How to Choose The Best Posture Correcting Back Brace For Your Body Type
Table of Contents
A posture brace is an externally applied device, designed to help people overcome postural problems, and maintaining an upright position with the neck, back and shoulders are the first steps in correcting any posture problems.
A proper back brace will limit movement of the spine, allowing it to improve the healing process for the bone, and should also help to decrease pain and discomfort in the lumbar area.
The main purpose of wearing a good back brace is to help limit the movement of the lower spine, the lumbar spine because engaging in sudden or too frequent movements can delay the healing process and can lead to fractures or post-operative fusions.
In many cases, bad posture is caused by one’s job type. For example, office workers and truck drivers are at higher risk for developing poor posture. A back brace as support is an excellent tool that can assist with getting one’s posture back in order.
Features of a Good Back Brace
Posture braces come in a variety of sizes, colors, and designs, and you can find them made in a variety of materials.
Several manufacturers use stretchable materials such as spandex, nylon, rubber or polyurethane to give support while others are made from non-elastic materials such as cotton.
However, in most cases, they are constructed using a combination of several different types of materials.
Choosing a Posture Correcting Back Brace
A good back brace should protect your back from strain as well as continue to train your muscles to support your posture while standing or sitting.
Every back brace has its own support system to help your back become stronger. The back brace support system you choose depends on where in your back you need the support most.
This can be in your upper, middle, lower back, shoulders, or some combination of these.
There are gender-specific braces, such as posture bras for women, and then there are unisex products that can be worn by both gender. Also, there are devices that are designed specifically for use by children.
Some back braces can be worn under clothing while others can only be worn on top of clothing, but having the ability to conceal the fact that one is wearing a brace is generally considered a desirable feature in making a brace choice.
There are also several new high-tech bracers like Backtone and iPosture that are available which deliver an audible alert or vibration whenever one fails to use correct posture.
There are even posture sensing devices that alert you when your posture needs correcting and also synchronize to one’s smartphone.
Important Factors to Remember in Choosing Back Braces are:
Use the appropriate size brace: It is important to select the proper size brace for your back. This is done by simply measuring your back area and matching it up to the sizes given for your back brace choice.
Note that if your mid-section is a bit larger, then you will have to consider buying a size larger to be more comfortable. The devices are offered in several different sizes such as small, medium, large, x-large or xx-large.
But there are other kinds of braces that are sold as “one size fits all” and feature adjustable straps to accommodate a person of just about any size.
- Comfort: If the device that you choose is uncomfortable, you will most likely discontinue use before experiencing any good results. Also, note that judging a product exclusively on appearance can be misleading as some of the devices that appear less comfortable can actually be quite comfortable to wear.
- Quality: Quality products usually last longer and are often more comfortable. The quality of the material used can vary from one product to another as well as how well it’s constructed. Ensure to read reviews in order to get a better idea of the quality of the specific support that you are interested in.
- The belt’s width should cover the lower back and tail bone: If your back brace does not cover your lower back and tail bone, then it is too small for your body. Using a back brace that is not your size will result in discomfort and can put your healing process on hold.
- Cleaning: while some bracers are machine washable and dryable, others are hand washed and air dried only. You may occasionally see one with dry clean only instructions. This is an important consideration to make in choosing a back brace.
- Position the top edge of the belt at or below the navel: make sure you are wearing your brace properly. A too tight or too loose brace will not be able to support your muscles and ligaments. This will delay the healing process and may increase your discomfort.
- Price (Shipping & Handling): While most of us are conscious of a product’s price, we shouldn’t make it our first priority when it comes to making a decision. There are some effective products that are in the lower to the middle of the road price range as well as some that are not so comfortable and effective. The same goes for higher-priced products. It is wise to keep the price in mind but it shouldn’t be the main determinant for your decision.
- Customer Service: Dealing with credible and reputable companies who stand behind their product is always an advantage.
Use ice packs along with your back brace in cases where there is inflammation.
Some Examples of Back Brace Styles
Upper Back and Shoulder Support:
This was originally designed to support horseback riders to improve their posture while riding. You can expect that a back brace that supports your upper back should help you to stand straight, breathe freely and more effectively, and naturally realign your spinal cord.
Full Back and Shoulder Support:
This brace wraps around the lower back, attaching at the front to protect your lumbar region. It features shoulder straps that help pull you into proper posture while also realigning your spine.
Hidden Lower Back Support:
This best work for people who experience occasional lower back pain or overall muscle weakness. It can fit snugly under your clothing and is made to fit the natural curves of your body so that it will be unseen under most pieces of clothing.
The Clavicle Splint:
This back brace pulls your shoulder blades together, helping you to stand taller.