Breasts and Their Impact on Your Thorax

Have you been experiencing nagging headaches, neck, mid-back, or shoulder pain?

If so, have you thought that maybe your pain could be caused by your breast tissue? Crazy thought, right?? Regardless, it is possible!

Breast tissue is unique to everyone and can come in all different shapes and sizes. Regardless of varying tissue composition, our breast tissue can greatly affect the forces and load our spine endures with daily tasks such as cleaning, caring for children, walking, or working – just to name a few! Depending on how we position our bodies during these daily tasks, breast tissue can create an increased lever arm, or line of pull, that places added stress on stabilizing structures of the cervical and thoracic spine (think neck and mid back) and shoulder complex.

Over time, this line of pull created by breast tissue can cause muscle imbalances – thus leading to the nagging neck, mid-back, or shoulder pain you may be experiencing.

Your bra and back pain

How your bra fits may cause some of your back pain.

How does PHYSICAL THERAPY help alleviate these symptoms?

One thing to think about first is the bra you are wearing.

Ask yourself these questions…

  • Do your bra straps feel tight and leave indents in the top of your shoulders?
  • Does your underwire or band dig into the bottom of your breast tissue or ribcage?
  • Are the bras you are wearing old?
  • Are you still experiencing neck, mid-back, or shoulder pain while wearing your bra?

If you have answered yes to any of the questions above, it may be time to consider a new bra that can better support your breast tissue. A good, well-fitting bra can do wonders for your body by lifting breast tissue and reducing the length of the lever arm created by breast tissue. When the lever arm is shortened, this reduces the amount of force and stress placed on spinal and shoulder stabilizing muscles and structures – which in turn, can aid in reducing the symptoms you are experiencing in these problem areas. It is not a 100% guarantee that a new bra will completely rid you of those nagging aches and pains, but it can help the process.

This is where physical therapy comes into play!

Physical therapy can improve the strength, stability, and lengthening abilities of overworked muscles to reduce undo stress on spinal structures. Breast tissue creates a line of pull or lever arm that pulls forward and down on your upper trunk – placing the muscles in your chest in a shortened position, while it places the muscles by your neck, shoulder blade and spine in a lengthened position. When these changes occur, it takes the muscles out of their optimal position to activate, and the muscles operate at less than 100%.

Strengthening the muscles by your spine and shoulder blades, and stretching the muscles in your chest, helps to ensure the muscles are in an optimal position to activate. If your muscles can operate more efficiently and work together, there is less stress placed on the bony structures of your spine and shoulder complex – thus, reducing your neck, mid-back and/or shoulder pain!


  • Rhomboids
  • Rotator Cuff
  • Middle and Lower Trapezius

Muscles to LENGTHEN

  • Pectoralis Major and Minor
  • Levator Scapulae

While breast tissue can cause symptoms in your head, neck, chest, or shoulder regions, they are not “the end-all-be-all” and can be addressed with the help of physical therapy!

If you have additional questions or want to inquire more about how your breast tissue may be affecting your body, reach out to one of our AWESOME physical therapists at Apex Physical Therapy and Wellness Center to help get those pesky aches and pains to go away!

Ready to start therapy? 

If you’re ready to start therapy to get your life back, contact us today and book your first session.

PT helps with constipation

7 Ways PT Relieves Constipation

How physical therapy alleviates constipation through pelvic floor rehabilitation, posture improvement, abdominal massage, and more. Improve your bowel health today!
Lie down for better Osteoporosis care

Osteoporosis-Go Ahead, Lie Down!

Learn the benefits of lying down during rest breaks to enhance your osteoporosis treatment. Find out how this simple change can make a difference in your bone health.
© Copyright - Apex Wellness and Physical Therapy | website by Nufire Marketing in Minneapolis!