The human spine is made of 24 vertebrae which, together with the intervertebral discs and a cable of nerves, make up the spinal cord. Poor posture leads to spine degeneration, nerve compression and wasting away of the muscles that support the back and core.
According to the American Chiropractic Association, it is estimated that nearly 80% of the population will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives due poor posture. It is even more alarming to note that Americans spend nearly $50 billion on back pain related expenses!
Today I will be talking about posture braces or posture corrector belts which have helped hundreds of thousands of people reduce back pain by regaining proper posture. I will also be reviewing 7 of the best posture correctors and support braces available in the market that suit various needs.
Poor Posture: One of the Main Culprits of Back Pain
According to Clive Lathey[i], an osteopath with years and years of experience in his field, the main culprits of back pain are sedentary lifestyles and poor posture. He has seen literally tens of thousands of cases, where people suffer from back pain caused due to prolonged periods of sitting at desks and computers, driving vehicles or flying and in general being less active.
Says Dr Lathey: “A slumped posture reverses the natural curve of the lower back which increases disc pressure by nearly 190%! Most people spend 7-10 hours just sitting and doing nothing. This leads to shortening, tightening and wasting away of the back muscles, known as muscle atrophy. The spine then loses its ability to control and maintain its natural S-shape which in turn leads to joint stiffness and greater likelihood of back injury and back pain”.
There are many studies which show that hunching, slouching and rolling shoulders are proven causes of back pain.
Hectic Modern Lifestyles
Our bodies are not designed for our hectic modern lifestyles. Physical evolution just did not prepare us for long periods of sitting and inactivity. The sad fact is: majority of us today have weak phasic muscles and tight tonic muscles.
Phasic muscles are those muscles needed for dynamic movement. Poor posture weakens phasic muscles making us more prone to slouching. Likewise, prolonged sitting tightens our tonic muscles which are needed for holding proper posture.
As the tonic muscles become more and more constricted and tighter, they further damage our ability to hold correct posture. This becomes a vicious cycle where the muscles cannot maintain correct posture causing further degradation of the back.
Back posture braces can help correct and prevent this to totally alleviate back pain.
How Do Back Posture Braces Work?
Back posture braces are also known as back support belts (or simply back belts or abdominal belts). They help in correcting posture and preventing back injuries by maintaining proper muscle alignment.
Earlier, back posture belts were only used as part of medical rehabilitation therapy. Today however, anyone can use lightweight, elastic lower back belts and posture braces to prevent lower back pain during normal activities or even during workouts .
Back posture braces work by preventing strain on the muscles and keeping the spine aligned. They force the tonic and phasic muscles to function normally and maintain their original positions. Certain types of back support belts also strengthen shoulders and support the neck to prevent slouching.
Most importantly, back support belts prevent unnecessary tension in the back and neck to reduce muscle exhaustion.
What Are Different Ailments of the Back Corrected by Back Posture Correctors?
Back posture corrector and support belts can correct numerous ailments by relieving strain in neck and back muscles and joints. They limit improper posture and prevent further degeneration of the back bones. When used regularly, posture corrector braces prevent rolling, slouching and hunching.
Here is a list of ailments and conditions which can be corrected/managed with the right back support braces and belts.
- Cervical Spondylosis
- Lower back pain
- Thoracic and Lumbar spine fractures
- Herniated disc
- Cauda Equina Syndrome
- Neck pain and sprain
- Congenital Torticollis
- Spinal fusion
- Wheelchair-bound patients
How to Select a Posture Brace
To select a good posture brace, you need to consider the age, weight and gender of the patient and also the condition you want to correct.
When buying the belt online, carefully measure shoulder width and do factor in weight changes, height, and clothing. If the belt is to go around the trunk, measure the chest or the length around the trunk from where the belt will be used. Many doctors also custom design belts for individual needs.
Here are some more factors to consider when selecting back braces and support belts.
- Some belts come padded - these are great for exercise and even for sleeping or sitting for prolonged periods.
- Maternity support belts have special gap in the front for the expanding tummy.
- You can get plus sized braces in XL plus sizes. Big and tall back braces are even available up to size 6X.
- Compression belts made especially for medical rehabilitation with abdominal compression binders help with rehabilitation after spine surgery.
- Sacroiliac SI joint compression braces provide tailbone pain relief.
- Women-specific belts and braces are beneficial for women with lower back pain. These come in sizes up to 4 XL.
- Bruised rib support braces are also available for men and women.
- Posture improvement and collarbone supporting braces are beneficial for men and women who slouch or have rounded shoulders.
- Belly support and abdominal belts help hold the belly in. These are beneficial for obese people.
- Pregnancy support abdominal belts and wraps provide stomach support post-pregnancy.
- Elastic abdominal binders can benefit pulled or strained abdominal muscles post-injury.
- Lumbosacral corset style belts provide back support for women.
Quality of Material Used
Quality of the back posture corrector brace is an important factor for selection. Always select a belt with breathable, lightweight fabric. Modern posture corrector belts for lumbar support are made with neoprene, latex-free nylon or polyester.
Braces for kyphosis, osteoporosis and spine fractures are sturdier as they need to support, compress and reduce pressure for proper posture alignment. If you plan on wearing the belt during exercise, select one that is lightweight and won’t hinder with activities.
Many posture braces also come with padding. These are particularly recommended for back fractures and specific ailments that need the user to wear the belt for prolonged periods or at night while sleeping.
I will now review 7 different braces and back support belts which are suitable for different needs.
