From a biomechanical viewpoint, with neutral posture, all the core muscles are in their most optimal position. They are properly relaxed and, when solicited, work most efficiently.
With an erect and neutral posture, one looks taller, more confident and also more attractive; that is why models do not slouch on the runway.
Postural awareness increases dramatically, so that the tendency to slouch gradually disappears; as it is replaced by a permanent proper postural reaction.
By reducing the intake of pain medication, and ultimately eliminating the visits to the chiropractor or physical therapist, one can save a considerable amount of money.
The act of breathing is also easier and more efficient with strenuous activity, since the diaphragm and other breathing muscles work better. Performance and endurance are improved , as fatigue and the likelihood of muscle injury are reduced.
Patients with chronic back pain show significant brain changes when compared to control groups, displaying atrophy of cortical grey matter of 5 to 11 percent, the equivalent of 10 to 20 years of brain aging in a normal person.
The decrease in volume is mainly localized in the thalamus and the lateral prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is responsible for memory, planning, decision-making and rational thinking, while the thalamus acts as a gateway for sensory input between the body and the brain.
Shrinkage of these brain regions explains the psychological, cognitive and sensory abnormalities that occur with chronic back pain
In addition to brain atrophy, patients with chronic back pain experience other changes in how the brain works. In a healthy brain all the regions of the brain exist in a state of equilibrium. When one region is active, others will quiet down. However, in back pain sufferers, the affected brain areas fail to deactivate when they should. As a result ,neurons ( brain cells) wear out, and connections between them are altered, possibly leading to permanent damage.
There is a ray of hope; a recent study of people who underwent hip replacement surgeries to repair severe hip degeneration, experienced a complete reversal of the brain atrophy of the thalamus. This leads scientists to believe that brain damage associated with chronic back pain is repairable when the pain disappears.
These images (left) show a comparison between the brain of a chronic pain patient and a healthy subject. We can see with colors how much activation (red-yellow) or deactivation (dark-light blue) was found at each location.
(Credit image courtesy of Northwestern University)
In these cases, it is easy to see why patients who undergo spinal surgeries tend to not wear them. They are uncomfortable, bulky, inconvenient and barely adjustable.
They can also be quite costly, ranging in cost from a few hundred dollars to upwards of one thousand dollars for braces that require individual fitting.
For lack of a better word, that is what I will call them. They are usually worn around the shoulders and, have almost no adjustability. They tend to be uncomfortable, as the straps will rub on the skin around the shoulders. They also do an inferior job at retracting the shoulders
All these devices are built around an accelerometer.
An accelerometer is simply a small metal strip that is able to generate a small electrical signal when a change in speed is generated (acceleration).
When you bend forward, a variation in the speed of the trunk is recorded, and an electrical signal induces an alarm to sound or a vibration to be felt, letting you know that you need to check your trunk position.
While the concept behind these products appears modern on the surface, the reality is quite the opposite. With these gizmos, an alarm will be triggered with any forward trunk motion, so even if you bend with proper posture, you will be alerted.
For these devices to properly function, a sensor would need to be placed on multiple vertebrae or the pelvis so that a true position of the spine can be sensed.
This, unfortunately, would require invasive surgery, which would make this a costlier and more complicated venture.
As we already know, a back pain sufferer loses his ability to properly gage the position of his spine by about 6 degrees, hence the use of these devices cannot be as effective as they are claimed to be.
The Posture saver has none of these deficiencies since it can be adjusted comfortably into neutral posture, while preventing you from slouching at all times without any fancy and useless gimmicks.
It is commonly believed that an individual with a strong back is almost destined to never experience back pain; nothing could be farther from the truth. There is no correlation between a strong musculature and lack of back pain.
Our muscles are made up essentially of 3 types of muscle fibers:
- Type I: Slow twitch fibers, work slowly for long periods of time.
- Type IIA & IIB: Fast twitch fibers, are explosive and able to generate great power but fatigue rather quickly. All skeletal muscles are made up of a mixture of various fiber types, with core muscles containing a majority of type I fibers.
With chronic back pain, back muscle fibers decrease in size; furthermore, some core muscle fibers undergo a conversion from type I to type IIA or IIB. These are not desirable changes. Now we understand why back muscles tend to fatigue easily in back patients.
The internet is filled with websites usually run by people who have no clinical training, that heavily push the idea of back strengthening as a silver bullet for treating back pain. This, unfortunately, is a waste of time and energy since persistent back pain is not the result of muscle weakness, but the consequence of a loss of core muscle synchronicity.
My advice is to stay away from any form of power training as long as the back is painful, and to focus on activities, such as pilates, yoga and tai chi since they tend to work on core muscle coordination and endurance.
In a recent Swedish study that followed over 5,000 subjects over a period of 35 years, the conclusion was that low muscle strength was not a good predictor for musculoskeletal disorders. In other words being a strong individual is no guarantee against experiencing back pain.
If you initially wear The Posture Saver for one half to one hour then remove it, you will find yourself maintaining an erect posture without even thinking about it.
Since The Posture Saver is made of a soft fabric, it does not restrict movement and is fully adjustable, it can be worn for any activity and for long periods of time as needed.
In order to obtain permanent results, it will be necessary to use it frequently for several weeks.
Because The Posture Saver is fully adjustable, It can be used effectively for the following conditions:
- Low, mid & upper back pain
- Poor posture
- Piriformis syndrome
- Status post spinal surgeries
- Spinal stenosis
- Disc herniations
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Shoulder instability
- Overhead athletic activities
- Endurance activities
- Respiratory diseases
- Patients who suffered strokes or brain injuries
- People with weak trunk muscles
- Ideal for golfers and also tennis players
- Adolescents who suffer from thoracic kyphosis, usually associated with rapid growth
- Senior citizens with excessive forward flexed posture beyond normal aging.
- Basically anybody between the ages of 2 and 122 can enjoy the many benefits associated with wearing The Posture Saver
*If you happen to be older than 122 years, please contact us, so you can enjoy a complimentary lifetime supply of The Posture Saver.