Differences in Upper Body Posture and Postural Muscle Activation in Females with Larger Breast Sizes
Breast hypertrophy is a common medical condition whose morbidity has increased over recent decades. Symptoms of breast hypertrophy often include musculoskeletal pain in the neck, back and shoulders, painful shoulder grooves from bra straps, and numerous psychosocial health burdens. It is postulated that the size and weight of hypertrophic breasts alters the body’s center of gravity, leading to secondary effects on the musculoskeletal system.
While numerous prospective studies to date have provided subjective evidence of the health burdens of breast hypertrophy, limited studies have been performed examining the quantitative effects of excess breast tissue mass on spine biomechanics and cervico-thoracic muscle activation. To date, reduction mammaplasty is the only treatment shown to significantly reduce the severity of the symptoms associated with breast hypertrophy. However, due to a lack of sound scientific evidence in the medical literature justifying the medical necessity of reduction mammaplasty, insurance companies often deny requests for coverage of this procedure. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to investigate biomechanical differences in the upper body of women with larger breast sizes in order to provide scientific evidence of the musculoskeletal burdens of breast hypertrophy to the medical community.
Mindy Bennett, Seth Kuhlman, Michelle B. Sabick, Ronald R. Pfeiffer, and Steve Laverson. "Differences in Upper Body Posture and Postural Muscle Activation in Females with Larger Breast Sizes" Proceedings of the American Society of Biomechanics. State College, PA. Aug. 2009.