Posture Corrective Brace
The Posture corrective brace is potentially a great educating tool for posture correction - but needs to be used very carefully and under supervision.
Posture braces are designed to assist posture correction and support by addressing your spinal posture (see spine anatomy for more). They will support the muscles of your spine that are involved in the correct upright posture and, as a result, they will ease your pain if worn correctly.
However, in my experience, wearing a posture corrective brace without absolute necessity can lead to further neck pain and back problems. This is also true of the posture brace and posture collar.
This is due to the muscles in your neck and back becoming weaker over time as a result of the posture brace doing their job for them.
So when is the correct time to wear a posture brace?
It is very important that you understand exactly what a posture brace does. Imagine the effect of wearing a support to your spine over a long period of time. It will take over the role of your back muscles and as a result they will become weaker as they have less to do. This will potentially weaken your spine further, and cause you further pain. Understanding this will help you decide on when and where a posture brace should be worn - often with the support of medical supervision.
Ask a chartered physiotherapist if you are in doubt.
As stated previously, Posture braces aim to hold your back in a better posture position on a constant basis. You will directly feel this support (and relief) when wearing the brace. However, over time your posture brace will take over the role of your postural muscles.
If the role of your muscles is compromised, they will weaken significantly, and when you take off your posture brace your back will feel weak and unsupported. You will then have to work even harder than you would have from the outset to strengthen your postural muscles.
If you have a severe back or neck injury - a posture brace may be of great assistance with your overall back pain management. However, this is only under the guidance of a chartered physiotherapist or doctor following a posture analysis. They will advise you when you should take it off, so as to reduce the risks of weakening your back muscles over time.
Used correctly, your posture brace may help reduce the overall time required for your back or neck rehabilitation. However, please do not wear a posture brace without professional guidance and support - and always ensure you exactly follow the directions supplied.
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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