This Posture Corrector Turned My WFH Back and Shoulder Pain Into a Distant Memory

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It wasn't until month three of working from home that I came face-to-face with the harsh reality that my posture sucks. Apparently, having such bad posture really can have the type of frustrating effects that chiropractors and physical therapists warn about. After 60-plus days of sitting on my bed, hunched over my laptop, I found myself with a legitimate pain in the center of my back that felt premature in my 29-year-old body. Every time I leaned over, it felt like someone had punched me square in the middle of my spine, and even before I spoke to a doctor, I knew that my poor postural habits were to blame. So what's a girl without an ergonomically correct desk chair (or any desk chair, really) to do? Get a posture corrector, of course.

Experts In This Article

This one—which looks like a stylish pair of suspenders—always has my back. It helps me hold my shoulders back no matter what position I'm sitting in, which is one of the most important factors in fighting off posture problems.

"One of the most common causes of neck pain is related to crummy posture, allowing for the shoulders to roll forward and head to lurch forward," says chiropractic physician Kelli Pearson, DC. "The negative outcome of forward head and shoulder posture is the middle back muscles are forced to stretch out, making it harder for them to contract. If they can't contract, it's hard to pull the scapula back, so the muscle in the lower part of the neck tends to have to compensate." Since your muscles aren't designed to hold up your head all day long, this situation can result in stress and strain, which can ultimately lead to neck pain and even tension headaches.

Shop now: Back Embrace, $60

Photo: Back Embrace

Shop now: Back Embrace, $60

Pearson is a big fan of devices like the Back Embrace and has seen various iterations of similar posture correctors on the market over the last few decades. It's easy to slip on under a t-shirt or sweatshirt (the only two types of tops any of us are wearing these days), and once you've got it in place, you barely even notice it's there.

While the Back Embrace can be undoubtedly helpful in fixing poor posture (and preventing the dreaded "tech neck"), it can't do the job entirely on its own. "You also need to learn how to strengthen those mid-back muscles," says Pearson.  "You can work to engage those muscles with lat pull-down exercises and bent over rows."

You can wear the back embrace all day, or test it out in 20- to 30-minute increments to train your body to maintain better posture on its own. And it's a whole lot more affordable than a new desk setup.

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