Take a deep breath and roll your shoulders back and down. Now hold it there for a few seconds. This position is what it should feel like when you’re sitting or standing with good posture.
Unfortunately, most of us don’t naturally have perfect posture. We spend hours at our desks or in our cars and have developed a not-so-healthy posture that could be damaging our back and spine health. Posture correctors were designed to improve posture and support a happy and healthy spine.
But do posture correctors work? Skeptics and believers, keep reading to find out!
Posture correctors are wearable devices to support better posture. They work by aligning and maintaining proper posture and spinal position. There are a few different designs for posture correctors and some are more successful than others. Below are a few of the most common posture correctors.
The cross-back brace is comfortable and minimally disruptive to standard motion. It has two straps that go around your arms and cross in the back (similar to a racer-back shirt). The brace works by supporting your chest and back while bringing your chest forward. You can purchase this kind of brace online or ask a chiropractor or back specialist for a recommendation.
A molded back brace has a small metal or plastic piece resting between the shoulder blades. It’s a larger, bulkier version of a cross-back brace and is more noticeable than other posture correctors because it can be seen through clothing.
A molded back brace may be appropriate for very serious posture issues but the trade-off is that it’s not very comfortable.
Put simply, the longline back brace is more intense than the previous two versions. It runs from the base of the neck to the base of the spine. By running the length of the entire back it encourages total spinal alignment. The longline back brace may limit mobility and can be uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time.
Electronic posture correctors work differently because they rely on electronic pulses to provide posture reminders. Imagine getting a small vibration every time your shoulders start to slouch – that’s the electronic posture corrector. It’s. built to make you more aware of when your posture is suffering.
Some electronic posture correctors also have an app so that you can track your habits and your progress on the journey towards the best posture of your life.
Time to get down to business – do posture correctors actually work? The answer is – they can help improve posture but they are not 100% effective for every person.
Studies have shown that posture correctors can increase postural awareness. Postural awareness means that an individual thinks about their posture more often during the day and may make an effort to improve it during those instances. However, postural awareness does not guarantee long-term postural change.
The pro-posture correctors argue that the devices help the individual achieve better posture. The anti-posture corrector group believes that posture correctors are potentially damaging because people rely too heavily on the device without training their bodies to maintain better posture.
If you are constantly wearing a posture corrector it’s possible that other muscles in the back in the core will become weaker. The muscles get used to the support and could stop working as hard as they were before.
So, are posture correctors effective? Only you can decide if a posture corrector is right for you. And not all posture correctors are created equal. The correctors that promote muscle activation tend to be a better choice than the ones that provide constant support.
Posture correctors are best used as a short-term solution to improve postural awareness. Ideally, you would only wear a posture corrector for about 2 hours per day. Wearing the corrector while at your desk or sitting on a couch or chair can help you identify postural issues while seated.
Some people choose to wear a posture corrector while traveling. Long-term sitting can make posture worse, but a posture corrector can help on long car, plane, or train trips.
There are also alternatives to posture correctors as well as complimentary options you can use with a posture corrector. Read below to learn more.
Generally, posture correctors are safe. If you experience significant pain while wearing a posture corrector, contact a medical professional.
If you are looking for a long-term posture solution, you can start with an exercise routine. Engaging in yoga, pilates, stretching, or other strength-building exercises can help you improve your posture.
Focus on exercises that build your core muscles. Core muscles include abdominal muscles, back muscles, and muscles attached to the spine. They serve to stabilize the spine. By strengthening your core, better posture becomes easier to establish and maintain.
During yoga and pilates, your body is building core strength along with mobility and flexibility. All of these exercises can support better posture over time.
Another way to improve posture is to try a few exercises to break up long periods of sitting. Try these office yoga poses the next time you find yourself stuck at your desk for several hours.
If you are suffering from poor posture along with back pain or stiffness, consider contacting a chiropractor. Chiropractors are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the back, neck, and spine.
Do posture correctors work? Maybe. It ultimately depends on your situation and what your goals are. Posture correctors can improve posture awareness and short-term posture improvement but they may not be effective long-term.
Instead of a posture corrector consider trying a new exercise routine or visiting a chiropractor to seek an expert opinion. If you’re interested in working with a chiropractor, schedule an appointment with Elite Spine and Health Center. We can help you develop long-term spinal solutions for better posture!