Can Bra Straps Cause Shoulder Pain? – Expert’s Notion & Guidelines

A recent study found that women who wore a tight bra every day experienced shoulder pain. In particular the deltoid and trapezius muscles. The researchers suggested that the tight fit of bras might put pressure on these muscles, causing them to shorten and develop trigger points. There are different reasons why women might have shoulder pain, but most of them can be traced back to bra straps. Let’s reveal how can bra straps cause shoulder pain.

Why Does Bra Cause Shoulder Pain?

Why Does Bra Cause Shoulder Pain

The upper part of the arm is called the deltoid muscle. This muscle attaches to your shoulder blade, and it helps to move your arm up and down.

As you lift your arm, the biceps muscles on the front of your upper arm are doing most of the work. The biceps attaches to the bone at a point near where your shoulder meets your elbow. The triceps muscle also helps with moving your arm up and down by attaching to another point just below where your shoulder meets your elbow.

If you are holding a heavy object in one hand while lifting with the other, both sets of muscles may be working harder than usual because they have more weight on them than usual. This can cause pain in that area because these muscles are being overworked or fatigued faster than normal due to heavier weights or increased workloads like when holding something while lifting an object or carrying something heavy.

Bra causes shoulder pain because it pulls on the shoulder. It can also cause strain in the muscles and ligaments, as well as a pinch to the skin.

Key Reasons of Shoulder Pain

There are several reasons why bra causes shoulder pain. Such as:

  • The strap of the bra crosses over your collarbone and traps the breast tissue between the strap and your collarbone, compressing the tissue and causing discomfort in your shoulders or neck. 
  • Bra straps that are too tight can also cause pain around your shoulders or neck by restricting blood flow. Also, leave marks on your shoulders.
  • If your bra straps are not long enough to allow for proper support, it may cause shoulder pain.
  • The seams of your bra may rub against your skin which could lead to redness or rashes. Thus, creates pain too.
  • Moreover, the weight of the breasts pulling on the strap may cause an uncomfortable pull on the chest muscles.
  • Besides, If there is not enough fabric around the armpit area, then this will lead to irritation from rubbing against clothing or skin causing itching and redness.
  • If there is too much fabric around the armpit area, then this could be uncomfortable for many reasons such as pinching or binding when breathing in or out.

Can Bra Strap Cause Pinched Nerve?

Indeed. Bra straps can cause pinched nerves in the shoulder. It is a common problem among many women because of the tightness of the straps that are too close to the neck.

Can Bra Strap Cause Pinched Nerve

This can happen when you bend your arm or if you sleep on your arm which puts pressure on your shoulder and causes numbness in your arm. If this happens, you should visit a doctor who will check for signs of muscle strain or nerve damage and then advise further treatment options such as rest, physical therapy, and pain medication.

A Complete Guide to Remove Your Bra Strap Scars

Are you struggling with bra straps causing shoulder pain? Don’t worry. This is a common crux of women. Here is a quick fix with some handy techniques that make the situation a lot better. Just you need to follow the below leads.

1) Silicon Bandaid

The most effective way is by using the best silicone bandaids. The benefits of these products are:

  • Silicone bandaids can be easily applied and removed, unlike adhesive patches.
  • They do not cause a rash or irritation as adhesive patches do.
  • They provide instant pain relief and an antiseptic effect which helps reduce inflammation and redness associated with bra strap scars.

2) Sports Bra With Adjustable Straps

If you are suffering from shoulder pain for a long time, you should immediately change your lingerie. Shift to a sports bra from a regular bra. Wear a sports bra that has adjustable straps. As a result, you can easily adjust the straps to fit your body perfectly. This is a good idea if you want to reduce pain and discomfort. Besides, A well-fitting sports bra can prevent the weight of your breasts from pulling on your shoulders.

3) Undershirt or Turtleneck

If you are wearing a low-cut top, you should wear an undershirt or turtleneck to prevent bra straps from irritating your skin or poking through clothing. Additionally, you should wear a bra that has padded cups to prevent chafing.

4) Sleep Bra

Another option is to sleep in a sports bra. If you have shoulder pain while sleeping, then you should use a soft-cup bra with no underwire. This will reduce the pressure on your shoulders and prevent them from stretching or tearing. It will also help relieve stress and strain on your muscles during sleep.

