- by Daniel
The Best Posture Brace & Correctors For Back Pain Relief
Give yourself a helping hand to stand up tall against back pain with these posture braces and correctors.
Being told to stand or sit up straight was pretty annoying when you were a kid right?
I mean it was far more comfortable to slouch than to put all that effort into sitting and standing properly.
But as annoying as it was, it turns out the adults may have been onto something.
Because maintaining a good posture as you sit, stand and move around is a great help when it comes to living a life free from back pain.
However old habits can be hard to break.
Which means switching to a good posture isn't always an easy task.
And when you're trying to improve your posture it can feel uncomfortable at first and be very hard to maintain.
As it's all too easy to revert to what we know and forget to sit or stand up straight.
So give yourself a helping hand by using a posture aid.
These aids come in various different forms such as shoulder braces, back braces, tank tops, shirts, seat cushions and even technological gadgets.
And they can all make it easier for you to retrain your body and muscle memory to adopt a healthy posture.
So in this article I'll review and recommend the following posture aids:
But first let me explain why maintaining a good posture is important.
Why Is Poor Posture So Damaging For Your Back?
You may not realise it but your body is undergoing a constant battle.
And that battle is against gravity.
Because the force of gravity is putting pressure on your joints, muscles and ligaments every second of every day.
And unless you can spread this force evenly by holding yourself in a good posture your body struggles to cope.
Because when you stand, sit or move around with a bad posture your muscles, bones and joints have to work much harder to keep you upright.
And this will cause certain parts of your body to come under too much strain leaving you feeling tight, sore and in pain.
Especially in your back.
As your back typically has to take on most of this extra burden which can lead to muscle, nerve and disc problems if the problem isn't fixed.
So learning and maintaining a good posture is vital to ensure this force and pressure is distributed evenly throughout your body.
Also when your body isn't balanced correctly muscle knots can form.
And these clusters of tight and contracted muscle are also a major cause of back, neck and shoulder pain.
So you really need to learn how to maintain a healthy posture to stop back pain from rearing it's ugly head.
By doing this your body can work more efficiently, spread the the load evenly and your muscles won't become so tired, sore and overworked.
This was shown in a study of 124 nurses with chronic lower back pain carried out in 2012.
Over a 6-week period they were taught how to adopt a good body posture and make their work ergonomics more spine friendly.
The nurses who successfully managed to improve their posture after the 6-weeks were found to have less back pain.
And this was still the case after a 12-month follow up long after the study had finished.
So retraining your body to adopt a good posture can make a big difference to your back in both the short and long-term.
The Benefits Of Maintaining A Healthy Posture
It's not just your back that benefits from retraining your body to maintain a good posture.
Because it can also bring you the following health benefits:
Which are all good reasons to work on your posture and makes investing in a decent brace or corrector a wise purchase.
The Best Wearable Posture Braces
As I mentioned in the intro posture braces come in a few different varieties and your main options are:
All of these offer slightly different benefits but they share the same common goal.
Which is placing your body and muscles into a position that encourages good posture and making it easy to maintain that posture.
This can feel uncomfortable at first as you will be in a posture that your body isn't used to.
But over time you can retrain your muscle memory and this make adopting the right posture a more natural task when you are not wearing the braces.
And they are also great at making you more aware of how you are sitting and standing so you'll be less likely to slip back into bad habits.
Just be aware not to overuse them as you don't want to become dependent on them and weaken your postural muscles.
And as well as wearing a brace you'll also get better results if you get into the habit of keeping your core muscles strong and stretching regularly.
As these will both provide more support for your spine and encourage a better posture naturally.
Shoulder Posture Braces
Shoulder braces are the most common types of posture brace and will produce the strongest effect.
The idea with these is to use the brace to pull your shoulders back rather than allowing them to hunch and round.
By doing this you will straighten your neck and spine into alignment, lift your chest up and release tension in your thoracic spine.
And a good one to try is the Comfymed Posture Corrector.
This one is well made and more comfortable to wear than some of the other shoulder braces on the market.
It's also easy to put on and adjust by yourself.
And while it does come with a belly strap this is more to hold it in place than to provide any kind of support.
Shoulder Posture Braces With Lumbar Belts
These braces work similarly to the shoulder braces (albeit slightly less intensely) but they also come with a back support brace that wraps around your lower back.
And this is helpful in a couple of ways.
Firstly it can assist your core muscles by providing extra support for your lower back.
And it can also encourage you not to slouch in the lumbar region.
So if this sounds like something you'd like to try a good option is the Flexguard Back Brace Posture Corrector.
This one is affordable, fully adjustable and does a good job of pushing your shoulders back and straightening your spine.
It also comes with an exercise and posture guide that will make it easier for you to hold a good posture throughout the day.
Posture Correcting Shirts
Posture shirts, vests and tank tops are a more comfortable way of correcting your posture.
However they may be better for preventing bad posture from occurring rather than correcting it though as they are not as strong or intense as the other posture braces.
But they can be an effective way to train yourself to hold your body correctly.
They come in two different varieties.
There are ones with a posture brace woven into the material of the shirt and there are others where the shirt contains elastic bands that press on certain muscles to keep you upright.
Either of these can be effective but I'd recommend trying the latter option which is what is in the AlignMed Posture Shirt.
This shirt is used by professional athletes to avoid injury and improve performance but it was actually designed to help the average Joe with their posture.
It contains neuroband technology (elastic straps built into the shirt) that work to put your muscles into proper alignment but at the same time keep them active.
This helps to keep your postural muscles stimulated throughout the day and helps to retrain them to hold this posture when you are not wearing the shirt.
