Sports promote fitness & well-being, but without proper protection, injuries like chest injury & bruised ribs can occur. Don't neglect upper body defense!
When it comes to protective gear, many athletes focus on protecting their heads, knees, elbows, and ankles. In this article, we will explore the importance of protecting your upper body during sports, including the potential risks and injuries that can occur without upper body protection.
Some risks: from short-term immobility to surgery
Anyone who has ever taken a hit to the ribs or sternum knows that even a minor bruising in this area can be extremely painful and take weeks or months to heal. In addition to discomfort and inconvenience, bruises and contusions can affect an athlete's performance. Even if we decide to play through the pain, it can limit our range of motion and make it harder to breathe, move, and play at full capacity. Additionally, these types of injuries do a number on our psyche and athletic confidence. Any athlete who has dodged an opponent or hit out of fear of injury knows what we are talking about.
While we might be able to laugh off the minors, serious bruisings or even fractures aren't as funny and can even make surgeries necessary or take a long time to heal, requiring long-term rest and immobilization. Depending on your profession and responsibilities, serious injuries can put you on hold for several weeks. Something people don't necessarily have the time for, no matter if you are a recreational or professional athlete.
Breast injuries can be painful and potentially damaging, no matter how minor or major the impact is. Studies show that the long-term effects of breast injuries remain underexplored, and injury management for breast injuries is poor.
The problem: Awareness and Availability
Studies show that breast injuries are rarely reported by athletes. Reasons for this can range from athletes not feeling comfortable talking about breast injuries in front of male coaches or medical staff to athletes not knowing breast injuries are something to monitor. So if you have ever left the competition field with a bruised upper body or boobs and have not given it a second thought: you are not alone.
The lack of awareness and availability of protective gear for the upper body is also a problem. Feedback from athletes newly introduced to our products includes that they were not aware upper body and breast protection were available in a fit optimized for the female anatomy. Most available products fit the male or children's bodies.
Our solution: The AAVA armoured sports bra
As STEAKS® Contact Wear we have been designing protective wear for the female anatomy since 2014. We decided to release a sports bra that included breast protection as our first product under our new name AUAU Athletics because we wanted to offer the most well-rounded upper body protection for athletes with breasts and help raise awareness about the missing medical data concerning breast injuries.
Areas the AAVA armoured sports bra keeps safe:
- Ribs (even the short ones)
- Inner Collar Bone
- Breasts (providing pockets to insert hardshell cups)
Sounds like magic, but it's science: 90% shock absorption
We believe effective injury prevention starts with comfort and freedom of movement. Athletes feeling restricted by their gear will abstain from its use. We had a long list of features the impact foam had to check in order to achieve the results we wanted: maximum impact protection with a minimum in mobility restriction. In fact: we didn't even want athletes to feel like they were wearing protection at all.
The impact foam used in the AAVA armoured sports bra reduces the impact force by 90% and distributes pressure evenly while providing support and comfort. The 4,8 mm thin foam is soft and flexible and stiffens to form a protective shell when subject to external impact and reducing pressure and shock. No external impact, no stiffness and absolute unrestricted movement.
Conclusion: perform safer with less downtime
Investing in the right protective gear can help all athletes, from beginners to seasoned pros, to avoid painful and potentially serious injuries and downtime. The AAVA armoured sports bra is an excellent example of effective injury prevention that prioritizes comfort and freedom of movement. It's time to start talking about breast injuries and raising awareness about the missing medical data concerning them.
If you're an athlete looking for upper body protection or know someone who could benefit from it, head to our Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for our new product AAVA, the armoured sports bra.
- Why breast injuries are slipping under the radar in sport: https://www.telegraph.co.uk
- Breast injuries reported by female contact football players based on football code, player position and competition level: https://www.tandfonline.com
- ‘No one has ever asked me that’: breast injuries in contact sport go unreported: https://www.theguardian.com
- Breast Injuries in Female Collegiate Basketball, Soccer, Softball and Volleyball Athletes: Prevalence, Type and Impact on Sports Participation: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov