Posture is a lot more important than many people believe it to be. A prolonged period of poor posture can have longstanding complications, typically in the form of back and neck pain. For some people suffering from the effects of poor posture, a back brace may be part of a solution to their problems.
Since any device designed to affect the spine is a serious device, you should always speak with a medical professional before deciding whether or not obtaining a back brace would be a healthy step in resolving your posture related aches and pains.
What A Back Brace Does
A back brace works by doing two things – fitting snugly to your body and limiting some of your range of motion. You may need to get used to wearing a back brace, because most people find that it feels like an inconvenience when they’re new to wearing one. There’s a slight adjustment period, but almost every patient can expect a similar experience.
It Comfortably Holds You
Back braces used for posture aren’t constructed like orthotic back braces that patients often use while recovering from severe spinal injuries or surgical procedures. Those braces often contain metal components and are far more restrictive.
Posture back braces are made of stretchy materials, such as nylon or spandex. Many of them are padded with a comfortable foam, rather than plastic plates or boning. While they are still holding you tightly, moving is not nearly as difficult as it would be with an orthotic device.
It Helps You Develop Better Habits
Posture back braces are made to hold the spine in better alignment. You can’t slouch with a back brace on – your spine needs to remain upright. This helps build strength in the muscles surrounding the spine, making it easier to remain upright once the posture brace is no longer needed.
How To Choose A Back Brace
Buying a back brace is not as simple as buying a pair of sneakers. You need to know more than just your general size to see benefits from your back brace. Some of it is a matter of preference and some of it is a matter of necessity. If you are not sure what options to select, your medical professional will be able to point you in the right direction.
Some braces are bulky and rigid. These kinds of braces are best reserved for short term use around the house, as they will be highly visible under clothing and make certain activities cumbersome. There are alternatives to those styles that are designed to work beneath most clothing and promote air circulation. These kinds of braces are made for all day use, in or out of the house. You might want to wear one of these braces to work.
Many general fit braces are designed to be adjustable for a wide variety of body types and sizes. You need to make sure the brace you choose is optimized for your body. If it isn’t, it will either fail to provide the support you need or be too painful to work properly.
Some posture braces do more than support the spine. They may have optional straps or braces that engage your upper or lower body. Some people need support near the shoulders, while others need more support near the ribs.
Your posture problem should be specifically identified before you select a brace. Providing support in the wrong places will not yield the results you deserve. Make sure you speak to a medical professional about any shoulder or lower torso pain you may experience in addition to your back pain.
Setting Yourself Up For Success
Back braces are merely one component of recovering from posture related back pain. Your doctor might recommend physical therapy, certain kinds of exercise or a targeted stretching regimen. If your pain is severe, some doctors may suggest medication to help you deal with the symptoms
In order to make the most of your experience, you might want to make some changes. If you work at a desk, it may be best to replace that desk with a taller one. If you can lift your computer or your work station to eye level, slouching to work will no longer be necessary.
Make sure you follow through with your treatment plan, even after the brace is no longer necessary. Falling back into bad habits will only cause the pain to return, and you don’t want to start over from square one. Make healthy and smart decisions and try to remain mindful about your posture for long lasting results that will improve your quality of life.