Posture is one of the most overlooked aspects of human health, as it can have a great impact on our circulation, energy levels, and pain in the back and neck. The way we stand, sit, walk and even sleep, are all elements of posture.(1) Poor posture is one of the primary causes of spinal stress and back braces come as a popular solution. So, can back braces help improve posture? Let us understand this in detail.
Can Back Brace Help Improve Posture?
Beyond the obvious appearances, poor posture has several detrimental effects on our health. We, surely would want to avoid developing poor posture, and for this we must seek doctor’s advises. As the awareness about good posture is increasing and so is the rate of back pain, many people are being advised to use back brace. But can back brace help improve posture? Are there any other ways to improve your posture?
The main reason for a poor posture is weak muscles that are unable to hold the back upright. This can happen because of muscles being nutritionally deficient, structurally weak, due to awkward positions or previous injuries. These days, due to desk jobs and other sedentary activities, people spend a lot of time sitting. This exerts excessive stress on the back and weakens the back muscles in many cases. With lack of physical activity and lowered muscle tone, the back is at greater risk of poor posture and back pain. This is where a back brace can be helpful.
A back brace can improve posture as it supports the back muscles and helps to maintain an erect posture. This is particularly also helpful for people who had previous injuries or have undergone surgeries, as back brace can also protect the surrounding tissues. In such cases too, back brace helps to improve posture and gives time for healing and hastens recovery.
During acute back problems or back pain, using a back brace can also help relieve the pain. This is because back brace can help improve posture and maintain immobilization till the back condition improves. Once the acute phase resolves with back brace and other treatment, the pain reduces and inflammation reduces. With proper medical guidance and appropriate physical therapy, back exercises can begin, which can gradually help to strengthen the back muscles.
Can There Be A Problem Using A Back Brace For Improving Posture?
Well! Now the thing to give a thought is; “Can there be a problem using a back brace for improving posture?” The problem is, if you use the brace for long, you can quickly become dependent on it. After all, a back brace is an artificial support for your back. If you get dependent on the back brace, your muscles no longer require to do the job of providing support and this in turn, will weaken your muscles. This can actually make the problem that you are trying to correct, i.e. the poor posture, even worse.
So, along with wearing the back brace, you also need to perform appropriate postural exercises that would help you in improving your posture and give you a long lasting postural correction, instead of a temporary fix. Depending on the improvement in your back muscle strength and endurance, your time period for using back brace may reduce and gradually you can be completely free from it. For some people, doctors may recommend the use of back brace to maintain posture during certain activities or while traveling, depending on the severity of the condition.
How Long Should You Wear A Back Brace To Improve Posture?
The best back braces not only correct your posture, but also strengthen your back muscles. The amount of time required to develop healthy or improved posture, varies from person to person. Some of the braces are required to be worn for as little as 10 minutes in a day. However, some others are required to wear roughly 30 minutes in a day to improve the posture. Over time, you will require to use the brace less and less.
Hence, it is clear that while back brace can improve posture, it is greatly useful only during the initial or acute phase. Further which, the back muscles should be strengthened with exercises and physical therapy the use of back brace should be reduced. There are a lot of types of back braces for improving posture, from cheap to simple, to expensive custom made back braces, and even tech-savvy braces that can connect to your smart phone. You must consult your doctor to find the best brace for you.