Do you think you have the correct posture? You might be fooling yourself. In fact, more than 80% of Americans suffer from poor posture according to experts at the National Institute of Health.
This can have a serious impact on your health, ranging from back and neck pain to fatigue, breathing issues, and even digestive problems.
But there’s good news, too. Correcting your posture doesn’t have to mean an expensive trip to the chiropractor. Posture correcting devices are very affordable and easy to use. Combined with stretching and exercise, they can improve your posture in as little as 14 days.
Want to learn more? Read on to find out what posture correctors are, how to use them, and which models are the best to buy.
What Is A Posture Corrector?
When your shoulders are pushed forward for extended lengths of time, it causes the muscles across your chest to tighten. Over time, this can round your shoulders and lead to permanent hunching. That’s not the best look, for starters, and can also lead to further health problems as the blood flow to your muscles is obstructed.
A posture corrector is a brace you can wear to eliminate muscle imbalances that cause poor back posture. By holding your back in the correct position, it helps to realign the spine and develop weakened muscles in your back or neck.
Over time, the muscles in your chest will lengthen and the upper back muscles will shorten, adapting to your new, healthier posture.
When it comes to posture correctors, there are two broad categories: braces and posture aids. Let’s go through the different styles of each type so you can better decide which one is right for you.
Posture Correcting Braces
- Elastic brace. This design uses elastic straps to help push your chest forward and your shoulders back. The most basic design, it is comfortable to wear and affordable to purchase online. This is the best posture corrector for men who work in offices or want to correct hunching caused by work on a computer.
- Posture correction bras. Similar to the elastic brace, these devices help you correct slouching and improve your back health. It’s the best posture corrector for women with a large bust, for whom other back brace designs might not fit as comfortably. Since they look like other bras, they can be easily worn under any clothing.
- Longline brace. For lower back pain, a longline brace can be a good solution. Rather than only supporting the upper back, it includes a support that runs the entire way from your hips up to your neck.
- Molded upper back brace. The concept of these posture support devices is the same as with the elastic braces above, but adds a stiff piece of hard plastic or metal between your shoulders. This increases the support but also makes it bulky and less comfortable to wear. Because of that, they’re typically reserved for more severe bad posture, and are most often recommended by physical therapists or doctors.
- Posture correction shirts. By working posture correction technology into the fabric, these shirts improve your posture without the bulk and inconvenience of a brace. They’re the best option if you want a posture corrector you can wear all day without the risk of becoming reliant on a brace. They’re also unobtrusive and lightweight, going under everyday clothes like an undershirt.
- Sitting support devices. Not all posture correctors are designed to be worn. For those whose poor posture is a direct result of how they sit, changing what you sit on can go a long way. Swiss ball chairs are one popular way to force yourself to sit upright. You can also buy seat covers that alter the curve of your chair.
- Kinesiology tape. For less significant cases, kinesiology tape can help relieve back pain and remind you to sit up when you’re slouching. While it’s often used in conjunction with other therapy methods, it can be effective on its own at correcting minor posture issues.
- Electronic posture reminders. If you find braces uncomfortable, an electronic posture corrector could be the answer you’re looking for. These devices stick onto your back, monitoring your posture and alerting you when you slouch. Many come with an app that let you track your progress over time. These are the ideal posture correctors for office workers, since you can wear them your entire shift without discomfort.
Who Needs A Posture Corrector?
If you’re suffering from back and neck pain, a posture corrector device may be beneficial for you. You may also want to use one if you have consistent back or neck stiffness, or if there are visible issues with your posture that make you feel self-conscious in public.
The best way to tell if you need a posture corrector is to do a posture self-assessment. Force yourself to stand up straight by putting your heels against a flat wall and making sure your shoulders also touch the wall. Does the position feel unnatural? If so, you likely have some posture issues that need to be corrected.
Causes of Poor Posture
- Injuries. While injuries to your back and neck are the most obvious cause of posture issues, don’t forget that your skeleton and muscles all work together. Injuries to the feet, legs, hips, and shoulders can also alter how you carry yourself, contributing to back pain and posture problems.
- How you sit. More than ever, many of us spend our work days hunched over a desk or computer. This can strain the muscles of your core, including the back and abdominal muscles. Over time, blood flow is reduced and the muscles of the lower back become stiff and weak, leading to pain. 
- Genetic predisposition. The shape of your spine has a significant impact on your posture. There are three natural curves in the human spine: inward at the lumbar region (lower back), outward at the thoracic region (middle back), and inward again in the cervical spine (neck area). Extreme curves or deviations from this pattern lead to posture problems. Those with spinal deformities like scoliosis and sagittal imbalance are more likely to suffer from poor posture and the accompanying pain it can cause.
