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Some women suffer from shoulder pain due to ill-fitting bras. You may not notice it right away, yet the straps can dig into your shoulders and restrict your movements. This is why I’m comparing options for the best bra for shoulder pain to provide comfort.
- My Top Bra for Shoulder Pain Reviews
- Features to Consider in Bras for Shoulder Pain
- Related Questions
My Top Bra for Shoulder Pain Reviews
The Wacoal Women’s Awareness Underwire Bra gets my vote for the overall best bra for shoulder pain because of its supportive straps, side structure, and well-fitting band.
Top Choice: Wacoal Awareness Underwire Bra
The Wacoal Women’s Awareness Underwire Bra couldn’t be more qualified as my best overall bra for shoulder pain. Its main advantage is the thick, wide straps that sit right on the skin of your shoulders. These wide set straps go around to the back on the outer side of your shoulder blades.
In addition, the straps are made from a calla lily jacquard fabric, which makes then incredibly soft. They do NOT stretch, probably due to the little bit of padding that the straps have as they come over the shoulder.
This Wacoal bra offers the right amount of support for everyday use. The adjustable straps don’t leave a gap between them and your skin despite being far apart.
It doesn’t dig into the skin either, no matter how close it is. This is also thanks to the massive support your breasts get from the comfortable underwires encased between the two-ply cups and full coverage cups.
Similar to Playtex Secrets Shapes, the Wacoal bra uses a hidden underwire that aids in lifting the breast to prevent the straps from digging into the shoulders. However, the band tends to dig into the skin, so you may need to go one size up.
Like the Vanity Fair Bra, this bra combines nylon and spandex, which provides just enough stretch around the band. Additionally, these materials remain supportive despite being smooth to the skin. These materials also allow the cups to have a seamless design.
- Shallow, rounded back for smoothing with an encased underwire for support.
- Wide straps with back adjustment to ease shoulder pain.
- Uses a plastic underwire.
- The band is a bit tight around the rib cage.
- Full figure, full coverage underwire bra
- Seamless, two-ply fabric cups
- Hidden side slings in DDD to I cup sizes for added support
Playtex One Smooth U Underwire Bra
Fashionability and comfort are two things that don’t seem to exist at the same time. You don’t have to tolerate a painful bra for an outfit to look flawless on the outside. The adjustable straps of the Playtex One Smooth U Underwire Bra make sure it doesn’t happen that way.
It has thick cushioned straps that give relief to your shoulders and breasts. The straps are also lined with cotton, guaranteeing the fabric’s ultimate comfort and airiness. Even though it has wide set straps that sit far near the outside of your shoulder blades, it’s equipped with small adjustable hooks.
You can customize its length and make it fit snugly on the shoulders. They won’t peek out from a wide neckline. On the other hand, the cushioning prevents them from sliding down the arms and showing outside your sleeves.
This is the only bra on this list with balconette-style cups that hide the bra well underneath V-neck tops. The seamless edges are sure not to make a bulge on tight-fitting clothes.
Like the Delimira Comfort Bra, this bra uses lightly dual-layered cups to encase the breasts fully and ensure the nipples won’t protrude. The underwires are well-hidden inside the foam cups to provide even more support. They secretly make it easier on the straps to keep the bra up while lifting the breasts.
- Full-coverage balconette bra with a U-shaped back for smoothing.
- Cushioned and adjustable straps for all-day comfort.
- Thicker straps are not ideal for tank tops and dresses.
- It may create a gap in the cups because of the balconette style.
- WIRED AND WONDERFUL - TruSupport 4-way underwire support system with higher sides, fuller cups,...
- THE COVERAGE YOU WANT - Close-to-full coverage with balconette contours, wide-set straps, and a...
- OH-SO SMOOTH CUPS - Light foam lining and seamless construction create a sleek look under tees and...
DELIMIRA Comfort Full Coverage Racerback
The Delimira Comfort Racerback Bra satisfies many features you should look for in a bra that targets shoulder pain: front closure, underwires, thick padded straps, and a racerback style.
Being the only bra on this list with a racerback style, the straps meet near the band at the back, avoiding your shoulder blades by an inch or two. This also means the adjustment hooks are nowhere near them and will be unable to poke the bone.
There’s no padding on the cups, and the cushion is seemingly transferred to the straps. However, there are underwires in dual-layered cups that reinforce the band.
The bra mainly uses polyamide, a lightweight material that ensures a seamless silhouette even if you wear tight-fitting clothes. Despite that, the bra stretches to support ladies who wear up to G cup.
Like Glamorise Women’s Wonderwire, the Delimira Full-Coverage Bra uses a front-clasp closure. In addition, the back support uses mesh for breathability.
- Racerback design supports the shoulders and back.
- Thick, heavy, and adjustable shoulder straps.
- Uses a plastic hook for the front closure.
- Lacks padding in the cups.
