It might seem like a funny name, but the implications of the quadraboob are actually pretty serious. This unusual term describes the phenomenon of flesh overflow as the result of an ill-fitting bra. With the potential to cause drooping breasts, malformation of the spine and scarring, the quadraboob is no laughing matter...
Joanna Cram of the British Osteopathic Association agrees: ‘Badly fitting bras that don’t fit properly aren’t just uncomfortable. For example if the underband of the bra does not support the weight of the breasts then the shoulders do. This causes the shoulders to droop and as a natural consequence the breasts droop too.
‘But the problem isn’t just droopy boobs. When shoulders compensate for lack of bra support, effectively carrying the weight of a woman’s breasts, the spine can become curved, the tops of the shoulders hunched and the upper ribs become compressed.
‘This change in posture can be obvious or very slight but can have negative health implications that are seemingly unrelated to whether a bra fits properly. For example compressed ribs affect the respiratory system which can result in breathing problems and an unsupported underband can cause postural problems.
‘Further, an ill fitting bra can restrict the blood flow, potentially causing mastitis and local tissue scarring.’ We're not going to put off that bra-buying trip any longer...
Ready to go running for the tape measure to check that you’re wearing the right bra? Not so fast…The experts at Bravissimo believe that tape measures aren’t much use to the 80% of women who are wearing the wrong bra size. Instead, they recommend following these three simple rules:
1. The strap around your body should be firm but comfortable. When you stand side-on at a mirror, this strap should be horizontal and should not ride up at the back at all.
2. The wires at the front should lie flat against your rib cage and should not dig in, rub or poke out at the front.
3. Your breasts should be enclosed in the cups and you should have a smooth line where the fabric at the top of the cup ends and meets your bust. You shouldn't have any ridge or bulging over the top or sides of the cups, even if you are wearing a balconette style or lower cut shape.
It’s also important to remember that the dreaded quadraboob could rear its ugly head at any point. Joanna says:
‘Just because a woman was once 34B, doesn’t mean she still is. A 34B in one style is not the same as a 34B in another. Further, the breast can increase by two cup sizes during the menstrual cycle and changes hugely during pregnancy and breast-feeding. You try shoes on for fit before buying - do the same with bras.’ Sounds like pretty good advice, if you ask us.
Reckon it's time to replace those old bras that you’ve been clinging on to? Visit www.bravissimo.com and show the quadraboob who’s boss. Alternatively, if you think some damage may already have been done, head on over to our osteopathy page to find a specialist.
Angharad is a writer with a special soft spot for blogging. She loves to try new things and believes that whilst beauty and well-being are extremely important, it's also vital to stay true to yourself. Follow her here on her quest to discover the health and beauty solutions that are right for her.See my profile »