And it also helps to increase your body's awareness of posture so you'll be able to spot when you're slouching easier.
So pretty cool results for just wearing a shirt!
However because they are tight fitting they can be a bit uncomfortable to wear at first and may not suit everyone.
But they can be a great accessory to you whether you are sitting at a desk, playing a round of golf or working hard on a construction site all day.
The Best Tools To Correct Your Sitting Posture
It's really important to maintain a good posture when you sit as sitting for extended periods has been shown to be a major cause of the development of lower back pain.
This happens for two reasons:
So work on maintaining a good posture as you sit (like in the photo below) to keep your back healthier.
And while a good sitting posture won't solve all these problems, it can help to minimise the strain and pressure on your spine and lower back as you sit.
And if you find it a struggle don't fret as you can also buy posture correctors that will make this easier to achieve.
The BetterBack Posture Corrector
This is a great new product that really helps to keep you in the right alignment and posture as you sit.
It has an ingenious design that uses your knees as anchors to pull you up into a healthy sitting posture effortlessly.
Firstly you place the back pad around your lower back.
Then you position the knee straps around your knees.
Now by pulling on the adjustable leg straps you can adjust the tension to manipulate your spine into the perfect sitting posture.
The brace will then hold you in this posture and make it impossible to slouch.
This makes it easy to maintain while you sit and over time your muscles will get used to this position and start to adopt it naturally.
So you'll improve your sitting posture to the point where this position comes naturally to you even without the BetterBack posture corrector.
It's also lightweight and portable so great for taking with you on trips or long journeys.
The BackJoy SitSmart Posture Core
The BackJoy SitSmart Posture Core is a seat that you can place on any chair to help you to sit with a healthy posture.
It works by tilting your pelvis into a naturally healthy position as you sit on it.
And the good thing is it is not totally rigid either so it can adapt to the tiny movements you make as you sit to keep you in this healthy posture.
But while this seat will encourage you into a good sitting posture you will still need to use your core muscles to keep you upright.
And this is a bonus because it prevents those muscles from weakening (which is a big problem when sitting) which allows your back to stay better supported.
Coop Home Goods Lumbar Support Cushion
Placing a lumbar support cushion between your lower back and the back of the chair you are sitting on is a great way of maintaining a good sitting posture.
This is because by not allowing your back to flatten against the chair it encourages you to maintain a healthy 'S' curve in your spine as you sit.
They work so well that they are commonly recommended by chiropractors and physicians.
And they have been shown in studies to help people with lower back pain to sit more comfortably and with a healthier spinal curve.
So, if you want to add lumbar support to any chair a lumbar support cushion is a great purchase,
And the one I'd recommend is the Coop Home Goods Lumbar Support Cushion.
As the memory foam is super comfortable and it provides enough support to stop your back from flattening out.
And being bamboo charcoal infused and ventilated it's breathable, which means you won't get hot and sweaty while using it.
It also comes with an adjustable strap to hold it in the right position as you sit.
So, you won't be disappointed with this one.
The Best Electronic Posture Corrector
Each posture aid I've covered here works to encourage your body into a good posture that will keep you out of pain.
However the end goal with each one is to retrain your muscles and body over time to the point where being in this healthy posture is natural and easy.
And why not use technology to help us to do this as well?
Because there are now some great devices that will track your posture and movements throughout the day and report back on any mistakes you are making.
Which is a great thing as it can be so hard to stay aware of your posture all the time.
These devices use magnetic sensors that give off a small vibration if they detect you have fallen into a bad posture.
So you know exactly when you need to straighten up and correct your position.
Which helps to keep you on track and maintain a good posture throughout each day.
But do posture correcting smart devices actually work?
The Upright GO Posture Trainer
This one will give you everything you need to retrain your body into a better posture.
The Lumo Lift is a small magnetic sensor that you clip onto the front of your clothing in your upper body area.
It's so small that this can be done really discreetly meaning you can wear it to work or when out in the public without any embarrassment.
This magnetic sensor will detect forward, backwards and sideways movements so that it can tell when you have slipped into an unhealthy posture.
And when this happens it will start to vibrate gently which will alert you to the problem and allow you to sit or stand up straight again.
So it's great for making you aware of your posture and for helping you to retrain your muscle memory to get used to sitting and standing in a better posture.
You connect it up via bluetooth with the Lumo Lift app which you download to your smartphone.
This app will track your progress throughout the days and weeks that you use it and point out exactly where you are going wrong.
And you can adjust the program so that the vibrations only go off after you've been holding a poor posture for a certain amount of time.
Which is good as it allows you to shorten the time as your posture gets naturally better and better.
It'll also give you a posture rating each day so you can see how well you've been doing.
So all in all I think this is a great idea for someone who wants to learn how to carry themselves in a more healthy way and reduce their back pain.
It can take a little bit of tech know how and confidence to get going but the video below walks you through exactly how to do this and also how the Lumo Lift works.
So you'll be up (right!) and running in no time.
Adopting and maintaining a healthy posture is not the easiest thing to do if you've spent years with a bad posture.
As it can be difficult to retrain your body and break old habits.
And this is bad news for your back as having a bad posture can put it under increasing pressure and strain.
So why not give yourself a helping hand with a posture brace or corrector?
By using one or more of the suggestions I've given you in this article you can make getting used to a new and healthier posture a hell of a lot easier.
And this will spread the pressure and workload evenly across your body rather than leaving your back to pick up all the slack.
So make a start on improving your posture today.
And you'll be well on the way to a better posture and less back pain in no time.
Resources used in researching this article: