Postural correctors are all the rage right now, as more and more people continue to struggle with rounded shoulders. Rounded shoulders, also called "computer posture” by many, is a form of bad posture where the shoulders slant forward and out of alignment with the rest of the body.
If left untreated by a Bellevue Chiropractor (or a Doc in your local area), rounded shoulders could become worse. To treat or correct this postural misalignment, a lot of people use postural correctors. Before we look into how these postural correctors work, their side effects, benefits, and how effective they are, let us first look at some common causes of postural problems.
Causes of Postural Problems
Postural problems are caused by sitting or standing in positions where the neck will need to be bent, with the eyes looking forward for extended periods. When we assume these positions, the muscles in the shoulders, back, and neck get disrupted from their normal structure and function.
Being that it is these muscles that help the body maintain the appropriate structure throughout the day, extended disruption will lead to postural misalignments - aka rounded shoulders.
Listed below are common daily habits and activities that disrupt the muscles of the neck, shoulders, and back. These habits and activities are the major contributors to postural problems:
- Staring at a phone or tablet
- Working on a laptop for extended periods
- Sitting at a desk for long periods
- Lifting heavy objects all-day
- Driving a car for long periods
- Bending over repeatedly
Having good posture is crucial due to health reasons. When we maintain a good posture, it helps prevent issues like back pain, waist pain, muscle strain, and a host of other problems. Health reasons aside, maintaining a good posture gives the body a good appearance.
To maintain good posture, or correct an already bad one, you can use a posture correcting device. These devices are designed to help the wearer sit upright while going through your daily activities.
These days, there are many postural correction devices in the market with different shapes, sizes, structures, and brands that boast of correcting all forms of postural problems. The million-dollar question is: how effective are they? Do they really work as advertised?
How Effective are Postural Correction Devices
To find out if these devices are any good, it is essential to, first of all, determine if it is possible to get the joints and muscles back to their proper position after they become hunched or curved forward due to postural problems.
Medical sources state that just as the joints and muscles in the body have been trained to slouch, it can also be retrained to return to a proper resting position. On the premise of this behavior, it means that if a postural correction device is well structured to target and adequately train affected joints and muscles, it will be effective in correcting improper body structure.
With that said, it’s important to state that there are no clinically backed tests to prove the effectiveness of postural correction devices yet. However, the countless number of people who use them, continue to testify to how effective they are after extended use.
So, are postural correction devices effective? Yes, it appears so. At least from the testimonies of people who have used them. However, it’s important to state that the device in question has to be designed with the right structure and form to target and retrain the affected joints and muscles.
If you are looking to correct bad posture with a postural correction device, going with a well-designed product will ensure that you get the results that you seek.
Do Postural Correction Devices Have any Side Effects?
Though postural correction devices are effective in correcting posture problems, they also tend to pose some risks to the wearers when used improperly.
Listed below are three risks to watch out for when using postural correction devices:
- Shifted Stress: While these devices help people who wear them correct their posture by absorbing most of the displaced stress, this in itself could pose a problem. In some cases, when the devices are not worn correctly, the stress that is meant to be absorbed gets pushed to other areas of the body. This could lead to damage of healthy ligaments and muscles in those areas.
- Discomfort: Though the manufacturers put in a lot of effort to ensure that their products are comfortable to wear, in some cases, they still cause discomfort to the wearer. In the initial stages of using posture correction devices, when you wear them for extended periods of time, you are bound to feel pain and discomfort. This will continue until you get used to it.
- Increased Blood Pressure: When posture correction devices are strapped tight, the straps tend to put a lot of pressure on the muscles. The compression of the muscles can lead to increased blood pressure and disrupt the resting heart rate if worn too tightly, or for too long.
Though there is not sufficient clinical data to back the effectiveness of postural correction devices at the moment, these devices have been reported to help people suffering from rounded shoulders regain proper posture.
If you are looking to get good results from the use of postural correction devices, it is essential to use well-designed products. Also, while using postural correction devices, ensure proper use to avoid risks and side-effects that could occur due to improper use.