A back brace for posture can help to alleviate back and neck pain from any source. If you’re not sure whether you need one, your best bet is to ask your doctor. They can advise you which devices will be the most helpful, as well as providing guidelines for how long to wear them.
Do Posture Correctors Work?
The short answer is yes. And they’re not just for those with existing back problems. There are many ways a posture corrector can improve your health aside from decreasing your back pain, some of which may surprise you. Let’s look at some of the most significant benefits of correcting posture issues.
- You’ll breathe better. As your shoulders hunch forward, it cramps your chest cavity. This encourages shorter, shallower breathing that doesn’t allow as much oxygen into your blood (and, by extension, to your muscles and brain). By lifting your shoulders, a posture corrector encourages deeper breathing.
- It improves your mood. A recent study conducted by the University of Auckland found a direct correlation between upright posture and improved mental health. Cognitive benefits of good posture also include improved memory and better concentration. 
- It lowers your stress. In a random trial published in Health Psychology, it was shown that those sitting upright are better able to respond to stressors in their environment, and less likely to respond with anxiety or fear when confronted with a difficult task. 
- You’ll have more energy. This is related to the better breathing mentioned above. More oxygen in your brain means more energy to think. This makes you more productive, and can help to avoid the afternoon slump (without pouring yourself yet another cup of coffee).
- It improves your digestive health. Your lungs and back aren’t the only things that suffer when you slouch. Collapsing your chest cavity has a negative impact on all of your internal organs, and can impair the flow of your digestive system over time. Straightening your posture ensures your stomach, intestines, and other organs have the space they need to function properly.
Is It Good To Wear A Posture Corrector?
If you have back pain, neck pain, core muscle stiffness, or noticeably poor posture, a posture corrector is a good idea. While some people find posture correctors awkward or uncomfortable to wear at first, there is little risk of causing long-term damage so long as you follow the recommended guidelines for length of use
This is the main reason why it’s not recommended to wear a posture corrector for multiple consecutive hours unless recommended to do so by your doctor. 
How Long Should You Wear A Posture Corrector?
The exact length of time it takes to develop a healthy posture differs from one person to the next. The general recommendation is to wear a posture corrector device for between 10 and 30 minutes a day, though for serious conditions you may be advised to wear it longer. 
You can reduce how long you wear the posture corrector device over time as the brace works to correct your spinal alignment. In the long-term, it can take from as little as 30 days to as long as several months to completely restore your muscle balance and fully correct your posture.
What’s The Best Posture Corrector?
There’s no one best posture corrector. Everyone’s body and needs are different. It’s all about finding the one that fits your form best.
If you need the serious correction of a molded back brace, that’s something you’ll want to discuss with your physical therapist. For more casual posture correction, though, there are a lot of great options available on Amazon. Let’s look at our three favorite in more detail.
#1. Truweo Posture Corrector (For Women and Men)
The Truweo Posture Corrector is an all-purpose posture corrector that anyone can use. This best-selling brace is one of the best on the market. Even better, it’s easy to adjust and comfortable to wear, fitting both men and women with a wide variety of builds.
The lightweight design of the Truweo Posture Corrector is its best feature. It won’t restrict your movements the way a brace would, and it won’t show through when you wear it underneath your clothes. It’s also very affordable, so the pain relief it offers is accessible to anyone.
- Lightweight, breathable, and washable fabric
- Acts as a clavicle brace to provide support during work or work-outs
- Front-loading design keeps you cool while training your posture
- Discrete design invisible when worn under clothes
- 100% money-back guarantee
#2. FY Posture Corrector (Adjustable Back Straightener)
The FY Posture Adjustable Back Straightener is a versatile and comfortable posture corrector. The invisible design uses only 2 straps over the shoulders in the front, so you can wear it anywhere without embarrassment. This also makes it suitable for both men and women.
One advantage of the FY Posture back straightener is that it can work very quickly. You can be pain-free in as little as two weeks, wearing it only 15 minutes a day. Overall, it’s the best non-invasive way to keep your shoulders back and help you stand straighter.
- Invisible and comfortable design
- Approved by the FDA to help with back pain
- Improves your posture in as little as 14 days
- Relieves pain in as little as 15 minutes a day
#3. Upright GO Posture Trainer and Corrector for Back
The Upright GO Original Posture Trainer is an innovative way to stop yourself from slouching. It’s the best posture corrector for office workers because you can use it all day long, unlike a brace. Simply download the app, place the sensor on your back, and let it guide you to a more upright posture.
