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Why Do My Breasts Hurt When I Exercise?
Regular physical activity can boost a woman’s health and help prevent many diseases and disabilities, according to the World Health Organization. Despite its benefits, exercise can also be the cause of breast pain. Since exercise provides essential health benefits, affected women should consider the following approaches to improve their exercise experience. For those who have oversized breasts, a breast reduction or breast revision may be the best way to continue to reap the rewards of exercise without breast pain.
High vs. Low Impact Activities
The type of activity you participate in can usually determine the degree of breast pain you may experience during exercise. High impact activities such as running, jumping rope, burpees, and plyometrics strengthen the heart and bones, but at the same time, they are more likely to cause breast pain. The breasts weigh heavily on the chest and can bounce painfully or put undue pressure on the chest, back, shoulders, and neck during such activities.
Women who experience breast discomfort or pain during exercise may choose to avoid high impact activities. Switching to low impact or no impact exercises can reduce or eliminate the breast pain that some women experience while exercising. As examples, walking, cycling, strength training, and the elliptical machine can offer a variety of health benefits without causing the breasts to bounce painfully during the activity.
Supportive Sports Bras
The sports bra was invented to help women exercise without experiencing chafing and sore breasts. Over time, wider bands and firmer straps were invented to improve support and minimize bounce. Today, a variety of sports bra types are designed to benefit women who prefer different athletic activities. Finding a better, more supportive sports bra may significantly lower your pain levels or even prevent pain entirely during your chosen physical activity. To ensure that your sports bra provides enough support, be properly fitted and test the bra during exercise.
Higher quality sports bras can require a significant financial investment, especially for women who have larger breasts. However, they are often worth it as they can dramatically improve the quality of your exercise experience.
Breast Reduction or Breast Revision
For some women, finding a more supportive sports bra does not do enough to prevent their breasts from hurting during exercise. Additionally, not all women want to give up high impact exercises to avoid breast pain nor should they feel that this is their only option. Discomfort or pain in your breasts during exercise can be resolved by addressing the problem directly and reducing the weight, volume and size of the breasts. For women who have naturally large breasts, this procedure would be a breast reduction surgery. Virtually all women who undergo a breast reduction to alleviate their pain and discomfort are extremely happy with their results. For women who have breast implants, downsizing or even removing the implants through breast revision surgery can considerably reduce or eliminate discomfort.
For more information on breast reduction or breast revision procedures or to schedule your consultation, you can contact our office.