Posture Support Products - an overview
Looking for Back Posture Support Products that will give you some badly needed Back Pain Relief?
Please read the following first to ensure that you don’t end up wasting your money - AND still have back pain!
Regardless of the type of chair that you have its success all depends on how you sit in it!! For example, you can spend all the money in the world on a super ergonomic desk chair - if its not right for you it will not work for you! Recently I saw a client who had spent 700 euro on an “Orthopaedic Chair” which had been moulded specifically to the shape of his spine. He had been using this chair for six months and had no relief from his back pain. Why not?
Simply because the chair which he was using - and had been advised to get - was doing more harm than good for his back pain. The reason for this is that he was suffering with posture-related back pain and his poor posture was being exaggerated by his new sitting device!
Learn about what is causing your back pain first
As always, I suggest that the cause of your back pain needs to be diagnosed and, when possible, removed as quickly as possible.
Products that support good sitting posture
If you are sitting in a poor posture for long periods of time you are likely to develop postural-related back problems.
The treatment of choice is to correct your posture and if using a special chair, or seat, helps this then great! However, simply having a chair moulded to your poor posture you really are making no steps towards removing the cause of your back pain. Removing the cause is always my primary treatment when I am assessing back pain patients in my own clinic. So, let’s say that you have removed the cause of your back pain - and - had you posture assessed by a suitably qualified physical therapist. And, now, you want to support your new improved posture with a suitable back posture support product.
Where do you start? What are the important factors you need to consider when choosing a chair to prevent or treat your back pain? In my experience, there are 2 primary considerations:
- Your chair must be firm and not soft.
- Your knees should be just slightly lower than your hips when you are sitting with both feet flat on the floor.
After you have considered these two points - the rest is up to how you use your seat. As I always explain to my clients, Sitting must be active.
Here’s what I mean:
- Sit tall-lift your tailbone upwards.
- old your head directly over your neck-do not poke your chin outwards!
- Keep an open space between the tops of your shoulders and your ears - hold your shoulder-blades downwards slightly.
- Keep your feet and knees hip distance apart - dont cross your legs.
- Work your core muscles - hold your belly in!
In summary - once the chair you have chosen is firm, and of the correct height for you, I generally encourage an active sitting posture. If that is not enough (or my patient is not compliant!) - I use a “back friend”. These simple devices are portable and suitable for use in the car, sofa and office. On some occasions I will use a lumbar roll to encourage and remind you to sit tall.
This is a “D-shaped” firm roll of foam you place in the hollow at the base of your spine. It will help to support your spinal posture but it really only works well in conjunction with an active sitting posture. If you have not got access to any of these try rolling up a towel and use it similarly to the lumbar roll - sometimes such homemade devices can be as effective as products costing a lot of money. The key is to understand the causes of your back pain, how to adapt a good sitting posture - and then to get the appropriate level of back support in the right place!
While the content and materials contained in the articles on this website have been written & researched by Sally Ann Quirke, a professional, practising & fully qualified Chartered Physiotherapist (Physical Therapist) based in Ireland, they are provided for general information and educational purposes only. They do not constitute medical advice on any particular individual situation. Please see your Chartered Physiotherapist or other medical practitioner for full and individual consultation.
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