Professional Advice On Improving Your Posture With Aids and Exercise
At Posture Braces we are committed to helping everyone live life to the full, with better health and perfect posture. Our comprehensive library of articles gives expert advice on how to get reduce back pain, use back braces and shoulder braces to aid recovery and gain better posture.
FAQ – Everything You Need to Know About Posture Braces and Supports
This FAQ provides detailed answers to the most commonly asked questions regarding posture braces and supports. From what posture braces are, how they function, their proven benefits, the various types of posture correctors available in the marketplace, and how they can perfect posture. We also advise which sitting and standing position is appropriate to maintain an upright posture, and lots of advice on exercises and approaches. We aim to provide relevant answers and solutions to all the common questions we are asked.
If you cannot find the answer to your own specific question, contact us and we will be more than glad to help. You will also be helping others, if it is something we can add to your FAQ. Conversely, if it is a private query we will ensure the upmost confidentiality.
Select a question to jump to it, or read on to find out everything you need to know...
- 1. What Are Posture Braces?
- 2. How Do Posture Braces Work?
- 3. What Are the Benefits of Wearing a Posture Brace?
- 4. Do Posture Braces Work?
- 5. What Types of Posture Braces Are Available?
- 6. Do I Need a Prescription from a Doctor to wear a Posture Brace?
- 7. What Is the Best Posture Corrector for Women?
- 8. What Is the Best Posture Corrector for Men?
- 9. How Can I Fix My Posture? Should I Exercise or Use a Posture Brace?
- 10. Lower Back Pain Relief Exercises
- 11. What Are the Best Yoga Positions for Posture?
- 12. What Are Posture Straps For?
- 13. What Are Posture Belts For?
- 14. What Is a Magnetic Posture Corrector?
- 15. Can I Use a Back Brace for Sciatica?
- 16. Does the Alexander Technique Help Fix Posture?
- 17. What Is the Alexander Technique?
- 18. When Should I Wear My Posture Brace?
- 19. What Features Should I Look For in a Posture Brace?
- 20. What Type of Chair Should I Sit In to Help My Posture?
- 21. What Is the Best Sitting Position to Correct My Posture?
- 22. Will a Standing Desk Be Good or Bad for My Posture?
1. What Are Posture Braces?
Posture braces or back braces are designed for individuals who complain about having back issues and deteriorating postures. Slouching is one of the most common issues that most people face, and it may stem from various factors. A poor posture may be caused by sitting in a static position throughout long hours of computer usage, while playing video or watching television.
The resulting bad posture can be painful for the spinal cord and, in the most severe cases, may lead to herniated discs, causing excessive pressure on the spinal nerves and spinal cord.
A back posture brace is helps to relieve this pressure, that can translate into various other problems such as muscle movement problems, strains, and neck issues. Posture corrective braces are, thus, the ultimate choice for those willing to correct poor postures and avoid the associated health risks.
These posture braces can help pull back muscles into their natural position. The brace is used as an element of clothing worn underneath while working, traveling and even while just hanging out around the house. The most popular types go around the arms and across the back. Think of it like Spanx or sports bras that keep specific body parts and areas intact.
Posture braces come in all shapes and sizes and unlike sports bras, they cater to the needs of every gender.
2. How Do Posture Braces Work?
The purpose of a posture brace is to retrain musculature, allowing the back to maintain an upright position effortlessly. A posture brace works by aiding the muscles that are under deterioration owing to the static position and long hours on the computer. In addition to this, by keeping one from slouching, a back support brace helps the body receive sufficient oxygen that is necessary to keep the energy levels at maximum.
Thus, a back brace for work is all you need to keep your body energized and upright for a lean, tall and confident posture. With this brace, you could even forgo doing yoga, though it’s recommended you use it along with your exercises.
What are the alternatives to using a posture brace?
Usually, when individuals complain to their trusted chiropractors about back pain and posture issues, they are provided with an array of healthy choices to adopt in order to fix their posture and relieve back pain and spinal cord issues.
