Tag Archives: trouble shooting

Thoracic Pain & Large Breasts : How to manage the discomfort


The thoracic spine is the section of spine between your cervical spine (neck) and lumbar spine (lower back). Each vertebrae of the thoracic spine has a rib connected on either side and the upper ribs connect to the sternum at the front of your body.

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Due to the attachment of the rib cage to the thoracic spine there is limited movement through the upper back region. Consequently we can often get stiff and sore in the upper back. Sometimes stiffness in the thoracic spine and in the joints between the thoracic vertebrae and ribs can refer pain to other areas such as your sides, front of torso and arms.

Position of the breast on the chest wall:

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Muscles of the chest wall:

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Muscles of the upper back:

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Some factors can increase the risk of getting stiffness and/or pain in the upper back.

Examples include:

  • Poor standing posture
  • Poor sitting posture
  • Lots of time spent sitting
  • Engaging in lots of anterior focused activities and exercises
  • Having a large bust

The weight of a large bust puts increased force on the chest wall and can, amongst other things:

  • Tighten the pectoreal muscles
  • Pull the shoulders forward (which can also lead to various shoulder injuries)
  • Round the top of the thoracic spine (kyphosis)

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Some ways to prevent and treat pain and/or stiffness in the upper back:

  • Massage of the chest and shoulders
  • Physiotherapy (which may include mobilisation of the thoracic spine)
  • Spikey ball/tennis ball/cricket ball self-release of pec muscles blog pic jblog pic k
  • Stretches- focused on opening the chest and loosening the thoracic spine
  • Upper back strengthening exercises

  • Improving posture
  • Using a lumbar roll for support when sitting
  • Decreasing time spent sitting or interspersing sitting with regular standing/walking/stretching
  • Modifying activities to decrease load on front of body
  • Getting properly fitted for a good-quality brablog pic u
  • Wearing a good quality, fitted sports bra for exercise

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If you are experiencing ongoing upper back or chest pain and these steps do not help please consult a medical professional.


By Lauren Starr, Physiotherapist

Hi, my name is Lauren Starr and I’m a 28 year old physiotherapist. I’ve been working in a busy physiotherapy clinic in Melbourne’s South East for three years now and I love it! As well as assessing and treating people in rooms, I also take clinical pilates, hydrotherapy and yoga classes.

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Outside of work I spend most of my time running. I have been focussing on athletics recently, but I also compete in trail and road events.

I am lucky enough to have a partner and dog who also love running so we go on lots of running adventures together in our campervan.

In my downtime I enjoy spending time with family and friends, reading and baking.


First Time Fit Top Five

Do you remember your first bra fitting? For most of us it was an awkward, embarrassing 10 minutes of our life in front of a total stranger. For others our first bra might have arrived wrapped in a plastic bag and been sat subtly on the end of our bed!

They call it puberty blues for a reason!

But it doesn’t have to be that awkward.

A sports bra is a great option for a first bra for developing girls and often it’s during their sporting or school physical education activities that students first start to feel like they need a bra.

Getting fitted for a sports bra rather than for an everyday bra can help eliminate some of the angst from a situation. This is because you’re purchasing a technical sports product for a noticeable need that will make them focus on feeling more comfortable rather than being focussed on being uncomfortable in some new clothing contraption!

But here are our Top Five Reasons a Sports Bra is a great first time fitting option:

  1. Comfort: They are more likely to be a crop/compression style of product. This can, in some cases, assist not only to support but to minimise the appearance of breasts and provide coverage that feels similar to a bathing suit.


  1. Adjustable: There is some great product on the market which will include the straps being adjustable at the front which can allow for breast tissue growth, while still being as supportive as possible.


  1. Wire Free: There are often very supportive options that do not have underwire. Underwire is in Sports Bras and everyday bras simply to enhance shape – and there is nothing wrong with wearing it. But for first time bra wearers they can often take some getting used to. Starting in a bra without an underwire can be a great first step.


  1. Adaptable: They fit with a student’s lifestyle. Often around the age of a first bra young people are sitting at their desk one minute and running around the next. Sports Bras can be comfortable enough to wear all day, whilst providing support when it’s demanded.


  1. Fashion: They come in a great range of colours, and let’s face it, that matters!


Most importantly a well-fitting and comfortable bra – whether everyday or Sports – can have a big impact on confidence. Starting out with the right fit and right knowledge can change what can be an awkward experience into an empowering one.


Bra fit troubleshooting. volume #4 – Breast tissue spilling out under arm pit

This post is for those ladies who find themselves continuously tucking the breast tissue spilling under their armpit back in to the cup of their bra. An unsightly, uncomfortable and downright unfortunate position to be in.
I should make a note that I am not talking about the Aberrant breast tissue that many women deal with post pregnancy, which is not caused by an ill-fitting bra. Aberrant breast tissue is breast tissue that grows separate to the breast, often around the underarm, that is sometimes (but not always) accompanied by an accessory nipple. This is a condition that requires medical advice.
For those that have ‘self-imposed’ breast tissue around their underarm when wearing a bra you’ll be pleased to know there is a simple answer to your dilemma. Change your cup size. Or more accurately, increase your cup size. You simply do not have enough volume in your cup to accommodate your breast.
This often happens innocently to women with a ‘wide set’ breast. That is, when your breast tissue naturally starts around the base of your underarm (again, not to be confused with the aberrant tissue).

