Breast Reduction: Is It The Right Choice For You?
If you ask your insurance company, the answer is no. Reductions can be an important option for women who have breasts that are significantly large for their body. Now, how is this determined? How do you know whether breasts are too large and problematic? Interestingly enough there has been no research that I could find on breast size and limitations. There are common patterns and problems that I see as a Physical Therapist that can be helpful in deciding to talk to your doctor about a reduction.
Indicators a reduction can be beneficial:
1. Significant upper back pain. The weight of breasts can be heavy overtime. It
is not only the weight but the position that is important to consider. The breasts
sit on front of the ribcage and the further they push out the greater the amount
of stress that they can produce on the upper back and neck.
2. Neck pain. Typically, you will have pain with all movements of the neck. If
this is the case, there is a simple test that can be done to determine if the
breasts are the issue. You can simply lift the breasts and then turn your head. If
there is less limitation or irritation then there is a good chance the pain is
stemming from your chest.
3. Postural deformity. Commonly, the weight of the breasts can accelerate the
rounding of the shoulders and the upper back. You can start looking older and
can be at greater risk of a fracture in the spine.
4. Numbness. There can be numbness and tingling in the arms or hands. The
stress of the weight stretches everything, even the nerves in the upper back and
5. Difficulty breathing. If the breasts are large, then the bra has to be tighter
and more supportive. There is a limit to how much support you can get from a
bra without it actually causing problems due to the tension.
Typically, a reduction requires prior Physical Therapy. Rajesh is passionate about helping women with this problem, that in his opinion is managed very poorly. If you know someone that could benefit from a consultation please share this information with them.