Breast Kinematics and Exercise Induced Breast Pain in Simulated Horse Riding

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


Female sport participation can be limited by excessive breast movement and exercise induced breast pain (EIBP), prevalent during equestrian activities (Burbage & Cameron, 2017). Limited research exists to establish optimal breast support for this female dominated sport. Female equestrians were recruited (n=9) to ride a Racewood ™ Event Simulator in four breast support conditions; everyday bra (EB), riding bra (RD), running bra (RB) and no support (B) to establish the relative vertical, mediolateral, and anteroposterior breast displacement in sitting trot (medium), reported as the equine gait eliciting the greatest breast displacement and EIBP (Cameron et al., 2022). Retroreflective markers (12.5mm, B&L engineering) were placed on the nipples, sternal notch, the anterior inferior aspect of the 10th ribs and the back. Range of motion across three directional planes – vertical, mediolateral and anteroposterior - were tracked using four optical motion capture cameras (240 Hz), then quantified in Qualisys Track Manager ™ Software (version 2023.3(build 12577)). A 100mm Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) was used to assess perceived pain after each trial. Significant differences were found in relative breast displacement between breast support conditions in all three directional planes (p<0.001). The greatest reductions in both mediolateral (5%) and anteroposterior (9%) breast displacement were observed in the running bra (RB) whilst the greatest reduction in vertical breast displacement was seen in the riding bra (RD) (12%). Exercise induced breast pain (EIBP) was reduced most (68%) in the riding bra (RD) although a significant correlation between EIBP and relative breast movement was not observed in this breast support condition. These results suggest that appropriate breast support when horse riding is important to reduce excessive breast movement and pain, however the running bra (RB) and riding bra (RD) impacted breast movement and EIBP differently. Further research is warranted to establish the optimal breast support for equestrian activities.

Burbage, J., & Cameron, L. (2017). An investigation into the prevalence and impact of breast pain, bra issues and breast size on female horse riders. Journal of Sports Sciences, 35(11), 1091–1097.
Cameron, L. J., Burbage, J., Lewis, V., Dumbell, L., Billingsley, E., Young, K., King-Urbin, C., & Goater, F. (2022). Breast biomechanics, exercise induced breast pain (mastalgia), breast support condition and its impact on riding position in female equestrians. Comparative Exercise Physiology, 18(1), 9–19.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024
Event6th Women in Sport and Exercise Academic Network - University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Duration: 26 Jun 202427 Jun 2024


Conference6th Women in Sport and Exercise Academic Network
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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