How to check your bra fits properly and avoid back pain

Kim Hookem-Smith
Yahoo Lifestyle
14 November 2012

And though we’re constantly bombarded with advice to have a bra measurement for fear of sagging assets and bad posture, it seems many of us are still wearing the wrong size.

According to the British Osteopathic Association (BOA) items such as heavy bags, belts, bras and even our wallets are causing half of us pain, and may even be contributing to long term back and posture problems.

[Related: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley's bra collection for M&S]

Bras are the main culprit; with six out of 10 women in the UK suffering the effects of a bra that’s badly fitted and doesn’t offer proper support.  Experts warn that back pain, neck stiffness and even many headaches can be traced to a bad bra.

But it’s actually not surprising, as Natasha Hatwell from Bravissimo told the Telegraph, boobs “change all the time”, so you can’t bank on buying the same size forever and your size may differ between brands. The best advice would to be re-measured regularly, particularly if you’re buying from a different shop, brand or range to your usual.

We asked Debenhams head of lingerie buying and design Sharon Webb, how to tell if you’re wearing a bad bra:

1. The bra rides up at the back , and feels loose around the body
2. There’s a gap between the centre of the bra between and your body
3. The underwiring digs in, especially under the arms
4. Your bust bulges over the top of the cups
5. The cups look too baggy

“Wearing the right sized bra can make dramatic difference a woman’s figure,” she adds, urging all of us to go for a free fitting.

[Related: The smart bra that could fight cancer]

Beyond bras

Other items causing us misery include heavy bags, which are responsible for neck, shoulder and back pain, and tight belts that have been reported as causing numbness and a burning sensation along the outer thigh.

And it’s not just  ladies who are suffering for fashion, men are reportedly giving themselves spine problems by sitting for long periods with a wallet in their back pocket, nicknamed ‘wallet back’. Or alternatively they’re restricting blood flow to the groin by pocketing it in the front of trousers.

Kelson Chorley from the BOA said it’s surprising what a health hazard our clothing is.

“Our clinics see tens of thousands of people coming in complaining of aches and pains which, on further examination, are found to originate from their clothing.”

Do you have an item you love that causes you pain? Tell is on Twitter using the tag #mYFashOuch.

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