For starters, yoga is suggested to those with minimal movement throughout the day. The simplest form of yoga for such individuals is to move around periodically and avoid long hours of static positions. This helps with keeping the pressure off the spine.
Other more advanced forms of yoga exercises may be the preferred option for mothers who breastfeed their offspring and can render more time to such an activity as compared to the 9-5 corporate who are constantly glued to their chairs.
3. What Are the Benefits of Wearing a Posture Brace?
In the simplest terms, a posture brace helps fix a stooped posture. For critical back pains and spinal issues, doctor’s advice is a must, but in general, a posture support brace can provide many benefits. Some of these benefits are as follows:
· A posture brace can realign the spine by ensuring the back muscles are pulled together in a natural position, avoiding the swayback posture and allowing for an upright position.
· It can be used as a pain management device for individuals who suffer from chronic back and neck pains. It can also be worn to reduce the discomfort that a stooped posture is likely to cause to other parts of the body.
· A lumbar brace is usually prescribed for back injuries and shoulder brace for shoulder or neck injuries. Thus, posture braces have been widely used as injury rehabilitators to assist with healing sports and casual injuries. It does so by enabling reduced movement that helps with quick recovery of the affected body parts.
· Posture braces can also be used during workouts as well as through a mundane day at work. It helps muscles in the body relax while perfecting the posture as an add-on. Relaxed muscles translate into higher oxygen levels and, thus, greater energy levels. Fight the lethargy off with a back brace for work!
4. Do Posture Braces Work?
For starters, it must be understood that posture braces or shoulder support braces are not substitutes for physical therapy, either prescribed or embraced by choice. Physical therapy can take various forms, and body movement is not restricted when using a posture braces.
Yes, posture braces and shoulder supports work, but they work along with sufficient body movement. Thus, if you want to solve your back pains and spinal issues, a posture brace is not the ultimate or complete solution. It is an additional device that can help alongside physical therapy and anything else prescribed by your chiropractor. Think of it as a supplementary device to be used in addition to taking all the other advice and precautions.
A posture brace helps counteract your tendency to hunch, allowing the soft muscle tissues to loosen up, thereby avoiding back pain and stiffness. With the help of the posture brace, you will be able to stretch the shortened chest muscles and contract the ones on the back.
However, relying on these shoulder braces and posture braces alone for a complete recovery is insufficient. The best way to approach using posture braces is while working out as recommended by your trusted chiropractor.
5. What Types of Posture Braces Are Available?
There are a variety of posture braces to choose from. A few types of braces available on the market, specifically for posture correction, comprise of:
- posture bras
- lower back brace
- upper back brace
- clavicle brace
- posture corrector for women
- posture corrector for men
- posture shoes
- spinal braces
- posture straps
The spinal support brace is the most commonly used and sold. It helps keep the body upright while in a standing or sitting position.
Posture braces are generally soft nylon straps that are worn over the shoulders and around the body covering the chest and back areas. However, lumbar braces are specifically used for lower back areas and do not cover the shoulder or neck areas.
Similarly, lower back braces and upper back braces are specifically used to treat upper back pains and lower back pains respectively.
Depending on which area requires muscle contraction and loosening up, you can choose a posture brace to treat your condition and perfect your posture. These come in different shapes and sizes for people of all ages.
6. Do I Need a Prescription from a Doctor to wear a Posture Brace?
Posture braces and correctors are not a complete solution to perfecting your posture and acquiring pain relief. Some of the advanced injuries in the back, neck, and shoulder require medical treatment, and a back corrector or posture aid alone will not be a sufficient treatment.
For the more critical injuries in the spine, a prescription may be necessary to purchase a custom fitted orthopedic back brace, based on the injury and its appropriate ailment.
However, a good range of brace support can be found here, and can be purchased without any prescription.
A prescribed device such as a back brace for sciatica is best sought with medical advice, but even a device such as this can be bought over the counter.
Those willing to perfect their posture using yoga techniques and augmented body movement can simply purchase a posture correction brace and use as and when needed.
