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25 June 2009 @ 12:43 pm
i have the back of an osteopathic eighty-year-old  
So I have terrible posture. The Hunchback of Notre Dame would come to me for tips. I've been considering some kind of brace, but the braces I pictured were a cross between a Roman crucifixion blueprint and what Frankenstein's monster would wear on a hot date. Basically, I wanted a stick that would strap my forehead, neck, shoulders and lower back into an upright position until the muscles learned to roll with it. Instead, I found things like this.

Now, I have no objection to trussing myself up in what looks like super-speshul bandages. I can put the trendy into mummification! But do they actually WORK? Does anyone have any experience and/or alternatives to offer?
Current Location: hot land
Current Mood: lethargiclethargic
Current Music: it's really really hot
Sereniaserenia on June 25th, 2009 12:18 pm (UTC)
I've seen ads for similar since I was a kid. I suspect they might be helpful.
You know what stops me slouching, though? A good, tight corset! Impossible to slouch in one, and terribly sexy besides.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: collapsingnight bedscoradh on June 25th, 2009 02:29 pm (UTC)
Ooh, so they really do help posture? I'm definitely liking this option...
Sereniaserenia on June 26th, 2009 12:17 am (UTC)
I find they do. You need to find a reputable corsetmaker and get one made custom, though, because it's much, much more comfortable. Unless, of course, you happen to be one of those few lucky bodies that match standard measurements!
An overbust would support you more, since it goes further up the back, but an underbust would be more flexible. They aren't cheap, though. I'd pay $200 for a really cheap custom corset, but average is around $400 for good quality.
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every Starbucks should have a polar bear: collapsingnight odds&endsscoradh on June 25th, 2009 02:30 pm (UTC)
Yoga was kind of hellish for me, because I have the tightest hamstrings IN THE WORLD. And I kind of want a ~device, simply because I spend so much of my life at a desk studying.
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every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Art: weddingscoradh on June 25th, 2009 07:55 pm (UTC)
Man, I wish such a thing as a real quick-fix existed. *disheartened* What kind of yoga do you do? I was in a Hatha class.
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every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Art: winter of discontentscoradh on June 25th, 2009 07:56 pm (UTC)
I do weights already, although their main purpose is to tone my arms. I've never focused on the back exactly. I like your argument! That's why, as soon as I can afford it, I'm zapping my cellulite surgically. ;D
Vaysh Swiftstormvaysh on June 25th, 2009 12:37 pm (UTC)
You need muscles in your back to keep you upright. Martial arts have done wonders for me. And it's good for the heart, too. Not to speak of the knowledge in self-defense.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: collapsingnight mermaidscoradh on June 25th, 2009 02:31 pm (UTC)
I would totally be into that, incredible lack of flexibility aside, but I don't think my schedule in final med is going to allow me to take up a new hobby. (Or maintain current ones, ugh.)
Vaysh Swiftstormvaysh on June 25th, 2009 02:37 pm (UTC)
It will always be about trying to find a balance between job and health. But as my doctor said after my first lumbago: "Your most important appointment of the week is your two hours of exercise." Good luck!
Merit: BBrendonmeritjubet on June 25th, 2009 12:52 pm (UTC)
Mild woe face over reading the comments and realising that you need muscle to have a straight back... well whenever I go home my posture gets better because my mother pokes me in the back but perhaps not the best advice. Hmm. Good luck! I hope those devices work even if they look like a badly fitting bra from the behind.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: collapsingnight: pier jumpingscoradh on June 25th, 2009 02:32 pm (UTC)
Aww, Bden looks so young in your icon! /aside

My dad is always grabbing me from behind to straighten me up. It doesn't really work! I will let you know what the pretend-bras are like if I get one. :D
Zebruizebrui on June 25th, 2009 02:35 pm (UTC)
I'm in the same awful posture boat.

I strongly suggest against the posture bands (like the one you linked to). They cut into your skin so hard, they are impossible to wear (I tried wearing one in my teens).

