To Bra or Not to Bra (or How To)

From the newly nursing mamas, to women who are increasing or decreasing body sizes, to women who are transitioning and binding their chests, and to the ones who simply decide, “Enough of that, I’m not wearing one anymore!” – bra choices vary. We women are all as different as there are varieties of undergarments and, therefore, there is no one answer as to which bra is best.

There are however, some common factors to consider about your bra and they can affect your spine and overall health.
Surprisingly, it is difficult to find good research on the subject and the bra types are infinite, from function through to fashion. What I do know is that if you’re wearing one, it needs to properly fit you and that the type of bra should be considered. While under-wire bras certainly have cosmetic appeal, these garments have demonstrated in research to impede lymphatic flow. Lymph nodes filter cellular waste, cancerous cells, and infectious organisms. When combined with aluminum containing antiperspirants, bras can create a dangerous combination which has been shown in research to increase prevalence of breast cancer. These types of bras are also associated with other benign growths in the breast since 85% of the lymph fluid in the breast drains to the armpit lymph nodes.

I have helped patients address spine pain, rib sprains and strains, and headaches – all of which can be affected by bras, for better and for worse. The treatment in our office is focused on restoring proper motion of the spine and other joint articulations, soft tissue release, and strengthening and mobility exercises. One of the reasons I really enjoy working in our office is the dedication to excellence in working with our patients to replace hurtful habits with helpful habits which contributes to improved outcomes.

Nursing Mamas: Recently, nursing mamas have benefitted the most from these treatment approaches in my practice. I remember well the challenges of nursing and have been pleased to be able to pay that knowledge forward.
Is your bra helping or hurting you:
It’s time to get a new bra or adjust your existing bra if:
– The shoulder straps fall off or leave grooves in your shoulders, spillover or wrinkling of fabric is occurring, back strap is sliding up, or you’re on your smallest fastener and any of the above is happening.
– Does your neck and/or back still hurt, even with a proper fit?
That’s where I can help!

Heather Escobar, DC has been in practice for 13 years and has been with Southern Oregon Sports and Spine since moving to Oregon with her husband and three young children 4 years ago. She has a Pregnancy and Pediatrics Certification. She is Webster Technique certified, which is a method of improving neuro-biomechanical function and balance for a smoother pregnancy and birth process. The doctors and staff at Southern Oregon Sports and Spine specialize in low force chiropractic, massage and rehabilitation. Each of them has different special interests and training. You can learn more about the office at

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