Mothers who breastfeed their infants can use posture bras, belts or straps to relieve themselves of back pains and shoulder aches, conditions that are more prone during the breastfeeding period.
7. What Is the Best Posture Corrector for Women?
Choosing a posture corrector for women is based primarily on the issue that requires treatement. A few of the most popular back posture supports available on the market consist of: clavicle support braces, back posture correctors specifically for women, posture correctors for slouching and posture support bras.
Our recommendation for women wanting to correct posture is the X. This particular product has been designed to treat bad posture, thoracic kyphosis, shoulder alignment and upper back pain relief. Thus, it’s an all-in-one product that seems like the perfect choice for those looking to perfect their swayback posture and get relief from shoulder and back pains. It has also been nominated as the most comfortable posture brace with a unique hybrid design that comes with lightweight adjustable straps.
8. What Is the Best Posture Corrector for Men?
As for men, the best posture brace again depends on the issue at hand. Is it back pain, shoulder strain, slouched posture or neck pain that you are trying to treat with a posture brace?
A few of the popular posture correctors for men consist of the Flexguard Back Brace, StabilityAce Posture Corrector, MyProSupports Clavicle Brace and Aofit Posture Corrector. Bear in mind that these selections are based on popular choice. Your choice might vary depending on your personal needs.
If you are looking for recommendations the X is an excellent all round posture brace for men. This product has been designed to treat shoulder, neck and upper back pain and to provide additional support to the shoulders. It has been tried and tested by patients of kyphosis and has managed to provide clavicle and lumbar support to such patients.
9. How Can I Fix My Posture? Should I Exercise or Use a Posture Brace?
Slouching hurts the body in many ways. The modern world is experiencing the consequences of excessive use of technology, especially smartphones and computers.
Spending long hours on the computer or being glued to a smartphone can cause immense pressure on the back muscles, resulting in poor or swayback postures. This tension in the muscles can lead to chronic back pains, neck pains, shoulder strains and even cause lower energy levels due to the insufficient oxygen intake by the body.
A few routine exercises that experts recommend for fixing posture include stretching while sitting and walking, lifting the right way using the gluteal muscles, sleeping on the side with a pillow placed between the knees, and keeping an upright position while working. Yoga and Pilates are also commonly used exercises that can help one achieve an upright posture.
In addition to these general exercises, using a posture brace can be very handy. During a workout session, putting on a posture brace helps with the contraction of the back muscles and the shoulder muscles.
Individuals who procrastinate meeting their gym commitments and avoid body movements in routine can use posture braces alongside minimal physical therapy.
The perfect way to improve posture is by using a combination of exercise to improve your back muscles, and regularly wearing your posture brace to keep your body and muscles in the best upright position.
10. Lower Back Pain Relief Exercises
Lower back pain is the most common type of chronic pains among elders. It may be treated using a few back pain relief exercises in addition to the medications prescribed by your doctor. Here’s a quick walkthrough of the various lower back pain relief exercises:
1. Partial Crunches: Partial crunches will help strengthen the lower back and stomach muscles. The positioning, in this case, is vital. Make sure to keep your stomach muscles tight and keep your knees bent on the floor as you perform this exercise.
2. Hamstring Stretches: These will enable relief on the lower back area. Each leg ought to be stretched two to four times, and each stretch needs to be held for at least 15-30 seconds.
3. Wall Sits: Wall sits are the easiest of all exercises and allow a break from sitting on the couch or sofa for longer spells. Make sure to avoid any sort of injury during wall sits. Hold the knee bent against the wall for 10-15 seconds to build stamina and strength.
4. Pelvic Tilts: These are designed to strengthen the abdomen as it is pulled and kept tight to ensure that the back muscles can easily contract during the stretching process.
5. Pilates: A training workout such as this can help with regaining flexibility and endurance along with strength. Make sure to take the help of an experienced professional before doing something as rigorous as Pilates to relieve lower back pain.
