Ouch that hurts! Breast Protection in Sport.

Ouch that hurts! Breast Protection in Sport.

A hit to the breasts hurts - as any women who has suffered this will tell you. A hit to any part of the body hurts, of course, but some parts of the body are more sensitive than others.

 

What happens when I get hit in the breast?

 

A breast injury can result in breast contusion (bruises), pain, and tenderness. These symptoms usually heal on their own after a few days. Causes of breast injury may include:
  • bumping into something hard
  • being elbowed or hit while playing sports
  • running or other repetitive movement of the breast without a supportive bra
  • a fall or blow to the breast
But the real issue is that a hit to the breasts takes you out of the game and can decrease confidence and enjoyment in your sport. In a study carried out by QP Sport and Sheffield-Hallam University, one of the surprising results was that women often “suck it up” when they are hit in the breast and experience pain. Women told us they don't want to make a big deal of being hit in the breasts and let others watching the game see them hurt in that area. A recent US study showed that 47% of college girls participating in sports reported suffering a breast injury. Only 2% used breast protection.

What can a hit to the breasts do?

 

Apart from pain, a hit to the breast can cause bruising, lumps and hematoma to form. It is not widely thought that breast impact injuries can lead to breast cancer, although one study did find a link. A breast injury can result in a lump known as fat necrosis and this may take some time to disappear. A hematoma may also develop around where the trauma occurred. If you have a persistent lump or pain in your breast seek medical advice.

 

Why use breast protection?

 

Apart from not getting hurt in the breasts, the biggest reason is that using a well-made breast protector gives you confidence to be the best you can in your game. Some girls call their breast protectors their “secret weapons” because they can’t be noticed under a sports uniform and allow them to attack their sport with confidence.

Breast and chest protectors are considered as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and thus must meet certain standards just like safety glasses and hard cap boots must. These standards are specific to breast and chest protection which means you can depend on your breast protector to protect you. Be sure your breast protector meets CE standards.

But aren’t breast and chest protectors bulky layers worn outside of my sports gear?

A breast guard provides comfort and protection, without bulk

 

No. Modern breast and chest protection that meets relevant standards is sleek, anatomically correct and comfortable, and is worn under your sports gear in place of a sports bra unable to be detected. Because the breast protection encapsulates breasts, it is also very supportive, in fact QP Sport CoolGuard performed considerably better than leading sports bras during testing at the University of Portsmouth.

Modern breast protectors often use a specially designed sports bra with a double fabric pocket over the chest area into which the plastic breast protector elements are inserted. This means there is no skin contact with the plastic protector.

 

Do they protect just my breasts or my entire chest?

Breast protection doesn't need to be bulky or uncomfortable

Some models of breast protector cover both breasts and upper chest with a single protector part. Other models cover just each breast with a pair of individual breast guards.

As far as which of these styles you need, it depends on your sport/ activity. In some sports including Fencing and Karate, the regulation protector covers breasts and upper chest area. In other sports e.g. Boxing, Football, Soccer, Baseball it is a user preference.

 

What’s the downside then?

 

There really isn’t one, but some women may notice a slight reduction in upper body twisting mobility. Good quality breast protectors are made to be lightweight and comfortable and use top quality textiles like QP Sport MaxiGuard and CoolGuard ranges. Yes, there is a cost to purchase, but usually no more than a mid-range sports bra, and many women wear their chest or breast protector in place of a sports bra. What you will appreciate, is the confidence you have gained!