If you are reading this, you have probably discovered something is off with your posture. I would assume it looks something more like a creepy “Igor at the lab” than an upright Captain America pose. But I also assume that you are health-conscious and you care about making a good impression.
Most of all, you don’t want to needlessly spend money on posture correcting products that you are not too sure about.
Well, you have come to the right place!
Below I have compiled a list of the major posture corrector pros and cons that will hopefully make your decision a whole lot easier.
Wait, What Even Is A Posture Corrector In The First Place?!
Nowadays, you can find many different kinds (and shapes, and sizes) of posture correctors.
In its most basic definition, a posture corrector (sometimes called a posture aid or posture supporter) is some kind of garment designed to support usually your neck, back, and shoulders.
Originally, they took the form of various back braces but today you have more choices. In addition to the back braces (which have improved in design), you can find an assortment of posture supporting clothing such as t-shirts, leggings and even posture correcting bras for women.
If you want to check out the best posture correctors on the market, I suggest you check out my list here.
Pros and Cons of Using a Posture Corrector
Generally, I can recommend using a posture corrector. They can be a helpful tool in your posture correcting efforts.
What I am also implying here is that you need to do various things to improve your posture. You can’t rely on the product alone.
As it is with almost everything in life there are pros and cons. Here is a list of the major pros and cons of using a posture corrector. I am confident it can make your decision easier.
Are Posture Correctors Easily Wearable?
There is an ever-widening selection of posture correctors flooding the market and there are certainly some easily wearable choices.
Posture correctors come in a variety of sizes and designs that take into account your gender, weight, height, age, budget, correctional goals and lifestyle.
The “figure-eight” design, worn like a backpack, tends to be the most popular because they are both relatively cheap and can be concealed underneath clothing. They can be easily worked into your day to day routine. However, for a higher price, you can get a posture correcting shirt which can be worn even more seamless while being completely concealed.
If you have Kim Kardashian levels of confidence (or more likely, require stronger back support) you may opt for the vest style brace which is more restrictive but also offers greater reinforcement for the lower back.
Fortunately, pretty much all posture correctors are made in a lightweight and breathable material that doesn’t irritate the skin.
While the design and variety of posture correctors have improved over the years, they probably won’t be the most comfortable thing you can wear and you there will be occasions where you can’t wear them.
But the thing is, while comfortableness is surely a concern, we are talking about correcting your posture. Some level of discomfort is unavoidable.
Another thing is that even smaller and/or more camouflaged posture correctors can be visible. A posture brace will probably be visible underneath more tight clothing. If you are wearing a posture correcting shirt or bra, your choice of clothing is also going to be limited if you want to hide it.
To each their own– but don’t expect to be able to do photo shoots while wearing a posture corrector.
Not to mention, unless you are resistant to heat or never spend much time in warm environments, then wearing a posture corrector could make you sweat a bit (more).
So, if you are planning on attending a fashion event, staying out in the sun or go clubbing, it is probably a good idea to leave the posture corrector at home.
Are Posture Correctors Medically Safe Or Useful?
When used properly, wearing a posture corrector is a great, healthy measure to help train your body into sitting and moving with proper alignment. Eventually, this does improve your posture and overall appearance.
Posture correctors can also be used as a preventative, giving some extra support for you when you spend long periods of time in awkward positions. E.g. driving for many hours, working on a laptop or binge-watching your favorite show.
Additionally, they can provide temporary pain relief and support after an injury since wearing them encourages good posture relieving excess stress on joints and your spine.
Posture correctors are often recommended by medical professionals if you suffer from posture-related neck, back, shoulder and even knee pain.
Posture correctors should not be your permanent solution. They are meant as a training tool that gently reminds and encourages you to have correct alignment.
At some point, you want to graduate from that training and that should be your end goal!
You will find that most therapists warn against using them for extended periods of time because that can create an over-dependence which eventually atrophies your core muscles.
Basically, that means the important posture stabilizing muscles go on vacation and regrettably, the term “use it or lose it” describes the strength of your muscles well.
When your muscles no longer have to work as hard because they are supported by the posture corrector they will eventually weaken.
This doesn’t apply for all posture correctors though. Most posture correcting clothing is designed in a way that stimulates your muscles to do the work rather than forcefully aligning them.
Posture correcting clothing from Intelliskin and Alignmed are good examples of such.
Are They Affordable And Easy To Buy?
We live in the age of online shopping and unsurprisingly, you can purchase various posture correctors on Amazon or pretty much any other major online retailer.
You can find excellent posture correcting products in a price range from approximately $20 – 120. Smaller posture braces mainly being in the low end and posture correcting clothing in the higher end.
However, before you go crazy on Amazon you need to consider your needs and the severity of your posture issue.
If you issue is a more typical one, by all means, buy one you think suitable. If you suffer from posture-related pain, recently got injured or had a surgery you should consult with a medical professional before you buy.
There are certain back braces that usually require a prescription, but they are also far from being a normal posture brace and come at a much higher price.
Whether you need a prescription or not, you should not buy unless you have specifically been recommended by a healthcare professional first.
In fact, it is probably better that it is a doctor, physical therapist or chiropractor providing you this.
Taking advice online is awesome, and although I am trying my best to be the most helpful to you, there are limits.
“life-hacking” your way out of such a situation could potentially put your health at risk if you get the wrong kind of brace, wear it incorrectly and/or for too long.
Please remember that simply posture correctors are not a cure for scoliosis or a replacement for surgery.
Posture correctors are a great tool that you can use in your posture correcting efforts. Besides wearing a posture corrector, you need to focus:
- Ergonomics of your surroundings
- Postural habits
- Exercises to strength and strengthen muscles
Good posture correcting luck!