Vic mazonas writes…
Women in my family all tend to have very large chests. Mine started developing early and, at 23, I am still growing. I was a 36F 12 months ago. I’ll probably be around a G or GG by the time stop. This growth continues even when I diet and lose weight. I dropped down to a size 10-12 about 3 years ago, when I was still an E cup, and my breasts gained a cup size in that time.
As a result, I’ve developed an arched spine from having to twist my body around my chest. Having breasts this large affects everything about the way I move my body, and until recently I never found a sports bra to fit me, leaving aerobic exercise too painful on my chest. I lift weights to keep myself fit, instead, and swim.
I have suffered from mild back pain for years now. It comes and goes, but about 6 months ago it became really quite awful. I woke up with mild stiffness in a small area of my left shoulder-blade. By the end of the day I could move my right arm fully, my left arm from the elbow down, and my legs so long as I didn’t try to move my hips too much. The rest of my body from neck to pelvis had locked up and I was in awful pain. After 2 days like this I had an appointment to see my doctor.
I was told that my back had locked out because I was fat. I was in pain because I was fat. I was told to take painkillers, apply heat patches and creams, and to lose weight. In the meantime, I was barely able to walk let alone work out, and I certainly couldn’t go to work in this state, so I was signed off.
[Editor’s note: Vic also included that she weighs about 155 pounds and is 5’2″]
Fortunately for me, I decided I wanted physiotherapy to help. I had 2 weeks off of work waiting for my first appointment, during which time I drastically cut my dietary intake to help with weight loss and to compensate for the lack of exercise I was getting.
My physiotherapist turned out to be a wonderful man who actually listened to me. He clearly didn’t trust the diagnosis I had been given and immediately quizzed me on my lifestyle whilst massaging and pummeling my shoulders ready for some stretches.
As it turns out, my weight wasn’t the cause. At least, not all of it; just the part on my chest. The part that stays big however skinny the rest of me gets. Having a large chest affected my posture. I don’t slouch like other people, because it’s painful, so my back was never relaxed at all. My lower back was too curved from me leaning to correct for weight. My sleeping positions, all convoluted and twisted to allow comfortable breathing space and arm positions, were damaging my back.
Poor fitting and cheap bras weren’t helping much, either, as my chest was being supported by the shoulder straps primarily. All this weakened my back which meant that, when an over-enthusiastic set of weight-lifting with too-large weights caused me to tear a muscle, my body couldn’t cope and my back locked up to try and get me to LAY STILL long enough to heal.
A 30 minute long massage followed by my physio teaching me an easy set of stretches to do daily meant that I was back at work within 3 days, have never suffered back problems so severe again and can weight train again. I got some advice on how to improve my posture and finding better sleeping positions and I’ve been in great health since. If I hadn’t seen that physiotherapist, I would have been off of work much longer, and probably would have developed a repeating, serious back problem.
To be honest, though, most of my doctor’s visits are like that. I’ve gone in with a repeating chest infection and my doctor simply refused to treat/diagnose anything because he wanted to discuss my weight with me. I’ve had blood poisoning more than once and have been told it was because of my “unhealthy lifestyle”, not because I got cut at work from a dirty carving machine and the wound went septic.
I just… don’t go to see my doctor any more.