Health Watch -- Women's Health: Bra Straps

Health Watch is a public service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we're talking about health issues specific to women. Some of these issues arise because women's bodies are different, and some because of what women do or wear. An article of clothing most women wear regularly could cause headaches.

A narrow bra strap worn too tightly can lead to nagging headaches, according to Dr. Karen Kowalske, chairman of physical medicine and rehabilitation at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. The binding from the strap puts pressure on the trapezius muscle, which causes strain and bunching of the muscle. That can lead to headaches and pain radiating down the arm. Fortunately, the damage isn't permanent. Switch to wider straps and the pain will go away within weeks. Fuller-figured women should avoid spaghetti straps on bras.



August 2006

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