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Neck pain may not be pain from the neck!

Neck pain is one of the very common maladies encountered in daily practice. Quite often patients complain of pain in the neck radiating down the shoulders, to the arms and forearms, and sometimes even to the tips of the fingers. Most of these patients visit orthopaedic isurgeons and neurosurgeons and undergo various tests, in quest of a permanent remedy. However, these sometimes prove inconclusive and various forms of treatment, including placebo medicines are prescribed to relieve the pain. In spite of visits to various specialities and thorough investigations, the cause of neck pain remains elusive and the cause may sometimes reside elsewhere.

In the context of women, many women have very large breasts and sometimes the pain in the neck and shoulders can be due to this, more so if they are pendulous. Also, excessive weight, faulty posture of carrying oneself, ill fitting bra, etc, contribute to this malady.

The development of breasts is a continuous process; from adolescence to old age, with breasts undergoing various changes due to pregnancy and lactation, hormonal influence, etc.
Though many women have large breasts, most of them come to accept and live with it; however teenagers with large breasts are conscious of it and sometimes are the targets of jokes, and this can affect their self esteem. As a consequence, sometimes they are forced to wear tight fitting undergarments to hide the excessive size of their breasts. This causes pain within the breasts and could lead to ill effects over time. Sometimes they adopt a posture of “hunch” to hide the prominent breasts. Hence, it is important for mothers to impress upon their children that this is a normal cycle of development and also help to enhance their self esteem.
In  some women, large breasts also lead to hygiene issues, especially in the summer months. Sweat collects under the breasts leading to fungal infections, itching, etc. it is very important to clean regularly under the breasts and check for any infections.

In order to avoid any adverse consequences of large breast, including neck pain, proper fitting bras are very important. Not all hosiery manufacturers show the cup size of the bra and chest size on their products, as it is important to have both measurements for a proper bra fit. A thin person can have large breasts and hence the cup size of the breast is also important for correct fitting and comfort. Chest size is the circumference under the breast area while the cup size is specific to the breast size. Difference in the circumference  measured at the level of nipples and the circumference of the chest wall gives the cup size, e.g., A, AA, B, BB, etc. Also, ill-fitting bras can sometimes cut into the skin of the shoulders causing extreme discomfort and shoulder pains, in addition to the neck pain.

In many active athletic women, large breasts sometimes cause pain in the nipple region  as a result of friction between the nipples and the clothes. These are popularly called ‘jogger’s nipples.’

In order to help women who have  issues related to large breasts, proper evaluation should also include either self or physician performed  examination of the breasts. If large breasts become cosmetically unacceptable, especially to young women, or a source of embarrassment due to low self esteem or a constant source of health issues such as fungal infection, etc, they can be reduced in size by cosmetic breast reduction surgery.  Women who have had reduction in their breast sizes claim instant relief of their symptoms, increase in self esteem and increased choices in selection of dresses to fit them.

There are various methods of doing breast reduction surgeries, and it is tailored to suit the patient’s body habitus. Care is taken to ensure that the scars that appear after the surgery are very thin and are present in locations that are not readily visible, such as underneath the breasts, and most fade with time to become less noticeable.

 
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