Curvature of the spine is a form of Scoliosis. There can also be symptoms of pain and other complications. This condition can be mild and can also be serious. Scoliosis cannot be cured by exercise and good posture. However for mild and moderate spinal curvature, you can feel and look better with exercise and wearing the right style and properly fitting bra. Finding the right bra is a common problem for women suffering from curvature of the spine. It seems that regular bras from stores never fit right, so it becomes very difficult to find something that you can wear the whole day and still feel comfortable.
Bra straps falling off from shoulders is an issue to women with spinal curvature, because one shoulder tends to be lower than the other. The solution to this is buying a bra that has U back design or racer back straps. It does not necessarily have to be a sports bra, but the back of the straps of these bras look like a letter “U” or “Y”. Even if your right shoulder is one to two inches lower than your left, the straps won’t fall off. They are easy to find in almost every specialty stores.
If you can’t find the type of bras mentioned in the above, then perhaps you should buy a bra with straps that are sewn close to each other. If this and all else fails, you can try looking for a small strap that will hold the two bra straps together when attached. This small strap should run parallel to the back straps of your bra, so they won’t fall off.
Another issue faced by women with spinal curvature is when the band rides up their backs. If you are one of these women, don’t worry, because it takes only the right bra type to solve your problem. Get a bra that offers maximum support, not only at the front, but also at the back. The wide back bands will keep your back straight and your head high. Such features can be found in posture bras and long line bras. The posture bras will control your posture. The long line bras go down to your waist and provide support and comfort to your back. They will stay in place even if they are worn for a long period of time.
How Does a Posture Bra Work?
Designed to look and feel like a regular sports bra, a posture bra wraps around the chest and back, typically featuring criss-cross elastic bands over the upper back and a front closure. All of these features work together to support the weight of a person’s breasts and alleviate any tension in the neck, shoulders, and back.
When wearing the posture bra, if you begin to round forward or slouch, the elastic bands will pull and remind you to correct your posture. This helps to keep the spine aligned and properly hold the position of the shoulders so they are not retracted.
“When the shoulders are retracted, it brings your neck into better alignment,” says Dr. Mitro. “This decreases the forward head position with shoulders that are rounded. This is important because now you can move your neck into more range of motion and with more stability than if your shoulders aren’t retracted.”
How to Choose the Right Posture Bra
An ideal posture bra is one that most importantly fits well. The bra should completely cover the chest, not cause discomfort or rub the body in any way, and should hold the breasts up.
It’s also important to find a posture bra that feels breathable and not too restrictive. Some models come with more breathable materials than others, and they are perfectly safe to wear while exercising, however, a sports bra might be necessary instead of a posture bra for more strenuous activities or exercises.
When worn correctly:
- A posture bra should provide support directly from the bra, not the straps
- The breasts should rest halfway between the elbows and shoulders
- The breasts should have minimal movement in all types of situations
“If you decide to get a posture bra, make sure it is one that fits like a snug but comfortable bra, not too big, not too small,” says Heather Ippolito, an Alexander Technique teacher and posture coach. “I also wouldn’t wear it all the time.”
And since every brand of posture bras are made differently, sizes and design may vary. To find the best fit for you, measure your chest and correctly compare your measurements to the size chart for the specific bra you’re looking to buy.
Are There Any Risks of Using a Posture Bra?
Posture bras are designed for everyday wear, but are not intended for long-term use. On average you should be wearing one for a few hours a day, over the course of a few weeks to a few months to correct posture. This allows enough time to promote postural awareness and minor correction without becoming overly reliant on the product to do all the work for you.
“When you use the posture bra over time, you’re relying on the bra to improve your posture instead of relying on your postural muscles,” says Dr. Mitro. “This over time will weaken the postural muscles because they aren’t being used.”
And when it comes to side effects and risks, there are only a few. Proper fit really is key, so ensure that the posture bra you wear is tailored to you. If you are experiencing any severe or concerning back or shoulder pain, consult with a healthcare provider about proper posture treatments, as a posture bra might exacerbate or worsen the problem.
The Verdict: Do They Really Work?
While a posture bra isn’t going to fix all your neck, shoulder, and back problems, it can help correct minor posture issues over time. “In theory, a bra like this can be helpful as a reminder to work on your posture,” says Ippolito.
However, both Dr. Mitro and Ippolito recognize that a posture bra is not a long-term fix to any real postural issues. They can help remind someone not to bring their shoulders forward, but that can’t address all the issues that led to poor posture in the first place.
So, what’s the verdict? Posture bras can help with minor corrections of poor posture that might come from spending countless hours hunched over your computer or phone, but they’re not going to correct any serious medical issues.
“With a posture bra, sure it may remind you to pull your shoulders back, but posture is a full body experience that involves your head, neck, back, hips, all the way down to how you are standing on your feet,” says Ippolito. “A posture bra will not address all that.”