Headaches? It Might Be Your Bra.

There’s a really good chance your headaches, neck and shoulder tension are coming from the fact that you’re wearing the wrong sized bra.

What’s wrong with my bras?

When properly fitted, many are surprised to find they’ve been wearing too small of a cup and too big of a band size. The support for your breasts should come from the strap around your chest, or band, and not the straps that rest on your shoulders. If too much weight is hanging on those upper straps, it can cause strain on the neck and shoulders and ultimately lead to some pretty nasty headaches. So go get sized properly and you may gain a cup size or two!

How did I get here?

We aren’t often taught how to choose the best bra for ourselves and look to local stores for guidance. A store that doesn’t specialize in what has become considered “odd sizing,” can put people in sister sizes just to get sales, which aren’t always the most appropriate options (I’m looking at you, VictoriaSecret). I personally used to come away from bra shopping in tears because I could never find something off the rack that fit. When I finally was properly sized, I found I was a 30F-FF, depending on the manufacturer. What I found most disturbing is when I told people what size I was, the first response was always “you’re not that big.” Guess what kids, a size F isn’t what you think it is…and DD isn’t really all that “big.”


How do I get a bra that fits?


Most of the information I give patients comes from the two sources below:

These communities are also great about providing support (ha!) around fit checks if you’re not sure a bra fits properly, techniques like “swoop and scoop” and help finding the right manufacturer for your shape and need.


Locally, I recommend people go here to get sized:
  • Nordstrom
  • Nordstrom Rack

Alternatively, look for small, boutique shops. They tend to take a lot of pride in getting someone properly sized. If you can’t get into a shop to get sized, try the at home sizing calculator here. It’s better to do it in a shop so you can try on a few styles and get to know which companies and styles (ie: balconette vs long line vs t-shirt) fit your shape and needs best.


Once properly sized,  here are a few options for purchasing new bras.

If you’re considered to be busty, guess what… YOU CAN HAVE PRETTY BRAS TOO!

gently used, most economical:

These bras come from other people trying to find the best size, style and manufacturer that fit their particular shape, style and need. You can find a lot of options here for dirt cheap in order to find your best fit as well. Just be certain to really read the descriptions!

new bras (lingerie, sleepwear, swimsuits and even button up tops for bustier individuals too!) online; ordered from most economical to super pricey:

Alternatively, you can go directly to manufacturer websites and see what is available and from where.


I hope these resources get you what you need so you feel your most confident self. Finding the right bra size was transformational for me, allowing me more freedom in clothing choices, less pain when more active and significantly less headaches and shoulder pain! If you find after getting the right fit that your pain persists, consider making an appointment for further evaluation. Denver Acupuncture & Yoga LLC can help with all kinds of neck, shoulder, back and head pain.