7 Best Posture Correctors and Support Belts
1. Flexguard Support Flexguard Medical Back Brace Fully Adjustable for Posture Correction and Back Pain
This brace from Flexguard is a full back brace. Flexguard medical brace is recommended for hunchback. It is also recommended for back pain. You can use it to correct posture and prevent further degradation of back muscles. It is perfect for use during daily walking and gym workouts, yoga etc. Check it out here on Amazon.
- Lightweight despite being a full back brace
- Available in three sizes so everyone can get a suitable size .
- Value for money
- Some users experienced size issues. For example, the XS size may still be too large for petite users.
- For some people, the straps wore off within a few weeks/months.
- The belt braces pokes the skin and leaves marks on the skin.
This is a full back brace which is padded and it provides upper and lower back support. You can use it for back pain relief. With regular use, it can correct posture in Kyphosis patients. It is recommended for patients with spine injuries, fractures and shoulder, back ad clavicle injuries. DOACT back brace also corrects humpback, spinal curvature, thoracic lordosis, misaligned spine and round shoulder.
- Available in many sizes up to XXL or 52 inches.
- Compared to other support braces, it is lighter yet wider with thicker belts. Order DOACT Back Brace Posture Corrector here.
- Padded brace supports lower, upper and middle back.
- Slightly more expensive compared to other posture correctors but offers great value for money as you get high quality, padded back brace.
- Some people complained about bad fit. Belt keeps riding up for some users.
- Does not come with instructions about usage.
This is a figure 8 brace. It corrects slouching back and hunching shoulders. It is recommended for men and women who sit for prolonged periods or for those who work in fields which need standing up or straining back and neck. Raitera posture corrector is ideal for improving posture as well as back and shoulder pain relief after regular use. This quality, comfortable posture support brace has been rated overall 4.5 stars on Amazon.
- Durable and elastic material that does not cut into the skin.
- Super comfortable and breathable. Order it on Amazon here.
- Easy to put on and take off.
- Available in two sizes but these come with very large gaps for comfortably placing around the waist, arms and shoulders of plus sized people.
- Suitable for those who want figure 8 braces to get the support and comfort of a full brace.
- Comes with a free posture guide.
- Straps can get loose and need adjusting from time to time.
- Size issues - some users had to return the product as it did not fit.
- Did not help with back pain or posture correction for some users.
This is an Amazon's Choice recommended posture corrector belt that has been rated 4.5 stars. This back corrector and clavicle support belt is only for upper back posture correction. It is especially recommended for people who have the tendency to slouch over their computers all day long. It relieves back pain by correcting posture.
- Comes with free eBook
- Made with enduring breathable materials, detachable pads and top class materials for strength and resistance. GlamyKings Posture Corrector is a very popular posture corrector and you can order it here on Amazon.
This is also Amazon’s Choice posture correction belt. It heals the back by correcting posture. Anyone who spends hours slouching at the computer or using phones and tablets can benefit from using this posture corrector. It is suitable for the whole family, including teenagers.
- Straightens postural muscles and improves flexibility
- Suitable for the whole family.
- Realigns vertebrae gently and firmly.
- Can be used by entire family
- Made with lightweight neoprene, nylon and polyester material with Velcro straps. This keeps the belt breathable and you can easily wear it under a sweater. Click here to learn moreat Amazon.
- Comfortable and durable.
- Works effectively to correct posture.
- Holds firmly even for plus sizes.
- It can restricts arm movement
6. Leramed Posture Corrector For Women Men Posture Brace and Clavicle Support Brace - Upper Back Pain Relief - Suitable for Children
This is also an upper-back support brace. It relieves back pain, neck pain and shoulder pain caused by strain, stress, exercise and prolonged sitting. The corrector back brace has adjustable straps thanks to which it fits children and adults, men and women between 27-48" chest circumference.
It was even used and worn by a 5 yo child. It is one of the few braces that can be used by children, not just adults because it's adjustable to a small size. Early back posture correction is the key to preventing lifelong upper back pain symptoms so if your child's posture is bad, get LeraMed posture belt for your son or daughter.
- Invisible underneath clothes
- Lightweight and waterproof breathable material
- Hypoallergenic- suitable for people with sensitive skin
- Comes in universal size that fits 28 to 48” chest circumference
- Best Seller on Amazon.
- Suitable for adults and children.
- Some users could not put it on by themselves.
VIBOCare Posture corrector upper back brace is useful for Kyphosis sufferers. It helps to build muscles and flexibility through encouraging a proper posture. With regular use, you can eliminate back pain completely. It corrects posture thanks to muscle memory.
VIBOCare heals injuries and is especially beneficial for people with reduced mobility. It realigns vertebrae to prevent slouching, hunching and straightens the back. It helps to improves balance; scoliosis patients can benefit from this brace as well as people with humps and bulging discs.
- Fits chest sizes between 28-48”
- VIBOCare Posture Corrector is FDA APPROVED.
- Invisible under clothing
- Is completely lightweight
- Soft - will not cause marks or injuries
- No.1 Best Seller in its category. It has wider shoulder straps compared to other similar posture corrector belts in the same category. See more pictures and order it on Amazon.
Are you tired of back pain caused by poor posture? Are your children hunched over tablets and phones? Are you feeling frustrated that anything you do to try to improve posture doesn’t seem to work? Would you like a relaxed posture, beautiful balance and coordination?
Then it is time you invest in a posture corrector brace. The right back braces and support belts will reduce degradation of your back muscles giving you improved flexibility. Furthermore, they will improve appearance and prevent neck, shoulder and back pain in children, adults and elderly people.
With the right posture, your body’s natural healing processes will work more efficiently. Good posture will bring your body back into alignment mentally, physically and emotionally. So improve your posture to improve your quality of life with the best upper and lower back support braces reviewed above!