If you’re choosing a bra with an underwire ensure that the underwire sits against the rib cage as opposed to laying over the breast. You can check this by pressing firmly on the underwire, if the underwire moves inward with pressure you are likely to be compressing breast tissue. If it doesn’t, it’s probably sitting against your rib cage, where it should be. By getting this right, you can be confident that your entire mass of breast tissue is being held in the cup.
Another way to avoid this unsightly disaster is to avoid an underwire bra all together. This is not necessarily going to fix the problem until your bra size is also corrected, but it could improve your comfort and decrease the chance of spillage.

On a finishing note, when it comes to enhancing ones shape we look to achieve two things… Lift the breast up, and position it forward. This can only be achieved when you are wearing the right size bra, so as enhancing shape is most women’s common goal, it make sense to focus on getting the size right so you give yourself the best chance at this. Don’t stress about what size is written on the tag… focus on the fit, feel and shape.

Visit us at She Science to be fitted for your best Sports Bra:


And follow us on facebook:


Our online store can be found at:


Bra fit trouble shooting. Volume #2. Are you a Cup-Spilling-Culprit? A guide to Cup Spillage.

We’ve probably all been guilty of this somewhere along the line… I can recall a few scenarios that have left me as a Cup-Spilling-Culprit myself actually. That is when I’ve tried to squeeze in to one of my ‘skinny bras’, grabbed a not-quite-the-right-fit option at a sale or when I went through that stage that I was just downright not willing to accept my cup size!

For me, this is an obvious one, if you’ve got more than two bulges on your chest, you’re committing the crime of Cup Spillage. Most commonly this presents as the breast falling out of the top of the cup, not to be confused with cleavage.

While having cleavage hanging out could not be any less my style, I acknowledge that many consider it theirs. The difference between Cup Spillage and Cleavage is that Cleavage still leaves you with an evenly shaped mass of breast tissue. Cup Spillage will have you looking as if you have 4 boobs, amoung my girlfriends it’s aka ‘double boob’, a result of the upper edge of the cup digging in to breast tissue.

Cup Spillage is sadly not limited to the top of the cup. It’s common to see breast tissue spilling from the side of the bra, around the underarm area too. A double whammy when one is guilty of both!

While it’s important to note these variances, you should know, there is only one cause for both. If your spilling out of your cup, your cup is too small… it’s not rocket science!

If you’ve experienced this problem in the past then its best you have a professional Bra fitting to ensure you don’t make any other innocent mistakes when you’re transitioning to a new size.

Here are some points for you to take to the change room:

– You will need to go up a cup size, or two, or three. Be prepared for this.

– If you have a ‘wide set breast’, that is a breast that starts right back around your underarm, you will be limited to the styles of bras you can wear. Get advice on what of the season’s stock will work best for you from the Bra fitter.

– When you change your cup size, you often need to change your back size too. This may not be the case in all circumstances, but you definitely need to be mindful of this.

– Stick to full, or three quarter full cups. That means going for bras that offer full coverage, not plunge or balconette bras.

Thankfully, this is a problem that is seen less often with Sports Bras as they do tend to offer more coverage. If your spilling out of your Sports Bra then you are in trouble!

Good luck!!

Visit us at She Science to be fitted for your best Sports Bra:


And follow us on facebook:


Our online store can be found at:


Bra fit troubleshooting. Volume #1 – Does your bra band ride up your back?

This is a new segment in my blog. FYI I plan on adding to this weekly so that I don’t throw too much information at you at once.

As I’m sure you can imagine there are plenty of mistakes commonly made with fitting bras, particularly when one neglects to have a professional bra fitting at regular intervals.

The back of the bra riding up was an obvious first place for me to start. It is my pet hate. Not because it’s an eye-sore, and I certainly don’t judge thinking ‘surely these women should know better’, but really my frustration here lies within the fact that it is a silly mistake. A silly mistake that is easy to get wrong. So easy to get wrong, that in a past life I’m sure I’ve been guilty of it myself.

Firstly, I should acknowledge that almost all women have their bra band sitting too high on their back. The bra band should sit at the same level on your back, as it does under your chest.

If your bra band rides up your back it’s not because your bra is too small. It’s because your bra band is too big. If your wearing a 12, try a 10, if your 22 try a 20… And don’t just be content with that, you may even need to make a bigger jump down in back siz (don’t forget you may need to alter your cup size too). Yes it will feel firmer, this is what we want. In order for the band to sit correctly as we move throughout the day, it does need to fit firmly.

This small issue is often also compounded into a much more unsightly problem due to the see-saw effect. That is, as the back goes up, the front goes down. The higher your back bra band rides up, the lower your breasts will sit. That’s factual, it’s simple physics! So, as one’s breasts droop lower the most common fix-it-trick employed is to…. Tighten the straps! This is where one silly mistake, becomes a multifaceted disaster. The tightening of the straps causes the back bra band to be hitched up even higher, which then leads to the breasts sitting even lower. That my friends is officially a vicious cycle!

So, just to reiterate. The straps that sit on your shoulders are a secondary means of support. They don’t have the strength to hoist your breasts upward. If you feel your boobs are sagging then get a professional bra fitting and try a more suitable style. I can guarantee your bra band size will be the first thing addressed!

Fortunately, when it comes to technical Sports Bras I don’t see this problem (the bra band hitching up) made too often. But when we do, it’s bad. Usually the victims are wearing cheap wanna-be Sports Bra brands whose materials and design just don’t cut it!

Visit us at She Science to be fitted for your best Sports Bra:


And follow us on facebook:


Our online store can be found at: