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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Are large-breasted women more likely to get carpal tunnel syndrome?

Read the whole thing at Straight Dope.

Big-breasted women are far more likely to have carpal tunnel problems than the rest of us. In the general population, maybe one in 40 people is affected; for well-endowed women it’s more like one in five. Interestingly, 62 percent of pregnant women get CTS during their third trimester, when their breasts are enlarged. Doctors aren’t sure why, but a plausible guess is pinched nerves not in the wrist but rather somewhere upstream.

One likely location is the shoulder, where the weight of oversize mammaries can produce considerable stress.

Other afflictions of the big-bosomed include:

Headaches, back and neck pain, spinal degeneration, and slipped discs. One study found a 25-year-old woman with B-cup-size breasts has an 8 percent chance of developing spine disorders, whereas a woman with a D-cup has a 44 percent chance. The problem worsens with age — by the time the D-cup woman reaches 35, she’s got an 82 percent chance of having back trouble.

Skin irritation caused by moisture and bacteria trapped within folds of skin.

Chafing and the like due to bouncing during jogging or other exercise.

Shortness of breath due to weight pressing on the rib cage.

Posture and sleeping difficulties.

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