11. What Are the Best Yoga Positions for Posture?
Yoga has been widely known to help achieve an upright posture among men and women. In addition to being a stress-relieving meditation, yoga can help with conditions such as slouched posture, swayback posture and chronic back pains. A few of the popular yoga positions for posture alignment have been listed below:
1. Tree Pose: In this position, you stand tall, lift your right foot and fall into a proper upright posture to keep your balance while standing on one foot. While doing so, make sure to keep your shoulders in line with your hips and press the sole of your right foot against the left inner thigh. This will be difficult at first, so rest your right foot on your ankle until you find this easy to maintain. Then move your foot higher and you improve.
2. Standing Forward Fold: This yoga position is aimed to help lengthen the spine in order to improve posture. Tilt your hips, bend forward and touch your toe using your hand. Alternatively, you could simply hold the opposite elbows while bent forward.
3. Downward-Facing Dog Pose: The downward dog pose can help flex the muscles and achieve strength simultaneously. Make an upside-down V with your body by placing your hands and feet onto the ground. This pose elongates the spine and achieves strength in all the body muscles.
4. Cobra Pose: For this pose, lie on your stomach with hands under your shoulders and pressed against the ground. Lift the upper body in the shape of a cobra snake, as the name suggests.
5. Bow Pose: Lie flat on your stomach and reach your hands back to grip your ankles. While doing so, draw your thighs and upper body off the floor, inhaling simultaneously. Every time you inhale, attempt to bring your body further from the ground. It will be difficult to reach your ankles at first, take it slowly at first and do not strain to reach – this will be achieved with regular practice.
12. What Are Posture Straps For?
Similar to posture braces, posture straps function to improve a poor or stooped posture. Posture straps resemble normal straps, but in this case, they are to be wrapped around the body in order to ensure an upright posture.
A posture strap is designed to treat neck and shoulder-related pains caused by static positions while sitting through a work day. The straps are used to draw the shoulder down and back in position, allowing for flexible movement by eliminating the restriction of the shoulder, shoulder girdle and neck.
Compared to posture braces, shoulder straps are easier to put on, carry and travel around in owing to their lightweight and compact design. Think of these straps as stretchable yoga straps that are used to flex the leg muscles for building up strength. Thus, if you are looking to buy a portable, travel-friendly posture fixer, you know what to choose!
13. What Are Posture Belts For?
A posture belt is yet another type of posture brace or posture corrector that may be used to achieve a good upright position. Belts function just as any other posture corrector but are largely associated with providing upper back support. Similar to a shoulder brace for the shoulder, a posture belt is worn wrapped around the chest and across the shoulders, providing support to the upper back.
These belts come in a variety of material, ranging from cotton belts to polyester posture support belts. They have shoulder support and back support and may even cover the lower back depending on the design.
14. What Is a Magnetic Posture Corrector?
A magnetic posture corrector is another type of posture brace that is used to improve posture and reduce back pain. It is often used alongside physical therapy treatment advised for scoliosis, spondylolisthesis, and thoracic outlet syndrome.
The origin of the magnetic posture corrector dates back to the ancient times when magnetic therapy was used for treating sore muscles and joints, improving circulation and relieving pain, tension, and stiffness. What makes a magnetic posture corrector different from other posture braces is its use of magnets embedded along the spine to relieve pain and stress around the lumbar area. It has been recommended by chiropractors and experts for relaxing aches and flexing tired and distressed muscles.
15. Can I Use a Back Brace for Sciatica?
The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the human body, and pain in this nerve can be called sciatica. The symptom of sciatica consists of a leg cramp or leg pain which, in most cases, is quite unbearable. This agonizing pain makes it difficult for those suffering from sciatica to sit or stand at ease. The pain becomes even more of a torture when the patient tries to sneeze or cough under this symptom.
Although sciatica is a condition that requires medical attention prior to and post diagnosis, a back brace can provide a tremendous amount of relief to the patient. This is one category of posture braces that is usually prescribed by the doctor alongside a regular treatment of the condition. Before you make a decision of whether or not a back brace for sciatica is required, it is advised that you consult your doctor and seek their approval.
