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Rib Pain Due to Bra Lines: Can We Get Rid of It?

Wearing a too-tight bra can result in rib pain due to bra lines. It is commonly caused by wearing a small-sized bra in females. It creates too much tension around the skin under the bra and puts stress on the rib cage resulting in pain in the ribs.

But the question is:

Can we get rid of rib pain bra line?

Yes, we can get rid of it simply by avoiding the use of small-sized bras and wearing fully comfortable and perfect-sized bras. Using different methods of exfoliation will help us to remove the dead skin marks from our shoulders and the area under our chest cavity. 

If you want to know all about it, keep analyzing this article.

Table of Content

Reasons for Rib Pain Bra Lines

The appearance of pain in the area under the bra lines (on shoulders, on the upper back, on the skin covering the chest cavity) is mainly due to stress exerted on the intercostal (rib) muscles due to compression caused by a small-sized bra. 


It may be due to many other reasons, as discussed below:

Unfit Bra Size

About 80 percent of females don’t care about the perfect fit size of their bras. And exactly the same ratio of females is unaware of the fact that this little ignorance can result in sharp pain in the ribs.

When we use a small-sized bra, it exerts pressure on our chest cavity enclosed by the rib cage. Both our ribs and rib muscles are affected by this strain. 

Continual compression of the rib muscles by a tight bra results in pain sensation during even a bit of movement.

Sometimes, unfitness is not due to the small size of the bra, but due to the ignorance of females. As there are sliders on the straps of the bra for the purpose of dealing with size problems. 

You can loosen or tighten your bra by using these sliders. But in the haste of life, nobody cares to check these parameters, which then result in somehow sharp pain in the rib muscles.

Some females clasp their bra too tightly during wearing it, and that can also cause rib pain.


The symptoms of wearing a small size bra include:

  • The appearance of red lines on the skin in the area right below the bra lines (usually on shoulders, on the back, and at the bottom of breasts).)
  • Pain while stretching the skin under the bra lines, occurs during various movements of the body. 


This can simply be treated by:

  • Use of ointments and creams like sunscreen and other skin refreshing lotions.
  • Exfoliating skin under bra lines.
  • Massaging the skin with a paste of almond mixed milk and yogurt. 
  • Not wearing a tight and small-sized bra.


Rib pain under the bra lines can be easily prevented by keeping a perfect check and balance of your bra size. 

You can simply use a bra extender and sliders of the bra that is used to loosen the bra, and it will lessen the pressure on the skin, preventing rib pain.

Use of Underwire Bras

Different varieties of bras are now available. Depending on their daily routine, women wear different kinds of bras. There are many occasions for which females wear underwire bras, such as weddings.

The underwire bras usually contain some rigid wire (mostly made up of metals and can be of plastic) at its bottom and extend from the mid-point of the chest to the area under armpits, under the bra’s cups. 


These bras are used mostly to give proper shape and support for the breasts. Underwire bras are usually more supportive than simple fabric bras as they contain rigid supporting material in them. 

But these wires can result in pinching of the skin. This pinching can exert strain on the muscles of the ribs, causing rib pain. Due to their rigidity, wires can hurt skin and muscles on the ribs by pinching them. 


The symptoms of rib pain due to underwire bra lines include:

  • Redness and irritation on the skin under the wires (margins) of bras.
  • Inflammation of the skin.
  • Stretching pain in the skin (of the chest cavity, shoulders, and of back) and rib muscles.


This can be treated by:

  • Using different exfoliators such as a paste of crushed almond with milk and sunscreen lotions.
  • Anti-inflammatory ointments
  • Reducing the use of underwire bras and using soft fabric bras.


The rib pain due to the usage of underwire bras can be easily prevented by avoiding or reducing its use.

If it is necessary to wear an underwire bra, you can soften the rigid part of the bra by adding some tape at the lines or margins of the bra. You can make it soft by knitting through threads. 

You can sew some cotton wrapped in cloth under the wires of the bra that helps to lose its rigidity. 

Change in Body Shape

Human bodies go through different stages of growth during which the body changes its shape from a smart body shape to a fatty body. 

These types of variations involving shape changes occur more prominently in females. As females go through different stages of growth involving menstruation, pregnancy, and then the lactation period.


During all these periods, a wide range of hormonal changes occurs in the female body. During menstruation, swelling of the breasts can occur because of hormonal fluctuations.

