You might have seen these devices on a television ad or on Amazon.ca. These are straps that claim to help correct posture if worn throughout the day. Here are some examples:
Besides putting a smile on your face, they provide very little value. Let me explain.
We are born with natural posture correctors which include many muscles such as the rhomboids, paraspinal and trapezius muscles, as shown below:
These muscles tend to weaken throughout the day due to a lack of exercise and a sedentary lifestyle. This can cause a forward shift of the head in relation to the body as shown below:
This phenomenon is called the upper cross syndrome.
A posture corrector uses external straps to help position the spine in the correct position. However, over time these devices can cause weakening of our posture correcting muscles, which can lead to worsening posture. This phenomenon is similar to wearing a brace/cast on an ankle for an extended period of time. The disuse of the ankle causes the surrounding muscles to weaken. After a patient is removed from a cast/brace they usually require rehabilitation to help strengthen the muscles and joint back to their normal state. Using a posture corrector everyday can cause similar problems. A posture corrector can cause weakening of the postural muscle, which can cause symptoms such as neck pain, upper back pain and tension headaches.
What is the safest way to correct posture? Unfortunately the answer is not as easy. Exercise and strength training are the best way to help correct posture and reduce the chances of developing back and neck pain.
So instead of purchasing a posture corrector, try exercise. It is safer, healthier and will help you live longer.
If you or someone you know has postural concerns, call today for a free consultation! Ph: 905-593-1605