Despite recommendations, the use of a back brace for back pain must be based on the advice from your doctor when treating sciatica. It is believed that strapping the brace helps with sciatica pain relief and helps with improving posture too, but you can never be too safe.
If your doctor believes a back brace is good for your condition, the best back braces for sciatica have been listed below:
1. Muller 255 Lumbar Support Back Brace
2. Bulesk Back Support Belt
3. Bodymate Compression Wrap for Sciatica Nerve Pain Relief
4. Roxofit Groin Support Back Brace
5. ComfyMed Premium Quality Back Brace
16. Does the Alexander Technique Help Fix Posture?
The Alexander Technique definitely helps with the underlying problem. The technique is not specifically designed for posture, but it has had an impact on posture for all those who have adopted it.
The Alexander Technique begins by creating an awareness of what the human body, i.e., your own body, is actually doing. The technique has been developed to change one’s thoughts and to redirect these thoughts into making better and improved choices regarding movement and reaction.
Once the recognition of being out of balance is made, the technique enables the individual to learn a manageable and sustainable way to restore it. In this particular stage, you can get relief from neck and shoulder tension. The relationship between the head, neck and spine is, thus, restored. As a result, movement-related tensions and discomforts disappear.
Once a natural poise is achieved, the body and mind find stability, balance, and fluidity. The body feels good and works better than it used to with a new and improved posture.
17. What Is the Alexander Technique?
The Alexander Technique is a method for getting rid of unnecessary and toxic tension from the body. The technique has largely to do with movement and changing these routine movements such that the balance, coordination, and support can all be improved.
Posture-related issues stem from tensed neck muscles which, in turn, impact the free movement of the head and spine. In order to embrace the perfect posture principle in life, the Alexander Technique may be adopted and implemented.
This technique states that a good posture helps the overall body experience a feeling of lightness that helps move the neck, head, and back without restriction and keeps the spine aligned, thereby allowing for maximum movement and flexibility.
The Alexander Technique can help regain a good posture by learning new ways of sitting, standing, breathing, and moving. These new ways of movement ensure that there is minimum pressure on the body and all its muscles, boosting the overall efficiency and performance throughout the day.
The technique requires understanding the freedom of movement and a self-realization of how this freedom may be achieved. This realization comes from figuring out ways that we interfere in this movement on a routine basis and adopting preventive measures to stop such an interference. This self-realization is automatically translated into a self-healing system for one’s body, thereby yielding actual results in the form of ease of movement and greater efficiency.
18. When Should I Wear My Posture Brace?
Now that we have established why and how a posture brace may help you, it is essential to consider the situations when a posture brace may be worn. Depending on why you want to use a posture brace, it may be worn while running house chores and errands on a daily basis. If you intend to take a long stroll outside for some fresh air or even to burn up a few calories, you can wear your posture brace and perfect your posture while you are at it.
Poor posture results from those long hours of sitting on the office chair, so the best situation to wear a posture brace is while working at home or in the office. In addition to this, a posture brace may be put on while reading, binge-watching your favorite TV season, vacuuming and even while cooking.
You must also consider situations when a posture brace should not be worn, as a brace tends to restrict certain types of movement, such as swimming, working overhead or regular lifting. For any and all movements in which restricting the arms, shoulders, and back can be a hindrance, try to avoid putting on a posture brace.
19. What Features Should I Look For in a Posture Brace?
Before you go on a shopping spree to fetch the perfect posture brace for yourself, here are a few essential specifications and features to keep in mind.
Once you have identified why your body requires a posture brace, you can choose which type of posture brace you require from a back posture corrector, lower back support, upper back support, spine support, neck posture brace, brace for shoulder pain, forward head posture correction or shoulder back posture brace.
After identifying the brace type, look for features such as comfort, material, adjustability, quality and style. Comfort is important if you plan to wear it all day. Our travel posture braces are popular, but should only be worn for shorter periods of time – they are great to keep in your day bag though.