The Upright GO Original Posture Trainer does have some limitations. It may fall off when you’re sweating, for one, and it’s also more expensive than simpler posture correctors. On the other hand, it provides valuable feedback about your posture, making it the best way to break yourself of bad habits.
- Strapless and comfortable
- Included app provides a personalized training plan with daily posture goals
- Continuously monitors your posture and provides corrections
- 80% of users see a 92% improvement in posture in 14 days
- Portable, discrete design you can use anywhere
What Should You Look For In A Posture Corrector?
In most cases, it’s recommended to consult a doctor or physical therapist before buying a back posture brace. Having said that, you can buy a posture trainer or posture brace online without a prescription. With that in mind, there are a few factors you should consider.
- If the back posture corrector you buy is uncomfortable, you won’t want to wear it as often, and that defeats the purpose of buying it. Comfort is especially important if your doctor recommends you wear it 30 minutes a day or more.
- Ease of use. You’ll need to put on and take off posture braces daily. Look for one that’s quick and easy to remove on your own, so that you can get back to your regular routine sooner.
- It often takes weeks or months of use to adequately correct bad posture. High-quality posture correctors will offer the same performance on day 100 that they did on day one. A higher-quality back brace posture corrector is also likely to be more comfortable.
- You want the back posture corrector you choose to fit snugly, but not tightly. While many are adjustable, the fewer adjustments you have to make, the better. If you’re buying online and can’t try on the posture trainer, look for one that lists measurements that match your own.
Where Do I Buy a Posture Corrector?
Wondering where to buy posture corrector braces? While many people do get them from their doctor or physical therapist, you don’t need a prescription to get one. This means you can also find plenty of options online.
As is often the case, Amazon is a great resource for this. The three products reviewed above are a great place to start. If none of those fit your needs, search for posture correctors and read the reviews to find the one that’s best for you.
How To Use A Posture Corrector
- Loosen all the adjustable straps and unhook any attachments.
- Stand against a wall to ensure you’re standing straight. Wear a light t-shirt or undershirt, as putting the posture corrector on over fabric makes it more comfortable.
- Put on the brace while maintaining your best posture and tighten the straps until you feel a bit of pressure against your body. Don’t make the brace so tight it’s uncomfortable to wear.
- Wear the brace for 15-30 minutes. It will likely feel tighter the longer you wear it as your muscles get tired; this is normal. However, if you feel pain, take it off and try again the next day. You can gradually extend how long you wear it as your body gets used to your corrected posture.
You can also find helpful tutorial videos online, if you’d like to see these steps in action.
Tips For Getting The Most Out Of A Posture Corrector
- It takes years to develop bad posture, so don’t expect the fix to happen overnight. Consistently wearing the posture corrector for a few minutes each day is the best way to achieve long-term results.
- The most successful posture correction involves an exercise routine to strengthen your core muscles in addition to wearing a posture correcting device. Exercises like pull-ups, bridges, planks, and back extensions can be a great help in fixing posture issues. The UK National Health Service lists recommended exercises for a variety of common posture problems on their website if you’re looking to make yourself a customized exercise routine.
- A brace won’t help you fix your posture if you fall right back into bad habits after you take it off. Be mindful of how you’re sitting in between uses. You might find it helpful to set an alarm on your phone to periodically remind you to straighten up while you’re training yourself to sit up straighter.
- Follow the instructions that come with your posture corrector carefully. While some are designed for short-term use, others can be worn all day. Moreover, wearing a brace incorrectly can do more harm than good, so it’s important to follow the directions.
- When shopping for a posture corrector, don’t just buy the cheapest one or the first one you come across. Consider your needs carefully and read the posture corrector reviews to see whether other users have found them effective.
- You can improve the effectiveness of a back brace for posture by combining it with other tools. For example, you can also wear an electronic posture reminder when the brace isn’t on, or switch from a desk chair to a swiss ball chair at work.
What’s the bottom line?
A lot of people think back pain is just a normal part of adult life, but that doesn’t have to be the case. There are plenty of products out there that can help you correct your posture and live more comfortably. The best part is, most are very easy and comfortable to use. If you need some extra motivation to start a posture correction routine, just remember the health benefits go beyond relieving pain.
Have you used a posture corrector or exercise routine to alleviate upper back pain and keep your shoulders back? Let us know in the comments below! The tips you share just might help someone else find the pain relief they’re seeking.