If you’re looking for the perfect posture brace for yourself, remember that the key is in knowing exactly what you need. Different braces have different features, and are best for different needs.
So to help you with your search for that perfect posture brace, here’s a list of common needs and the kind of brace that would work best for each.
NEED: Straighten the shoulders
THE PERFECT POSTURE BRACE: Something to pull the shoulders back.
We’ve found that the best products out there for straightening shoulders are not braces at all. One is an elastic band that you attach on both arms, so it pulls your arms back, in effect straightening your shoulders. It’s so simple, yet so effective!
Another product has straps attached to adjustable weights. Not only does it effectively pull your shoulders back, it also works out your back and shoulder muscles so that, eventually, your muscles will be able to pull your shoulders back by themselves — just as Nature intended.
NEED: Straighten the shoulders invisibly
THE PERFECT POSTURE BRACE: Something thin, of course. Something that looks almost like a bra. And something that comes in at least black and white. If it comes in beige as well — Score!
Our advice, though, is to manage your expectations. The brutal truth is that most posture braces chafe or scrape your armpits if you wear them directly against you skin. That is why you wear them over and undershirt or just around the house in a t-shirt.
The best ones we’ve found in this category are comfortable if worn over a thin shirt. But we still haven’t found any that you can wear on bare skin and works well at the same time.
NEED: Support for the lower back
THE PERFECT POSTURE BRACE: Some posture braces look like corsets, supporting not just your back but keeping your stomach in and supporting your lower back as well.
Compared to your ordinary, run-of-the-mill lower back supports, corset-type posture braces are more comfortable because do not have the tendency to move up and down, even if you have a rather large tummy.
Oh, by the way, these braces are great at flattening your tummy and giving you a waist too.
Now hold it! Stay on the page. Before you rush off to buy this wonderful tummy-flattening, waist-creating device, understand that not all of them are great back-and-shoulder straighteners as well.
Back-straightening is, in fact, a tough thing to do. If you want something that really straightens your back, you need to find a product that focuses all its attention on doing just that singular task!
NEED: Straighten your back
THE PERFECT POSTURE BRACE: Now if you’re looking to relieve arthritic pain or prevent back problems from getting worse, you need something that uncompromisingly focuses all its attention on giving you stiff, sturdy back support.
Now that’s not the holy grail. There are actually products out there that will do this for you.
But do not expect them to be invisible — or even comfortable — under clothing. Do not expect them to be comfortable at all. And, most of all, do not expect them to come cheap.
If quality is what you want, quality is what you pay for.
But we hope that, by now, you’ve realized that sometimes, all we need is a little help for our shoulders.
In that case, there’s no point buying a bulky $60 brace that was designed to fix a back that wasn’t really broken in the first place.