I have terrible posture - should I wear a back brace?

I have terrible posture and I'm considering wearing a back brace, anyone have any experience of them?

Something like this - Back braces


I am aware I too, have terrible posture.

I have a strong back(long waisted and I have no trouble bending) , but at times it does really stiffen up and I periodically get lower back pain...

Have had acupuncture on one or two occasions (when it was particularly bad) and that helped....and also, made one visit to the local Physio,(all I could afford at the time), who gave me a progamme aimed at strengthening my core muscles...

I live by the Dordogne, not far from Creysse & Bergerac and I would be interested in finding a Pilates class & Alexander technique practioner. Any info relating to this, gratefully appreciated.

Thanks Martin, I will do some research, Kendo sounds like it could be useful for stress release too!

Hi James, a bit late I know but there are a couple of things that others haven't mentioned that you might consider.

1) I was prescribed a back brace many many years ago after a Rugby incident. It was awful but it did get me moving. As soon as I could move without it, it went in the bin. It was a "last resort before surgery" not a quick fix.

2) Hamstrings. My son found this during training as a professional Rugby player. If you sit a lot or walk/run with a short stride pattern your hamstrings will shorten/tighten which will put tension on your lower back. Unless you stretch your hamstrings before exercise and extend your stride walking/running will only make the problem worse. But walking "properly" is a good way to keep the muscles fit.

3) Finally, KENDO. When I gave up playing Rugby I took up Kendo which straightened my back, squared my shoulders, and taught me how to move lightly and easily despite years of "joint abuse" from contact sports. Beating the air with sticks in a ritualised fashion is also good for the psyche.


James, sorry but first I've had a good laugh... Its autumn, dam garden work and always this and that project to finish ;-) You are working all the time on something, either you polish concrete floors or resemble palettes for a more proper use. From my own experience I learned that all this posture is coming from "ignorance". So, bending down is okay but try to do this with full contentions. If you drop a screw collect them all together after your project is not a work in progress anymore. The constant search for this and that tool in all kind of corners, all this is adding to posture.

Then there are Chinese meds, not this chemical sledge hammer like "ketoprophene". Limesip is okay, but also not the solution. You need to ask someone who knows about Chinese meds. Its a therapy not a painkiller (will check for a link)

Yes, and I also learned walks of 5 & more km with active dogs are very good to straighten the back. After 5 km you go straight in order not to get tiered. You can imagine your Rhodesian will be very, very happy about it. More resting does not help, its more about the how your movements are done. Still, if it is really bad, a week rest is necessary. If you don't do anything about it, posture can hit you so badly and even out of the blue (I could not get up after hanging a new, heavy oak door into 3 hinges. It took a week), but then, once the main pain is gone moving is better.

My son was given a brace after breaking his shoulder blade (it was like a figure of 8 and you wore it like a rucksack pulled up very tight). I decided to start wearing it when I started getting pain around the shoulder blade area due to too much computer work. I would only wear it when working on the computer which was perhaps an hour or 2 each day. It really made a difference, making me keep my shoulders back and sit properly. Great for changing bad habits. Be aware that they are almost impossible to get off by yourself, so make sure someone is around if you want to get changed!

Don't you mean 'far more amusing'? ;-)

On medics, usually right. Mine is also an osteopath so if I had anything like that it would be on the table, crick crack goes his back! Then he would prescribe the painkillers :-(

Thanks Brian, I'll look in to that

James, the hospital there in Dax, CH de Dax Côte d'Argent, has a training centre or school of kinési. They are apparently very good and there are several good kinési practitioners in and around Dax, mine doesn't remember names off hand, but she said to enquire at the kinési school for information. They also, she believes, take in patients at the school where the best local ones will be training others, doing refresher courses for already experienced people and therefore you would either been seen and treated by somebody competent or at least whoever treats you would be supervised by one of them.

I think you have all spoilt it, Brian suggested right at the start Ballet and that would have been more than a snigger if Catherine could have sneaked a picture on here, far less amusing seeing James doing a Superman impression and who knows he may have even looked good with his underpants on outside his tights.

Bet the doctors just prescribe pain killers.

James - how are you sitting? If you are anything like my other half his posture in his work chair is shocking. We have a friend who is a pilates teacher who is always telling him off.

Last year the other half saw an osteopath/kine who put him on some contraption and said his 'fillet steak' muscle (don't ask me the real name) was out of line and so he had to do superman like kneeling stretches every day for a few months...well it worked and his back pain went away completely.

Occasionally it returns but he goes back to being superman (much to the girls amusement) and again it is corrected.

So my advice is go see a professional osteo/kine and get your alignment sorted out...then take the exercises seriously (yes even superhero ones whilst being sniggered at - sorry!) as it might be possible to sort it.

Yes that does sound like the best course of action.

Hi James - should you not go and see a doctor first before anything? Yoga or the Alexander technique are known to be good...but still I would see a doctor first maybe get referred to a 'back doctor' first, as that is his/her business - as what is the reason for you bad posture? Good luck... :)

Wouldn't mind a drop of the potion tho' ! Now that's what I call magnetic attraction !

Good luck mate. Keep us informed of your progress.

One thing is for sure, your original idea of a back brace is a big NO NO !

I have just organised some new MRI's as I will be heading over to the UK soon in search or more help.

There is a limit to what we can do here in France because of the language barrier as things get more and more technical :(

It is also worth noting that I am still NOT 'in the system' here and after a brief hospitalisation recently in the UK it was proved that I AM in the system there. So the UK it is then.

The speed I am going down at the moment is terrifying and it is only the drugs that are keeping me going


So now we know what Tristan had in his pocket!

Yes, but that was the result of personal magnetism and not even the most wayward opera director would attempt to revive Isolde with a magnet!

My OH and both daughters are having occasional kiné as well as forms in their shoes, medically prescribed ones from a podiatrist. It has helped the mrs with a recurrent neck problem. Seems like ballet would be good for you ;-)