Can Large Breasts Cause Back Pain?

Marc Everett MD, FACS
New York City Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon
Can Large Breasts Cause Back Pain?

Can large breasts cause back pain?—and if so, what are your options for finding relief?

Back pain from breasts is one of the most common reasons that individuals seek out breast reduction surgery, with many finding themselves struggling with the day to day discomforts of having a large chest. The main culprit behind this troubling issue: large breasts are quite heavy, and all that weight can pull the body’s center of gravity forward, in turn increasing tension on the lower back, as well as the upper back, neck, and shoulders.

Here’s what you need to know about the range of other issues that large breasts can lead to, as well as some targeted tips for relieving the back pain that they can cause and how surgery may be able to help.

Common Problems Caused by Large Breasts

The physical side effects of having large breasts don’t stop with back pain. Aside from the fact that large breasts may bring some individuals unwanted attention or cause discomfort and dissatisfaction with their bodies, there are a number of other physical issues that they can lead to—all of which may interfere with one’s overall quality of life.

Here are some of the most common and persistent physical problems caused by large breasts:

1. Neck, Shoulder, and Back Pain

Here’s one that we’ve touched on already. As noted, this pain can almost always be linked to the weight of large breasts, which are unevenly positioned and place an unbalanced amount of weight on the front of the body. This weight disrupts an individual’s center of gravity and causes neck, shoulder, and back muscles to compensate, all of which can lead to increased tension and pain.

2. Numbness

Breasts are made of dense fat tissue. And the more of this tissue an individual has, the more pressure is being put on nerve pathways in and around the breasts. This can lead to complaints of numbness of the breasts themselves, as well as numbness in the hands and arms, since the weight of the breasts pull on a common pathway for these nerves.

3. Rashes

Large breasts create a prime environment to trap moisture while sweating or after a bath or shower. This moisture can in turn develop into a rash, and from there into an infection. Because of the way large breasts sit, this can happen even despite the best of efforts being made to keep the area under the breasts clean and dry.

4. Difficulties Exercising

Many individuals experience difficulties exercising due to large breasts, and for a number of different reasons. This includes breast pain or discomfort during workouts, as well as increased shortness of breath caused by the excess weight. For some, this may make it impossible to maintain a regular exercise routine, which can be quite detrimental for their health and well-being.

How to Relieve Back Pain from Large Breasts

If you are experiencing back pain or other physical symptoms as a result of your large breasts, try implementing the following easy methods for relief.

For those with a D cup and above, these tips may be able to help you reduce muscle tension, though a surgical breast reduction is likely the way to go if you’re looking for a permanent fix:

  • Wear the correct bra size – From your everyday bra to your sports bra, if you’re wearing the wrong fit you’re not getting the adequate amount of support that you need. Go for a professional fitting so that you know you’ve got the right size.
  • Work on your posture – Does posture affect breast pain? You bet. To relieve tension on your back—as well as your neck and shoulders—focus on sitting and standing up straight, with your chin slightly lifted and your shoulders shifted down and back.
  • Mix up your exercises – Some types of exercise can target back pain, particularly yoga and Pilates. If they’re not already part of your schedule, try them out and see if they help.
  • Watch your weight – Losing weight could reduce the size of your breasts—and thus the pressure that they put on the rest of your body. It’s not a given since breast size and weight aren’t always directly correlated, but if you’re overweight then it is worth considering as a solution.

Ultimately, even with these changes some individuals will still experience back pain due to large breasts. A breast reduction is the best solution if all else fails, and can offer lasting and reliable relief.

Will Insurance Cover Breast Reduction Surgery?

Identifying that breast reduction surgery may benefit your health is the first step.  Next, you should meet with your plastic surgeon to determine if you are a candidate for breast reduction surgery.  Depending on your insurance coverage, you may pay little or nothing out of pocket.  However, the total out of pocket cost will vary based on your insurance plan.

Want more information? Dr. Marc Everett MD, FACS has garnered a reputation as one of New York’s leading plastic surgeons for breast-related surgeries, including insurance-covered breast reductions and revisions of previous breast surgeries. Please contact our office today for a free insurance validation and to schedule a consultation to learn more about your options.

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At ME Plastic Surgery, I provide the most advanced techniques in plastic surgery while maintaining uncompromising standards of safety, patient care and professional ethics. I pledge to give my best so that you can feel your best, no matter your age, body type or background. Please contact my office to set up a one-on-one consultation at one of my locations in Manhattan and Queens. My door is always open.

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