They are everywhere, aren’t they? If you search online for posture correction devices, you’ll find plenty to choose from. You might even come across glowing reviews of these devices. Can you trust reviews? Well, we all know that reviews can be suspect. But, they are attempting to help people look and feel better by buying the device. It’s a good goal, but here’s the truth: GOOD POSTURE IS PRACTICALLY UNACHIEVABLE WITH A DEVICE. Posture devices might prop you up or nag you into a better posture for a moment. But, let’s understand why they aren’t going to solve your posture problem. Once you understand posture, you’ll probably realize these devices will make you worse.
First, What Is Good Posture?
You need your muscles on board to have good posture. Here’s what good posture looks like:
- Head centered over shoulders
- Shoulders level and square
- Spine maintains “S” curve
- Ankles, knees, hips and shoulders stacked vertically
Good posture is not just sitting up straight or holding your shoulders back. Good posture is achieved when your joints are aligned head-to-toe. Everything works better when the joints are aligned. Your bones and muscles move better. Circulation and digestion is better. Breathing is better. You look better and feel better about yourself. Good posture is worth the effort.
Poor posture, on the other hand, hurts. One stark example is forward head position. When your head is forward, gravity increases the relative weight of your head the further forward it is positioned (Figure 1). Your small neck muscles are not meant to hold up your head, but instead are designed to turn it left or right, up or down or rotate it in a circle. These muscles can become so painful and dysfunctional that you are no longer able to turn your head or look up.
Your head position isn’t the only thing you should be concerned about. Joints that aren’t stacked properly have to work harder against gravity to keep you from toppling over. This causes uneven wear on the cartilage in your joints. Your ligaments and tendons will snap or get strained under the increased stress. Your muscles will ache, and may even tear if the stress becomes too much. The only way around this deterioration is to get your muscles to hold your body in good posture.
History Of Posture Correction
The first posture correction device was the corset. It became popular in sixteenth century Europe. It was used for centuries to “beautify” women. Sitting up straight in a corset made the wearer appear to be a prim and proper lady. Only women from the lower classes of society would dare be caught slouching. Corsets also caused physical limitations for women during this time. A corset made movement difficult, so women who wore them were unlikely to engage in sports or physical labor.
It’s no surprise the corsets of the past have lost their appeal. Their restrictive nature would prevent the modern woman from acting on the many freedoms they’ve gained since then. If corsets are out, but slouching is bad, what else is there?
There are still many valid reasons to improve your posture. The most important one is that doing so improves your health. Good posture helps the systems of your body work better. The diaphragm and lungs have more room to expand. Blood travels more freely through the arteries, vessels, and capillaries. Food digests more easily and waste is eliminated more efficiently. Best of all, you’ll feel better and have less pain.
Let’s explore some of the options you have for improving your posture, and find out what works and what doesn’t.
You may be prescribed a posture correction device from someone you trust. Doctors and physical therapists may recommend posture braces to help with back pain. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and are adjustable. Many fit around the shoulders and apply tension across the upper back and shoulder blades. Some wrap around your back with stiff support mechanisms.
State Of The Art Posture Devices
A different group type of modern posture devices promise to “nag” you into good posture. These devices attach directly to the skin with adhesive or are worn around your neck. They vibrate when you slouch to nag you back into sitting up. These may actually work to get you to shift in your seat temporarily. Unfortunately, this doesn’t improve your posture.
The Truth About Posture Correction Devices
Posture correction braces and devices can’t give you good posture, despite what they may claim. No part of your body works in isolation. If you are nagged to sit-up, you might shift your upper back and shoulders. What you will fail to do is shift your pelvis forward and place the proper arch in your low back. No device can align your joints properly from head to toe. Good posture is not just sitting up when you’re at your desk. Good posture comes from good muscle function. Sitting and standing straight, walking, running and jumping are all guided by your muscles.
Danger Of Braces
Posture braces are even worse for you than the nagging posture devices. At least with the devices you won’t lose muscle function. Think about it. A full body cast could perfectly align your joints, but you would atrophy to the point of never being able to move again if you stayed in it too long. External posture correctors, in the form of a brace, are attempting to replace the function of your muscles.
There will come a day where you’ll become dependent on the brace entirely because the muscles aren’t needed. Your muscles have a very important job. They are responsible for movement and joint positioning. They hold your body in proper alignment. When you use a posture correction brace to do it for you, the muscles can slack off. Your posture muscles won’t have to do as much work to hold you up. When the muscles stop working, they get even weaker. You’ll become fully dependent on that physical device as time goes on.
Restrictive devices or nagging electronics cannot give you back good posture. No device or brace will make your muscles strong, supple and functional again. That can only be done by you, using them.
Conclusion: You Don’t Need A Device ‘Cause You’ve Got Everything You Need
The good news is you’ve already got everything you need to have good posture. Do you have muscles? That’s all you need! Your muscular system is nature’s posture corrector device. They just need to remember how to hold you up again. When you get your muscles back to work, you’ll have a glorious posture once again. The posture correction devices out there are gimmicks, even if they are well-intentioned. The creators and reviewers want to lure you into thinking that they can help. They can’t. Also, do you honestly want to wear an ugly brace or have a necklace nag you all day? The answer is simple: Get Your Muscles Back and You’ll Have Your Posture Back. PTX Therapy can show you how.
Try it at PTXTherapy.com