5) Ice Pack or Cold Game Wrap

If your shoulders feel stiff and sore, you can use a cold game wrap on them to reduce inflammation. You should do this several times throughout the day or when bra strap syndrome symptoms are at their worst. Keep applying an ice pack until it is numb so that it does not get too cold for prolonged treatment. However, keep in mind that using external heat sources such as hot packs (especially only once) can lead to further irritation.

6) Moisturizer

You can apply several types of moisturizers and ointments to reduce pain or inflammation caused by bra straps. However, it is important to use only mild products that have no irritation towards your skin as they may cause further distress in the long run  (such as clogged pores). To help soothe sore spots, you should also wear a supportive sports bra at night to regulate your posture.

7) Underwire Bra

Another solution is wearing an underwire bra instead of a strapless one. Because they have better support than strapless bras and may provide more comfort in general. Furthermore, underwire bras may prevent chafing and rubbing on your skin, especially if you have a small chest.

8) Wider Band Bra

To solve the problem of shoulder pain, you can wear a different bra that has a wider band. So that it won’t irritate your shoulders.  Accordingly, you can use a bra with a wide band to provide more support and prevent straps from slipping off your shoulders.

9) Supportive Bra

You can also use a supportive sports bra at night to regulate your posture.  It will help you stay in proper alignment while sleeping, which will help you avoid shoulder pain.

10) Change Your Position While Sleeping

You should try to sleep on your side or back instead of lying on your stomach or sitting up in bed. This will help reduce shoulder pain and avoid throwing off your body alignment for no reason.

Hope that helps!

Home Remedies

  • For a temporary solution, you can apply a moisturizer or coconut oil to the area that is scarred and leave it on overnight.
  • You can also use boric acid powder to treat scars on your skin by rubbing it in for about 5 minutes before rinsing with water.
  • Apply a honey and oatmeal mask to help reduce inflammation and scarring.
  • Another home remedy involves using a mixture of equal parts milk and lemon juice to help reduce scarring. Ideally, you should mix the ingredients in a bowl with hot water before cooling it down and applying it to your scars for about 15 minutes.
  • Additionally, cucumber slices work as an excellent pamper if you have sensitive or irritated skin. Simply poke them into your scar spots until they are half-molded, then let cool overnight with no heat before rinsing.
  • Finally, you can make a mixture of salt and lemon juice and then scrub the area with this mixture for about 10 minutes before rinsing with water.

Also read: Breast Enhancement Bras For Small Breast


Can poor posture cause shoulder pain?

Poor posture can cause shoulder pain and neck pain. There are many factors that contribute to poor posture including slouching, weak core muscles, rounded shoulders, and being hunched over. These issues can cause discomfort in the upper back, neck, shoulders, and lower back.

Can narrow straps bra cause shoulder pain?

Yes, because it can cause pain in the shoulders. Narrow straps are more likely to cause this type of discomfort than wider ones. Because they tend to create digging the skin and create irritation or even cuts in some cases. 

Which cup size refers to a smaller cup?

Smaller cup size is a bra cup size that ranges from AA to A. As per the International Standards Organization, a bra size A corresponds to 32 inches around the chest while a bra size AA corresponds to 30 inches around the chest.

Can tight straps of bra cause costoclavicular passage?

It is true that tight straps of a bra can cause costoclavicular passage. This happens when the strap gets too tight and presses on the C5-C6 region of your neck, which can lead to discomfort.

What is the underband on a bra?

The underband is the part of a bra that is placed on the chest, between the cups. The underband should be about 1 inch below your breasts and make sure to keep it in place with no folds or wrinkles by tucking it into itself.

Do Bralettes cause sagging?

The answer to this question is yes. Bralettes cause sagging because the material is not supportive enough for the breasts and does not provide enough support to maintain a proper shape of the breasts.

Therefore, if you are looking for bras that can give you all-day support then go for wire-free bras or underwire bras with straps instead of bralettes.


Blog Conclusion: You are not alone. Many women suffer from shoulder pain after wearing a bra for long periods of time. This is why we have compiled this blog post to help you find the best solutions to get rid of shoulder pain after wearing a bra.

For any further queries regarding bra shoulder pain, you can send us an email by describing your problem. Otherwise, simply share your thoughts in the comment box below. Take care.

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