The pandemic transformed the modern work culture. Most of us became habituated with the concepts of “home workstation” and “work from home.”
However, the work from home culture affected our posture negatively. Most people working from home aren’t able to maintain an ergonomic workstation like the office setup. While the condition of people with existing posture issues worsened.
Barefoot Physiotherapy says the reason posture and back pain issues became so prominent in the post-pandemic era include:
- Workstations without ergonomic support to your spinal structures (lying on the bed and working, relaxing on the couch and working, etc. without adequate spinal support)
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Increased dependency and spending excessive time on digital devices (either work-related or leisure purposes)
Fortunately, a posture corrector can be incredibly helpful in restoring your natural posture.
So, what exactly are these posture correctors? And how do they function to correct your posture? And what should you look for when you buy a posture back brace?
Let’s find out!
Back posture supports, or posture correctors include braces, restrictive clothing, and wearable devices that help in understanding and reminding your conscious mind about the correct posture.
If you’re worried that you need to wear bulky and not-so-sophisticated posture braces, you might be mistaken.
If you browse through the modern posture support online, you’ll find various sleek, discreet designs that are engineered, keeping in mind both support and style.
In fact, some posture support braces can be worn inside your clothes without being visible outside.
But before you start browsing for the perfect spinal support and buy a posture back brace, having a good understanding of the correct or natural posture is essential.
When you look at the human body laterally, a good posture involves your neck (cervical spine) curved inward, your middle back curved outward, and an inward curvature of your lower back for accurate core and spinal alignment.
When you adopt a slouching stance, it exaggerates the rounding of your mid-back. It causes deviation in the normal spinal curves in your neck and back.
In simple words, With good posture, your shoulder should be upright and straight, your back and core muscles supporting the spine and your lumbar region following the natural curvature.
When you practice good posture while sitting or standing, the bodyweight gets uniformly distributed throughout your spine. No single portion of your back experiences excessive load.
- In tech-neck, your head bends forward, increasing your head weight and subjecting your cervical spine to excessive load.
- In slouched and rounded shoulders, you compress your core, and your supportive muscles get weakened.
- With a humped back and other unnatural postures, all the excessive pressure comes down to your lower back or lumbar spine, leading to lower back pain.
Back pain is ranked as one of the topmost factors causing disability. Additionally, bad posture may also lead to painful shoulders, hands, knees as well as poor circulation and fatigue.
A Best posture corrector is specifically engineered to help you attain a good or improved posture.
These posture braces provide additional support to your spine by passively restraining your shoulder muscles and scapulae into retraction, preventing the rounded shoulder posture.
With scapular retraction, your spine regains the natural curvature. The load is uniformly divided through your vertebral column, your core muscles are properly supported and activated. This will reduce your chances of developing back pain and risk of injury.
Your range of motion increases. With activation, muscle agility also becomes improved. You can experience a pain-free and active lifestyle. Combining back posture bracing with regular muscle strengthening exercises have shown promising results for spine alignment correction.
The first thing you need to search for is a spine corrector that functions properly. The most vital areas of posture encompass your lumbar region, neck and cervical, thoracic junction.
Out of these three areas, the muscles in the cervical-thoracic junction play a pivotal role in maintaining the correct posture. Therefore, your posture corrector should target this specific area.
Look for features like high-tension, webbed, lightweight straps to pull your scapular structures, and padded flexible back plate-like structure to support your natural spine curvature.
Comfort is fundamental when it comes to wearing a posture corrector for a few hours daily. Irrespective of how efficient your back support brace is, if the material is too uncomfortable, you might not be inclined to continue the therapy regularly. Thus, the efficacy factor will become irrelevant.
Browse for posture support online that features soft fabrics and breathable designs. Soft and flexible back support is the ideal choice and best for your spine.
A stiff and rigid posture corrector can lead to muscle atrophy and increased dependency on your posture brace. Such braces are best for recovering from spinal trauma where complete movement restriction is necessary.
Since you’ll need to wear your brace regularly for optimal output, the mechanism for wearing and removing the brace must be simple. With self-adjusting braces, you don’t need to rely on another person to help you wear, remove, and adjust the tension.
Additionally, if the design is discreet, you can wear it anywhere(especially in your office) under your clothes.
When you buy a posture back brace, it is recommended that you consider all the factors mentioned above.
Typically, it is recommended to wear your posture brace for 2-3 hours every day to gradually improve your posture and alleviate pain. As your muscles become strong and activated, you can reduce the duration of bracing.
However, the initial duration can vary from person to person. You can wear it for less/more time initially and still enjoy the benefits of using a back brace.
After a few weeks of continuous usage, your natural posture improves drastically. At this point, you can start reducing the support until you don’t need external support anymore.
The results can be improved by incorporating exercise, having an active lifestyle and a good balanced diet.