Can a Breast Reduction Help Your Back Pain?

At some point in their lives, most peo­ple have expe­ri­enced back pain. It’s one of the most com­mon rea­sons for miss­ing work and seek­ing med­ical care. It’s also the num­ber one cause of dis­abil­i­ty worldwide. 

While you might think of back pain as being caused by fac­tors like mus­cle strains, arthri­tis, or injuries, it can also be caused by heavy breasts. 

Heavy breasts can lead to chron­ic (last­ing more than 3 months) back, neck, and shoul­der pain. To ease this dis­com­fort, some women turn to breast reduc­tion surgery, a surgery that removes breast tis­sue, fat, and skin from the breasts. 

Breast reduc­tion surgery can improve: 

  • Back, neck, and shoul­der pain 
  • Nerve pain
  • Grooves in the shoul­der from bra straps 
  • Skin irri­ta­tion and rash­es under the breasts 
  • Dif­fi­cul­ty fit­ting into cloth­ing and bras 
  • Self-con­fi­dence

Breast reduc­tions have some of the high­est patient sat­is­fac­tion rates among all plas­tic surgery pro­ce­dures. By remov­ing the tis­sue that is weigh­ing you down, you can find relief from your back pain and oth­er dis­com­fort relat­ed to heavy breasts. 

Here’s what you should know about breast reduc­tion and how it can ease your back pain. 

What Is Breast Reduc­tion Surgery? 

A breast reduc­tion — also called a reduc­tion mammaplas­ty — is a pro­ce­dure to reduce the size of your breasts. 

One approach to breast reduc­tion is through surgery. The sur­geon will make an inci­sion around the are­o­la (the area around the nip­ple) as well as down each breast. In order to make the breasts small­er, they will remove extra fat, breast tis­sue, and skin. Final­ly, they will reshape and place the breast. This is called a breast lift, and it’s a part of every breast reduction. 

Usu­al­ly, the nip­ple and are­o­la will remain attached to the breast. How­ev­er, with very large breasts, the sur­geon may remove them. Then, they’ll recre­ate them using a pro­ce­dure called nip­ple recon­struc­tion, which uses inci­sions to form the nip­ples and tat­toos to cre­ate the areolas. 

Anoth­er approach to breast reduc­tion is using lipo­suc­tion to take out fat from the breasts. While this option leads to less scar­ring, only women who are seek­ing min­i­mal reduc­tion and no skin removal are ide­al can­di­dates for this approach. 

Look­ing to reduce your back pain with breast reduc­tion surgery? Sched­ule an appoint­ment with a Duly Aes­thet­ics Plas­tic Sur­geon today. 

How Can Breast Reduc­tion Surgery Reduce Back Pain? 

Heavy breasts can put a strain on your body, espe­cial­ly your neck, back, and shoul­ders. This is par­tic­u­lar­ly true if breasts sag low­er than your ribs and over your abdomen area. 

The excess weight of heavy breasts can lead to poor pos­ture, caus­ing your shoul­ders to roll for­ward. This can put a strain on the upper and low­er back mus­cles, which sup­port your chest when you bend for­ward. Over time, this can lead to chron­ic back, neck, and shoul­der pain. 

By reduc­ing the weight of the breasts and lift­ing them up on your chest, it reduces the strain on your back and relieves pain. 

Keep in mind — there’s no per­fect breast size that will ease the pain. Instead, your sur­geon will work with you to deter­mine the appro­pri­ate size based on your indi­vid­ual anatomy. 

Because the weight comes off imme­di­ate­ly dur­ing a breast reduc­tion surgery, you’ll notice the results right away. How­ev­er, it can take months for swelling to sub­side com­plete­ly. While results from a breast reduc­tion are meant to last a long time, cer­tain fac­tors, like weight changes and preg­nan­cy, can impact long-term breast size and shape. 

When Should I Have Breast Reduc­tion Surgery? 

Your breasts under­go a lot of changes through­out your life due to things like aging, preg­nan­cy, and weight fluc­tu­a­tions. There are cer­tain rea­sons your health­care provider may rec­om­mend wait­ing to have breast reduc­tion surgery, includ­ing if you: 

    • Are young and have under­de­vel­oped breasts 
    • Expect upcom­ing breast changes, such as with preg­nan­cy or menopause 
    • Have goals of sig­nif­i­cant weight loss 
    • Plan to breast­feed in the future

    To deter­mine the best time to under­go breast reduc­tion surgery, talk to your health­care provider about your indi­vid­ual sit­u­a­tion. They can help deter­mine if and when you would be eli­gi­ble for a breast reduction. 

    Find Relief From Back Pain With Breast Reduc­tion Surgery 

    If heavy breasts are caus­ing pain and dis­com­fort in your dai­ly life, you might ben­e­fit from breast reduc­tion surgery. In addi­tion to eas­ing pain, you may expe­ri­ence oth­er ben­e­fits, like improved ener­gy, a new­found abil­i­ty to engage in cer­tain activ­i­ties, and less pain from bra straps. 

    Back pain can be severe­ly lim­it­ing in your life. By address­ing the cause of your back pain with a breast reduc­tion, you can get back to doing what you love. 

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    • I believe that the patient-physician relationship begins with trust and understanding the patient's expectations and goals. I strive to deliver patient-centered care with treatment plans that are individualized to each patient and to deliver care that is compassionate, while attaining the best possible outcome.