A lot of us have a love/hate relationship with underwire bras. On the one hand, bras with an underwire give lift and support when you feel like you need it most. If your cup size is on the smaller side, they can create cleavage, and if you have a larger cup size, underwire is rigid and structured enough to keep your breasts from causing pain when you move. Unfortunately, there are a few downsides to wearing this often uncomfortable undergarment — here are three reasons your underwire is bad for your health.
Wearing an underwire bra that doesn’t fit perfectly can lead to neck and back pain, particularly if you have large breasts, as both areas of the body work hard to compensate for the lack of structure provided by your bra. The same holds true if you are wearing the same underwire bra for years without investing in new bras. The underwire and your bra itself stretches and becomes manipulated with each wear and wash. Make it a priority to check your bra size every few years (it often changes!) and consider purchasing new bras an investment in your health.
If you’re forever suffering from headaches and can’t figure out why, the culprit could just be your underwire bra. Unless you’re wearing a bra that is perfectly fitted for you (and most women go years not knowing that they’re wearing the wrong bra), a poorly fitted underwire bra can force your neck and back muscles to work harder to support your breasts, which can result in something called a cervicogenic headache. Symptoms of this type of headache include on only one side of your head and pain that seems to originate from your neck and travel upward to the front of the head or behind the eyes.
Possible Link To Cancer
This last and most disturbing possible health link is also one that, thankfully, may be more myth than reality. A study carried out in the U.S. by scientists who surveyed more than 4,700 women posited that the risk of contracting breast cancer increases the more you wear constricting bras. The study suggested the reason was that tight bras, such as those with underwire. suppress the lymphatic system below the armpits, preventing toxic waste to be flushed from the body and leading to an environment that can create cancerous cells. Before you burn every bra you own, know that this is a highly debatable study and a great many scientists and breast cancer specialists dispute these findings and argue that bras absolutely can not cause breast cancer.