Similarly, during and after pregnancy, there is an increase in the breast volume due to prolactin variation.

Wearing the same old-size bra can exert stress on the breasts. This compression will affect the ribs covered by the bra. Due to this stress, you will notice pain in your ribs.


You will observe the soreness and inflammation on the skin under the bra lines and rib pain when you make a movement.


The rib pain due to bra lines can be treated by:

  • Massaging the skin using greasy ointments.
  • Replacing the small size bra with loose ones
  • Using exfoliators (it will remove all dead cells from the skin)


This condition can be easily prevented by changing your older bras with new ones that now fit exactly to your body and do not cause any compression and stress on the skin and rib muscles.

High Rib Cage

Some females have diversity in their rib cages. They have somehow high rib cages as compared to others. In the market, you will get the bras that are commonly used by most females (having normal or common rib cages). 

Unknowingly of this fact, women with high rib cages buy the same bra as used by others.


While wearing this bra, it can irritate your skin, exert pressure on the muscles of your ribs and result in pain in the ribs.


If you can feel your ribs by simply touching the area right below the breasts, without exerting some special pressure, it means you have a high rib cage. If you are wearing a bra without knowing this fact, then you can suffer from:

  • Inflammation of the skin under the breasts.
  • Pressure and pain in the ribs.
  • The appearance of dark red marks on the skin under the lines or margins of the bra.


  • Simply treat this pain by ignoring the use of a normal and underwire bra. 

Also use a bralette that is a different thing from a bra. It is usually long in length (up to the upper waistline) and a non-wired bra. It is made up of laces that give a soft texture to the bra and do not exert any compression on the ribs.

  • Use a V-shaped, deep neckline bra.
  • By massaging the ribs, rib pain can be easily relieved.
  • Further, you can use different types of exfoliators to remove the previous scars due to bra lines.


You should reevaluate your size that makes you comfortable while having a high rib cage.

How to Calculate the Perfect Size of Your Bra

Most females make mistakes while measuring their bra size. There are two ways in which you can check your bra size: either by measuring the bust size or by measuring the band size. 

Band size typically refers to the measurements taken just below the busts (or you can say cups). This is the smallest measurement that you can get while measuring your bra size.

Use a measuring tape. Roll it around your body at the level below your bust. You must keep the measuring tape at the same level on the front and backside of your body. 

Then, measure the value (it will be in inches, as most measuring tapes are in inches) from the tape. You can measure it either from the midsection of the bust or from the area under the armpits at the same level as the busts. 

This measurement usually varies from 28 to 30 inches and can be more than it depends on the figure of a female. If your measurement results in an odd number, then move down to the closest even number. 

For example, if your measurement shows 29 inches, you will make it down to the nearest even number, and it will become 28 inches. Then, simply, you have to add digit 4 to this measured value. The resulting value is your bra size.

For example, you get a value of 28 inches from your bust size, after adding 4 to it, it will become 32 that is your bra size.


Question: Is it a serious problem to wear a small size bra?

Answer: It actually does not cause any severe issues, but can make your day the worst by irritating you. It can also mark red scars on your shoulders, under your busts, and on the back of your body. 

These scars may be a sign of inflammation due to the stress applied by the small-sized bra on your body. 

Question: How are the dark scars on the skin due to tight bra lines can be removed?

Answer: Various kinds of exfoliators are now available in markets. They are mostly used to remove dead skin cells. By using these exfoliators, you can remove your scars. 

Further, you can use a paste of crushed almonds in milk to get relief from the scars and soreness of the skin.

Question: What are the grades of bra cup size?

Answer: Grades to the cup size of the bra are usually given on the basis of the difference between the size of the bust and band. 

If the difference between them is 1 inch, then your cup size will belong to A cup size. If the difference is 2 inches, then you should use B cup size and so on.

Question: Can a loose bra cause any issue?

Answer: Yes, wearing a loose bra can also result in chest pain. As breasts need proper support that is provided by bras. If you wear a loose bra, you are actually stealing the support of the busts which can also result in back pain.


Rib pain due to bra lines in our body mainly occurs due to the use of small size bras and underwire bras that can pinch our skin and put pressure on the rib muscles, resulting in pain. 

You should simply reevaluate your bra size and start using the bra that fits you perfectly. Also, maintain other preventive steps mentioned above to avoid such kind of pain.

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