If there’s one thing that we hourglass women know too well, it’s back pain. It can be hard work holding up the girls day in and day out, and when your bra isn’t offering enough support, your back suffers. In fact, Everyday Health suggests that breast cups size D and above can alter the curvature of the spine, resulting in chronic back pain. It can harm your posture, which further exacerbates back pain.
Obviously, an ill-fitted bra or a flimsy bra will only cause your back pain. But what bras can be counted on to help the situation? Here are a few things to look for.
A Strong Back Band
The back band of your bra is the most important factor when it comes to finding back support in a bra. This is where you’ll receive most of your support. If your bra doesn’t fit, or your back band is flimsy, your shoulders will feel the pressure. Another problem is old bras where the back band has worn down, which is why it’s important to buy new bras every 6-8 months. Your back band should fit snug, with only 2 fingers fitting behind the band, the band is about 95% of the overall support in the bra, if it is too large and riding up your back during the day, the weight of your breasts is now on your shoulders and lower back. Helpful Tip: Keep your band even all the way around and parallel to the floor.
We recommend Goddess Michelle’s UW Padded Banded Bra. This bra has a number of features that will offer you back support: underwire cups that help lift your bras and relieve the pressure on your back and elastic edges among them. But the most important thing this bra offers is powernet back band and sides. This strong back band along with strong sides will hold up under the weight of large cup bras, without your back suffering.
Another option is Parfait Lynn’s Y Back Front Closure Bra. By its nature as a front closing bra, it can have taller back band. This bra has an additional Y back with the straps running up along the center of the back and splitting off just below the neck.
Split the Girls Up
It might seem silly, but experts say that separated bra cups can help reduce back pain. It has to do with a distribution of weight. When breasts share the same cups, all the weight is pushed to the front. That can create the tight cleavage effect women often strive for, but it also puts more pressure on the back. Separated cups allow weight to be distributed more evenly, giving the back a break. Each breasts should be in it’s own cup, completely surrounded by the wires. No wire should be resting on breast tissue, it is very important that all breast tissue be inside the wires.
Elomi Caitlyn’s UW Side Support Bra has this very feature. It’s a full-cup bra with a bridge in between the two cups, separating them and therefore creating more equal distribution of weight and more support. It also has a side sling for added shaping.
When your bra isn’t supportive, it’s not just your back itself that suffers. Poorly fitted or unsupportive bras can pinch the shoulders and weigh them down. And of course, pressure applied to your shoulders will eventually trail down to your back. So when on the search for a great bra for back support, it helps to have straps that are also supportive.
Goddess Hannah’s UW Moulded Side Support Bra not only offers sturdy side support, but its straps are designed for comfort. These straps gently cushion the shoulders, so no more pressure. And with strong sides and back bands, your shoulders are protected regardless.
Consider a Bustier
Not getting enough support from a regular bra? A bustier might be an alternative, albeit a formal one. Bustiers offer all the lift of bras, but extend to the hips for added support. This type of lingerie is also a great way to improve your posture, which will in itself decrease your back pain.
One example is Parfait Elissa’s Bustier Longline. This bustier has everything: foam-lined microfiber cups, added length of a bustier, and flexible boning that will help your posture without being too uncomfortable.Above all, it’s important to have a bra that fits. No matter how supportive your bra is in theory, if it doesn’t fit your body, the result will be pain for your back. Check out our sizing guide to make sure your bra is the right fit, or come see our experts behind the blue door at Hourglass Lingerie. We know how much of a pain in the back large cup breasts can be, but the right bra will make all the difference.