Sports Medicine
A Crucial Period
Good Pain, Bad Pain
On Your Knees
Secondary Injuries
Imaging Technology
What's Sciatica?
The Female Athlete
Putting Your Feet First
Itis Schmitis
Too Much, Too Soon
Under the Influence
What's Goin' On?
Think Inches, Not Pounds
Preventing Vaginitis
That Painful Pull
Athlete's Heart
Exercise & Arthritis
Chilled to the Bone
Measuring Body Fat
Exercise and Your Breasts
Choosing a Sports Doctor
Lean on Me (Shoulder)
Exercise & Anemia
Exercise Abuse
Pelvis Sighting
Hand Aid
It's All in the Wrist
Back in Action
Altitude Adjustment
Tennis Elbow, Anyone?
Exercising in the Heat
Agony of the Feet
Restless Legs
Night Time Cramps
Birth Control Concerns
No Periods, No Babies?
Post Partum Prescription
Weight Loss Mystery
Undesirable Cooldown
To Brew Or Not To Brew
Fitness After Baby
Biking and Back Pain
Swimmer's Shoulder
A Hidden Athlete
Avoiding Osteoporosis
Drug Testing
Maximum Heart Rate
Headway Against Headaches
Torn Rotator Cuff
Fat Figures
Bloody Urine
Sag Story
Lackluster Leg
Bothersome Bulge
Gaining in Years
Taking It On the Shin
Aching Ankles
Hoop Help
Tender Toes
Meals For Muscle
Growing Pains
Hot Tips
High Altitude PMS
Personal Bests
Air Pollution
Ankle Blues
Heartbreak Heel
Yeast Relief

Exercise and Your Breasts

They're not always on the friendliest of term.

Let's face it: a woman's breasts were not made with running and jumping in mind. That's not to say that women weren't meant to exercise, but that our breasts need a little extra protection when we do.

A recent study found that 56 percent of women experience breast discomfort while exercising. Certain sports also present the risk of injury: The breasts' rich vascular supply makes them particularly vulnerable to internal bleeding from impact with a ball or another person.

Fortunately proper care can prevent or alleviate many problems. Especially important is wearing the kind of sports bra that's right for you.

A woman's breasts are chiefly composed of hormone-sensitive mammary glands, fatty tissue and connective tissue. The pectoralis major and minor muscles lie underneath the breasts, but the breasts themselves have no true supporting ligaments or muscle tissue. Therefore, excessive motion during sporting activities may cause pain and aggravate sagging or stretch marks.

Excessive breast motion and discomfort can be controlled by wearing either a supportive or compressive bra. A compressive bra, which functions like a binder; is better for a woman with small breasts (A or B cup size). A woman with large breasts (C cup size and larger) needs a firmer, supportive bra that encapsulates the breasts individually. An Ace-type elastic bandage wrapped around the chest over the bra, to compress the breasts, may also be helpful.

There are many athletic bras on the market, but not all of them meet the needs of an active woman. The best way to judge a bra is to try it on and jump and jog in front of the changing-room mirror, watching for excessive breast motion. You may feel a little silly but you'll be less likely to end up with an uncomfortable, ill-fitting bra.

What determines your breast size?

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Billie Jean King

Comments by Barb Harris
Editor in Chief,
Shape Magazine

General Health
Common Medical Problems
Dental Health
Infectious Disease
Sexual Health
Emotional Well-Being
Eating Disorders
Alcohol & Other Drugs
Environmental Health

Sports Medicine Questions?
Dr. Carol L. Otis, MD. FACSM.

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The information in this web site is for educational purposes only and is not providing medical or professional advice. It should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. If you have or suspect you might have any health problems, you should consult a physician.

Copyright 2000 - Sports Doctor, Inc.