- Front Close: secure front clasp for easy taking on&off ( Important tips: add one band size to buy,...
- Supportive: wire bra cups for needed support and lift
- Racer back: racerback &plunge neckline prevents straps slipping and matching more clothing
Vanity Fair Beauty Back Full Figure Bra
Vanity Fair Beauty Back Full Figure Underwire Bra is my best pick for a casual daywear bra. It’s a back-smoothing bra with features to provide a comfortable experience for your shoulders, even if you wear it throughout the day.
Like the Leonisa Minimizer Bra, this bra doesn’t use an underwire. Even if you have small breast cups, the band is supportive enough to carry the cups to prevent the straps from digging into the skin. However, the cups tend to push the breasts slightly outward.
The straps are made of Vanity Fair’s signature honeycomb straps. Its shiny exterior is not only for appearances. The material actually feels silky on your shoulders. The thickness of the straps also prevents them from digging into your skin.
Its name, Beauty Back, comes from its ultimate function of smoothening your back of bumps that other kinds of bras usually create. This is the only bra on this list with a 4-way stretch fabric that shapes and smooths bumps and bulges.
The stretch fabric also extends to the straps, ensuring they conform to the shoulders while lifting the cups. This makes the bra itself flexible enough to accommodate your size. Moreover, the straps come with an adjustable hook at the back that won’t hurt your shoulders, girdle, and blades.
- 4-way stretch fabric with a U-shaped back for smoothing.
- Banded frame for an additional lift to ease the strain on the straps.
- Foamed cups tend to push the breasts out to the sides.
- Cup sizes are big.
- Vanity Fair style number 76380. Closure: 3 hooks tall with 3 adjustment settings across for sizes...
- America's #1 Smoothing Underwire Bra
- Soft, 4-way stretch fabric provides smoothing across the back
Glamorise Plus Size Full Coverage Bra
The Glamorise Plus Size Full Coverage Bra is another option for the best bra for shoulder pain because its wide straps that are cushioned to provide additional support.
It has thick straps for shoulder relief and protection. What’s more impressive is that the combination of nylon and spandex makes the bra thick enough yet extremely comfortable. With moisture-wicking fabrics, it won’t feel icky even after sweating on it for hours.
Since it uses a front-clasp design like the Leonisa Minimizer Bra, you can easily take the Glamorise Bra off or adjust the cups for a better fit. In terms of appearance, the straps look close to that of the straps in the Wacoal Awareness Bra.
It also has adjustment hooks in the silky straps at the back that don’t poke or dig into the skin. The only downside is that the extended underwire may poke the sides if you use a shorter band. However, the underwire can reinforce the side-smoothing panels for a flattering silhouette.
The band support is incredible for having invisible underwires. This means they’re hidden inside the padded cups, with a promise not to touch your skin. The other areas that the bra covers are all well-supported.
The cups have smoothing capabilities, so they look seamless and almost invisible underneath clothes. On the sides, they’re also equipped with shape enhancers to support any breast shape and type.
- Wide, cushioned adjustable straps for customized support.
- Wonderwire cushioned comfort band to lift the cups and not strain the straps.
- The thick underwire feels a bit heavy.
- Uses a small plastic front clasp.
- WONDERWIRE TECHNOLOGY: A padded underwire adds an extra layer of cushion to prevent wire poke.
- SUPPORT: Lace-topped cups feature side-bust control to shape and support.
- FRONT CLOSURE: Easy on and off secure front closure.
Leonisa Minimizer Sports Bra for Women
If you’re struggling to find a supportive bra for high-impact activities, the Leonisa Minimizer Sports Bra can also end your agony with shoulder, back, and neck pain. Its adjustable straps, double-layered cups, and multidirectional band work together to avoid straining the shoulders.
While it has a high-back design for additional back support like the Playtext Bra, the Leonisa Minimizer Bra is the only one that uses criss-cross bands to help improve posture. Its PowerSlim band uses a powerful elastic material due to its hexagonal thread pattern.
This design improves air and blood circulation to alleviate stress in the back and shoulders. As a result, you won’t feel much strain on the shoulders even when you wear it for long office hours.
While it has a front hook-and-eye closure like Glamorise and Delimira, this bra has a stronger hold with the help of a two-level and six-row front clasp. Even if you exercise or do other high-impact activities, you won’t risk the breasts spilling out of the cups.
However, it may not have the necessary separation for women with larger breasts. The bra makes up by having a smoothing coverage on the sides for a streamlined look.
- Wide and cushioned straps for shoulder comfort.
- Criss-cross PowerSlim band for posture correction.
- The size range is only from B to D.
- Cups can’t accentuate the cleavage.
- IMPROVES POSTURE - Womens bra with criss-cross bands help you maintain better posture. Its...
- ADJUSTABLE STRAPS - The wide, soft and ergonomic straps of this back posture bra help reduce the...
