Who Needs a Posture Brace?
A posture brace helps people who struggle with poor posture. Unfortunately, poor posture is caused by a number of conditions. The back posture brace will retrain the patient’s musculature, and it will help the back maintain proper posture. Patients who spend a lot of time sitting in front of the computer are vulnerable to losing muscle tone in the torso. Often, patients will fall into a pattern of poor posture and hunched shoulders when they sit for an extended period of time. Doctors will often recommend their favorite brand as the best posture brace for their patients. In many cases, the doctor will have a posture support brace made specifically for the patient’s condition. Back health and posture are an important aspect of the overall health of the body, and almost any patient can benefit. Often, problems with the back are indicative of another condition.1
How Does It Work?
The back brace for posture holds the back into place to make fixing posture easier. On the one hand, patients who practice good posture have stronger backs. On the other hand, patients who slouch use the posture brace to hold the back into place until the body is retrained into a consistently good posture. Of course, patients have to research the right type of posture brace for their condition and physical build. For example, the shoulder posture brace is a style that straps onto the shoulders to help with posture. Posture braces decrease back pain, and lower back pain is one of the most common forms of back pain. Studies show that better posture improves cognitive function. Additionally, stress and lethargy caused by pain and bad posture will be reduced. Furthermore, poor posture causes breathing issues. Consequently, muscles and tissues will not receive enough oxygen-rich blood.2
When the Brace Should and Should Not Be Worn
Often, patients will wear their posture brace. For example, it should be worn at work, while watching TV, while reading or using a handheld electronic device, while doing housework, or while walking. Usually, it is safe to wear a posture brace for daily activities. In fact, it is important that the patient wear the brace during certain tasks. For instance, the activities that involve extended periods of sitting are situations where it is the best time to wear the brace for correction. However, patients should not always wear a posture brace. For instance, the brace should not be worn while swimming. In particular, this is because a wet posture brace is not comfortable and not all posture braces are built for a lot of exercise. Fortunately, patients can ask their doctor about when or when not to wear the brace.3
Conditions That Cause Posture Issues
Unfortunately, there are many conditions that cause bad posture. For instance, gravity takes a toll on the body over the years. However, there are other factors that can worsen the condition. Often, a combination of multiple factors are the cause. For example, an injury can cause the muscle to spasm and restrict movement. Additionally, the spasms may cause the muscle to weaken over time. In many cases, stress causes the patient to neglect their posture and breathing. Further, patients who wear the wrong types of shoes unintentionally unbalance their body weight. Consequently, the legs and back can become misaligned from improper footwear. Of course, genetics play a role in how well the body functions. Scheuermann’s Disease is an example of a hereditary condition that affects posture. Adolescent boys who have the disease develop kyphosis in their thoracic spines. Usually, a doctor has to be involved.4
Other Ways to Improve Posture
Fortunately, there are more treatment options beyond the posture brace. In some cases, a simple solution is enough. Everyone should regularly pay attention to their posture and modify their position because it is easy to fall into a slouch when sitting or standing for a long time. Patients should switch to supportive shoes. Orthotic inserts might be necessary. While standing, patients can keep one foot slightly forward or placed on a footrest. While sitting, the back should be supported, and the head is in line with the torso. The shoulders should be relaxed and the knees have to be resting at about hip height. Additionally, patients should regularly get up, walk around, and adjust their posture as necessary. It is easy to set a reminder to leave the computer for a few minutes every half hour. Sometimes, a posture brace may be necessary anyway.5
Exercises for Poor Posture
Other than lifestyle changes, there are exercises that patients can try. The head is heavy, so it is important to keep the neck and body strong. The following exercises can be performed when the patient takes a break from their prolonged sitting. The chin tuck can be performed while sitting down, but the other exercises require the patient to get up. The other exercises and stretches are wall angel, doorway stretch, hip flexor stretch, the x-move, and the v-move. These stretches exercise different muscles in the body. Some focus on the shoulders while others work the chest or neck muscles. It is important to keep the body strong so that the natural lumbar curve can continue to act as a shock absorber and weight distribution. In many cases, misalignments cause more issues than just back pain. Issues have to be caught early to minimize damage.6
Usually, a chiropractor will recommend stretches and exercises as treatment options before suggesting the use of a posture brace. Chiropractors can help fight causes of poor posture. For example, a chiropractor can help their patient deal with kyphosis. When poor posture caused the kyphosis, the chiropractor will teach their patient what to do at home. In other cases, the chiropractor can help reduce inflammation, pain, and muscle spasms caused by the condition. A chiropractor might use spinal manipulation, the flexion-distraction technique, trigger point therapy, or a number of other therapy styles to help the back. Chiropractors will suggest stretches and exercises that will combat kyphosis. Often, the chiropractor will work with the patient’s doctor to treat the condition.7
Find out more about the best posture correctors.