What is a Posture Brace?
Posture braces, sometime referred to and sold as “clavicle braces”, come in a variety of sizes, colors, and designs. They can assist individuals who have poor posture or shoulder slump by providing upper body support while serving as a gentle reminder to not slouch.
How to Choose a Posture Correcting Back Brace (Read FAQ below)
Do I need a prescription from a doctor?
The short answer is “No”, a prescription is not required to purchase a posture brace. Such products are available for purchase online and at your local drug store over the counter. However, if you have any medical concerns, you may want to first speak with your physician before purchasing such a device to treat bad posture. In some cases obtaining a prescription can be beneficial as a prescribed device may be covered by your health insurance.
What’s the difference between a posture brace and a back brace?
Often used interchangeably, a “back brace” or “posture brace” actually serve two entirely different functions. A back brace typically fits around the lower back or the lumbar area and is used to limit movement and provide support. They are often used to provide support for those who lift heavy objects. In addition, they can assist with back strains or sprains. There are also special braces designed to treat Scoliosis and other medical conditions.
In contrast, the posture brace focuses on providing support mostly to the upper back and shoulders or the clavicle area. Most are designed to prevent the shoulders from slumping forward by providing resistance to pull the shoulders rearward. After wearing one for a while your body will be trained to sit up straighter even without the use of a brace.
Who can wear a posture brace?
Such products are designed to help correct poor posture due to bad habits such as slouching down while sitting or leaning forward while working in front of a computer. Luckily posture issues caused by such habits can often be corrected by retraining the core muscle group.
In other cases posture issues may be caused by genetics or an injury. These cases are often more complicated and should be treated by a qualified medical professional.
How long can I wear one?
Most manufacturers recommend wearing their product for only a few minutes each day. This is generally good practice as you do not want to become completely reliant on a support for daily use. Long term use can actually cause a posture condition to worsen when the device is not worn. As always, it’s best to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer of the product that you choose.
Do posture braces really work?
Absolutely. In most cases they are quite effective and can be an excellent tool to use. In addition to wearing a support device, one should also consider shoulder, back, and core muscle training. A combination of a brace in addition to exercise typically produces the quickest and best results.
Other times, such as in the case of injury, simply wearing a posture corrector will not produce results. These cases should be treated by a trained medical professional who will be able to recommend the best course of action.
How do they work?
While design varies somewhat from one product to another, almost all braces perform the same function which is to retrain the core muscle group in addition to the upper back and shoulder area. They often use an elastic material to provide resistance which helps to hold the shoulders and neck in the backward position.
Does wearing a support restrict movement?
Supports can restrict body movement somewhat which is exactly what they are suppose to do. Several manufacturers advise that wearing their product while driving or operating machinery may cause issues when it comes to having a full range of motion. Be sure to keep this in mind before attempting to perform any task which requires a full range of motion to complete.
Are they comfortable to wear?
The comfort level that you will experience greatly depends upon design, choosing the correct size and making the proper adjustments. A well designed correctly fitted device should be quite comfortable to wear. There is of course an adjustment period which can last for several days. During this period the body becomes accustom to the new “normal” position of your shoulders and back. After all, you are changing the sitting or standing posture that has been used for months, perhaps years in the past. Some discomfort should be expected during the initial adjustment period. If you continue to experience discomfort after several days your device may be sized wrong or in need of adjustment. In this case you should refer to the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Other times a poor product design is to blame.
Will a brace fix my Scoliosis?
No. You should seek the assistance of a qualified medical professional for the treatment of a Scoliosis condition.
Which posture brace is the best?
This is an excellent question and one that is often asked. The truth is, there are several excellent products that are on the market today. What you will find is that everyone’s circumstances are different and that a “best” posture brace for everyone does not exist. I’ve tried several different devices that I can recommend as well as a few that I would not recommend. Check out my product reviews for more information.
Will my insurance pay for a posture corrector?
In some cases you may be able to have a posture corrector paid for by your insurance company. Your physician may agree to write a prescription or letter of medical necessity for the product that you are interested in. From here you may qualify for reimbursement from your insurance company. Please be sure to check with your insurance company prior to making a purchase to ensure that they will cover this expense.
How much do they cost?
Some products cost as little as $5.00 while others can cost several hundred dollars. However, the average selling price is usually between $30-$100 for a decent brace.
Can a posture corrector help to ease back pain?
It’s a fact that many of us experience back pain that is caused by poor posture. By correcting your posture you will not only look better but also feel much better. If bad posture is causing your back pain then by addressing the source you are sure to find some relief. Other times back pain is caused by an underlying issue that can’t be corrected using an over the counter product.
Can it help me at work?
If your job involves sitting behind a computer for several hours each day or sitting in one position for several hours each day then you will likely find such a product to be helpful. Many people have experienced success correcting posture issues at work. In fact, an increasing number of companies are offering their employees such devices along with ergonomic seating to help prevent such issues.
Is it possible to use a posture brace with back problems?
Back problems such as back pain can be caused by bad posture. Other times it comes from another issue such as an injury or disease. If you have a known back issue then it’s best not to use a brace without first consulting with your doctor.
How long do they last?
Most devices will only last for a few months before needing to be replaced. Over time the elasticity of most products stretches out and weakens. When this occurs one should discontinue use and replace. Check with the manufacturer to get a better idea of the average useful life of the brace that you are interested in.
Can you wear a support brace underneath clothing?
Today, several braces are designed to be worn underneath clothing. This is a popular option as most prefer to conceal their support. Be sure to read over the product specific instructions to confirm whether it should be worn above or underneath one’s clothing.
Are posture correctors effective if you are overweight?
One concern expressed by many who are overweight is whether or not a posture corrector will be effective. The answer is yes, they are still effective as long as they are sized correctly. Take measurements of your chest and confirm these measurements with the manufacturers sizing chart prior to making a purchase. An incorrectly sized device will not only be uncomfortable to wear but will also be ineffective.
Can children under 18 years old wear a posture brace?
Children who are able to fit into a brace may be able to wear one. Measure them first then compare the results to the manufacturers specifications. Be sure to first check with your child’s physician before allowing them to wear such a device or any other medical device
Where can you buy a support brace?
They can be purchased online or at your local drug store such as CVS or Walgreens. You will find a much larger selection of products to choose from online where as retailers may only carry 1 or 2 models from perhaps one manufacturer.
SheerPosture: My Pick for Best-Value Posture Support
The SheerPosture is a product that I have tested in the past and recommend to anyone who’s interested in getting the most bang for their buck. It offers an abundance of great features at an affordable price.
- One-size-fits-most unisex design
- Affordably priced at $39.99 with Free 1-3 day shipping
- Comfortable and durable reinforced material
- Comes with removable armpit cushions
- Offered with a 90 Day Money back guarantee
- Simple yet effective
- Durable material and stitching will not tear
- Removable armpit pads for added comfort
- Unisex design
- One size fits most
- Comes with easy to follow instructions
- Comfortable, even for longer periods of time
- Conceals well underneath clothing
- Prevents shoulder slouch and restores poor posture
- Comes with a 90 money back guarantee
- Affordably priced at $39.99 with free shipping
- Only available in 3 colors
- Must be hand washed