- MAXIMUM COVERAGE - Smoothing full coverage under arms and on back for a streamlined look under...
Features to Consider in Bras for Shoulder Pain
There are so many other features to look out for that can help alleviate the pain in the shoulders. Whether you want to assess your current bras or want to be in the know for your next purchase, these are what you need to check for.
Comparing Bra for Shoulder Pain Features
|Wacoal Awareness||Comfortable straps with back adjustment||Narrow band with underwire||Full-coverage, two-ply cups|
|Playtex Secrets||Wide-set straps||Wide band with hidden underwire||Full-coverage, foam-lined cups|
|DELIMIRA Women’s||Wide straps with cushion||Front-clasp band with underwire||Lightly dual-layered cups|
|Vanity Fair Full Figure||Adjustable wide straps||Wireless front-smoothing band||Full-figure cups with four-way stretch fabric|
|Glamorise Wonderwire||Wide straps with cushion||Band with padded underwire||Lace-topped cups with side control|
|Leonisa Minimizer||Wide, ergonomic straps||Thick, wire-free band||Contoured cups|
The most important characteristic in a bra for shoulder pain prevention is the straps. There are a number of things to focus on, but the most important is to get wide straps.
When evaluating bra straps, there are four major factors to consider: width, adjustability, padding or cushioning, and placement on your shoulders.
- Thick width: Broad straps help the band lift your breast, commonly seen in bras with great support. The thinner they are, the more they’re capable of digging deep into the skin on your shoulders. The thicker bra straps may not be completely painless, although they’re the lesser evil of the two.
- Adjustability: Too short bra straps run the risk of digging into the shoulders. Long ones may not hurt, although they slide down to the arms, transferring the pain towards other parts like your back. They should fit exactly around your shoulders and have the flexibility of changing their length if necessary.
- Proper Placement: Some bras are suitable for women with wide, broad shoulders, while others are made for those with narrow torsos. Most bra straps are positioned on the outer part of the shoulder blades. It puts tension on your shoulder girdle, pulling and rotating it downwards, and straining your neck in the process.
- Placement of the adjustment hook: The bra’s structure will determine whether it will sit in front of the chest or back. This can be extra painful because it pokes the bone.
- Padding: Cushioning is quite rare in bra straps, yet it’s what will make your shoulders less susceptible to aches. Paddings are common in bras for full cup sizes and plus-size bras for shoulder aid and relief. This also prevents the straps from sliding down, resolving two common bra strap issues at once.
Bra straps aid so that your bra won’t fall. However, the lifting work really falls on the band. It’s essential to find a bra with a supportive band, especially if you have large or sagging breasts.
If your bra doesn’t have a supportive band, your bra straps will likely be the ones to make up for its incompetence. Your breasts may pull down the band, dragging the straps to dig into your shoulders.
Some bras feature design elements that have unintentional yet impactful shoulder relief benefits. For example, the straps in a racerback style meet at the center of your upper back.
This helps support both the shoulders and the back to relieve pain. This also makes the Delimira Racerback Bra extra comfortable for the shoulders.
One takeaway from my previous example would be that back support can also equate to shoulder relief. Bras that smooth down back fat are also great for back or shoulder support as they provide a lot of coverage and tightness. A nice posture-correcting bra will also work effectively.
Naturally, the wrong size bra would not fit right on your chest, but it would also pose problems for your straps. Having size options will change how the cups and band fit around your breasts and chest.
The straps will also be built differently for your shoulders’ requirements based on the first two factors. Otherwise, opt for the best bra for sloping shoulders if you think this is the root of your problem.
Front closure may have something to do about convenience than directly protecting the shoulders. Even sports bras have zipper front options like this for ease of wear and movement. Only the Delimira, Leonisa, and Glamorise bras use front-clasp closures.
With a back closure, you usually have to rotate your arms and shoulders back, bringing a specific ache to those areas while or after doing it. A front closure will make putting on the bra easier and pain-free, especially for plus-size women who have a harder time with it.
How Can Your Bra Cause Shoulder Pain?
A bra with too tight straps or band can damage tissue, causing pain in the shoulders, neck, back, chest, and spine. Additionally, an uncomfortable bra can lead to poor posture, strained muscles, and painful ligaments in the shoulders.
Can Bras Damage the Shoulders?
If the straps cut very sharply on the shoulder, they may compress the arteries and veins around the neck and shoulders, partly causing damage.
What Are the Best Ways to Eliminate Shoulder Pain?
To eliminate shoulder pain, try to get re-sized, use wide-set straps, and improve posture. Using the right bra size and wide-set straps can alleviate stress on the shoulders. Bad posture can also cause improper placement of the straps, so sit or stand up straight and avoid slouching.
I’ve already told you the best bras for shoulder pain on the market, including their features. I hope these options can eliminate back and shoulder pain even if you have to wear a bra for long hours. It’s all on you now to have bras that are protective of your precious shoulders.