For any posture brace be sure to choose an appropriate size and shape to suit your body type.
Select a material that is comfortable and easy to put on underneath your clothes. Adjustability is again essential to avoid any and all sorts of discomforts that could arise from tightening or loosening up the straps on the brace. Material and its quality are also key to ensure that the brace feels comfortable on your body for as long as you intend to wear it.
You may also want to consider style if that’s an important factor for you. Also, choose a posture brace that can be easily washed and reused and one that does not wear out too quickly in the process.
20. What Type of Chair Should I Sit In to Help My Posture?
Some chairs are worse for your posture than others, but posture deterioration is not directly linked to the type of chair you sit in. It has more to do with the sitting position you choose while sitting in any chair, be it at the office or at home. Although a relaxed, soft and cushioned chair sounds perfect for easing all kinds of back pains and posture issues, this is not true. The more relaxed your posture, the higher the probability that your posture is likely to become slouched or stooped.
In order to maintain an upright position, sitting positions are significant. When you sit in a chair, your legs should be lower than the chair. Keep your feet flat on the floor and be sure to adjust the seat height accordingly.
Ideally, your spine should be in line with the back of the chair. The back may be slightly tilted, neither too much nor too less but just enough to keep the back in an upright position against the back of the chair. If the chair back does not support you in a more upright position, it is better to hold yourself upright – do not slouch back.
A popular product on the market for improving posture is the SitSmart Posture Plus by BackJoy. This product comes with cushioning that enables a person to sit with a proper lower back posture. Upright is yet another device that has been designed to train people to maintain a proper upright posture and avoid lower back pains.
Modern Ergonomic desk chairs have been designed and built to maintain good posture, which supports the body and reduces stress and pressure on the bones and muscles. Although they can be expensive, these chairs are an excellent option for those looking to perfect their posture and avoid the health issues that accompany a bad posture. If you sit for long periods of time when working, your body deserves it. Your employer should be glad to invest in something that keeps you healthy and working effectively – just 1 or 2 days off with a bad back will probably cost them more than the cost of the chair!
21. What Is the Best Sitting Position to Correct My Posture?
Maintaining the correct posture is all about learning the best sitting position. Here are a few steps to follow every time you sit down for work or to watch TV.
First, you must sit in an upright position where your spine must be in line with the back of the chair. Your feet must be leveled onto the floor. Make sure your hips are in the bend of the chair. If the chair lacks a lumbar support, place a cushion or two against the back and sit in the bend, with your spine firmly against the cushion.
Secondly, the chair must be adjusted to the correct position. Your legs should be parallel with the ground and knees parallel with the hips. Rest your feet on the ground and keep your elbows down by your sides. Do not extend your arms too far from the body as it puts extra pressure on the shoulder muscles. Most importantly, your body weight should be evenly distributed across your hips, and knees should be bent at the right angle.
If you are accustomed to wearing heels to the office, you should remove your shoes and rest your feet on the ground when sitting. Footrests may be used in case your feet do not touch the ground. Avoid sitting onto the chair with crossed legs as it leads to reduced blood flow in the legs, which can cause muscle strain and stiffness.
22. Will a Standing Desk Be Good or Bad for My Posture?
Standing desks are designed to ensure an upright posture while working, and help you use more of your body when working. It also allows blood vessels to work more efficiently than they do in a sitting position. The body tends to use more muscles in a standing position, allowing for a reduction in wear and tear to joints and ligaments that might otherwise cause oestheoaritius. The use of a standing desk also allows for the body weight to be transferred evenly onto the bones.
However, to get the maximum benefit you will need to ensure that you are standing correctly. In order for standing desks to work, your standing position has to be good with the pelvis in a neutral position. The thigh bones must be lined up below the hip sockets and the shin must be at a right angle to the floor to hold the body weight evenly.
Hence, be it sitting or standing, the right posture has to do with one learning how to sit right or how to stand right. You can choose to correct your posture in either position, be it standing up or sitting down. Neither one can guarantee a perfect posture on its own unless you follow the right steps.