Breast-related pain caused by heavy-set breasts can have an impact on one’s day to day life. One way it can do so is in horse riding.
Breast-related riding pain is a taboo topic because it’s deeply private and personal. But women who suffer aren’t alone. In 2016, a group of researchers from the University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom investigated breast-related pain in horse riders in 2016. Their study found that 40% of female riders were affected, and this had a strong correlation to breast size.
Dr Mistry was recently featured in an article for Sports Medicine Australia. He shared his thoughts on how breast reduction can assist female horse riders, particularly those with large, heavy-set breasts. To read the full article from Sports Medicine Australia, be sure to click below!
How can breasts impact exercise?
According to Dr Mistry, breasts can move up to 10 centimetres up and down during high impact sport, and that causes a lot of stress and loading on the muscles around the breasts. The idea of trying to minimise that discomfort is trying to keep the breast in unison with the torso; you want everything to move in one complex.
This is because the main support for the breast is the skin envelope and connective tissue. With large breasted women, these structures are stretched and lose elasticity leading to more droopy breasts.
For women with heavy breasts, this weight tips them forward. This means the postural muscles have to work harder to bring the shoulders, back and neck up, placing tension on the back, neck and shoulders. This is why many women experience discomfort even before commencing exercises such as horse riding.
The benefits of sports bras
A well-fitted sports bra can help reduce ptosis, or droop of the breast, and also alleviate neck, back and shoulder pain. The elasticity of sports bra material is vital to function, so a quality bra is of little use if it’s past its use-by date. The general advice is to replace your sports bra on a regular basis. The fit of the bra should be assessed closely and shoulder straps should be wide to prevent notching or digging in.
If a high level of breast support is required for activities such as horse riding, we recommend the use of a supportive sports bra, or even the use of two bras (a sports bra and crop top), to achieve the amount of support required.
Am I a candidate for breast reduction?
For riders experiencing pain, a breast reduction can, in a large number of cases, improve quality of life, particularly in women who do a lot of exercise.
Headaches, neck, shoulder and back pain are usually good indicators that breast reduction surgery could be considered, along with rashes under the breast caused by sweating and chafing. There are also other considerations for the procedure, including clothes not fitting well, social awkwardness or embarrassment.
“As plastic surgeons we are ideally trying to improve both the functionality of the breast for the patient, reduce their symptoms and also aesthetically still achieve the feminine form of the breast. It’s one of those winning surgeries where people generally get a good outcome and the main thing that they say to you is ‘I wish I’d done that years ago’.” – Dr Mistry
About breast reduction surgery
Breast reductions are generally day surgery or a one night-stay procedure. Patients are usually wearing a surgical support bra for six to eight weeks and can be back doing office-type work in ten days to a fortnight.
A return to high-level physical activity can occur between six to eight weeks post operation, steadily increasing from there.
To discover more about the breast reduction procedure, be sure to click here.
How long would you be out of the saddle after surgery?
Every breast reduction patient recovers differently from the procedure, but Dr Yezdi Mistry says that patients can recommence riding at around eight weeks after their operation, but only if wearing the appropriate support while riding.
Breast reduction in Newcastle
Dr Mistry is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon who specialises in breast reduction procedures. He performs this surgery in addition to many other types in Newcastle, New South Wales.
To discover more about Dr Mistry’s services and how he may be able to assist you, be sure to contact us today.