free copy or Tel: 020 7306 6666.

Society Physiotherapy LogoThe Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
14 Bedford Row
London WC1R 4ED
Tel: 020 7306 6163 / 6616/ 6628




foundations_picture hair_picture perfume_picture special_treatment_picture

web_chat_tv_picture_linkBeauty: Recreate the Look . . .

Jessica Alba | Noemie Lenoir | Jennifer Lopez | Keira Knightley

Beauty & HAir Trends

A/W '08 — Hair | S/S '08 | A/W '07/8 | S/S '07 | a/w '06/7 | S/S '06
Advertising | Privacy Policy | Site Map | Subscription Service & Feedback | Useragreement
Contact us at A Fashion Shopping and Retail News Website © 2000-2011. All rights reserved.