The only thing that I know for a fact helps is Kyphosis exercises (which I should do more of, but I'm lazy).
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Art: hot air of balloonsscoradh on June 25th, 2009 07:57 pm (UTC)
Oh man, really? Even through t-shirts? *pouts*

Oh, I've never heard of those! I definitely have the beginnings of a kyphosis, though. D:
etheriaelleetheriaelle on June 25th, 2009 04:07 pm (UTC)
Ouch, those look like torture devices. I have to agree that a corset is the sexiest answer. A really good quality posture bra does help but they are NOT sexy. I have also found that for me using one weight held with both hands straight up above my head then bending arms until the weight rests behind my head at shoulder level helped. I started with 5 lbs. and worked my way up to 10, where my physical therapist told me not to exceed. You might check around since you probably have access to experts in the field and find your max weight. Start our with 10 or 12 reps and work up to three sets with a couple minute rest in between or just do them several times a day as you are sitting reading. Something you can do while studying that helps you out. There are also a few other things with weights that you can do for posture that you don't really have to take time from studying. I was told that the best thing I could do was to take a 5 to 10 minute break every 1.5 to 2 hours anyway to stand and do a few stretches, walk around a bit and get blood flowing to keep blood clots from forming and the nerves in the back of the legs from becoming compressed by a chair and getting inflamed. Find some things to do on breaks that solve your problem and it's a win-win situation. Healthy and wise at the same time. Sounds like wealthy might even be on the horizon.
etheriaelleetheriaelle on June 25th, 2009 04:36 pm (UTC)
Oh, I forgot the number one thing I do. Sit on an exercise ball to read or use the computer. Just balancing on the ball uses the core muscles so that your back is held up better and the bonus is a flatter stomach. No exercise required but it is there for some fab exercises if you get the time. Get one a couple inches higher than your desk chair since they squish down a bit and keep it full and tight. It's hard to slump around on one of those and a pretty good price for a desk chair. Don't get one of the things that go on the floor for it to sit on to keep it from rolling. Waste of money and don't use your muscles as much.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Art: disco ballscoradh on June 25th, 2009 07:59 pm (UTC)
That sounds like a brilliant plan! And I already have one of those balls. I'll just have to check the height... ♥!
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: anumberonme fainting couchscoradh on June 25th, 2009 07:59 pm (UTC)
That's funny, I'm pretty sure I used to do an exercise like that for arm-toning. I gave it up because hi, really poor upper body strength! But I can see how using a light weight would be a lovely stretch for those poor abused shoulder muscles.

Thank you!
etheriaelleetheriaelle on June 26th, 2009 04:50 am (UTC)
Yep, is an arm exercise but, since the shoulers get involved, when I do it my upper body don't slump for hours afterward. It's hard to let my lower back slump when my upper back wants to be all nice and straight. Bonus is bye-bye granny arms.
someone's always looking for DB Cooper: tap shoesnumena on June 25th, 2009 10:07 pm (UTC)
To echo everyone else: exercise! sad but true, it's probably the best option. (Or corsets - that seems like a cool idea.) If you really feel it's a problem you could have yourself fitted for an actual back brace. (Although, if you voluntarily strap one of those on.. well, you're insane.)
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: iconomicons choose wiselyscoradh on June 26th, 2009 07:47 pm (UTC)
I'm so pissed about my posture I'm actually tempted to get a 'proper' brace, but I'm stumped about where to go for it. I can only imagine osteopathic surgeons laughing in my face!
someone's always looking for DB Cooper: the districtnumena on June 27th, 2009 01:56 am (UTC)
Well.. have you seen all the specialists and had all the x-rays and such? maybe it's something other than bad posture - and hey, if it is they just might send you to have one made.

(I'm sticking to my first comment though: I've worn one before, and yeah - I still think you'd have to be kind of nuts. On the other hand if it helps it's worth it.)
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: iconomicons stop wheneverscoradh on June 27th, 2009 11:06 am (UTC)
Oh! No. I guess I don't rate my problem that highly. I mean, I went to a physio, and she basically cracked my back (which was great! but she only did it once D:) and gave me a bunch of exercises to do. I know what you're going to say next ... but while I can see how strengthening my back is the route to being able to keep it upright, I don't see it being a direct path. My shoulders are always so sore, I just want to yank them into the right alignment. Or put a bullet through my seized-up trapezius(es).

Anyway, tl;dr. I may go for one of the weird bra-looking things. :D
dirtylaugh: doctordirtylaugh on June 27th, 2009 08:43 pm (UTC)
You say back brace and I just imagine a contraption which fastens to your back and dangles a carrot just above your head to make you stand up straight. Assuming you love carrots and have a way low IQ.

Okay, I'll stop sounding like a dick. Stretching exercises like yoga (I know that's vague) apparently work wonders - he swears he growed an inch through standing up straighter.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: 4 Weddingsscoradh on June 29th, 2009 07:00 pm (UTC)
That's pretty much my vision of them also! Only sans carrot. Perhaps plus de chocolat. :D

Yes, but that requires time and investment. Ugh!
Sparkles: Bloodrayne.hxcpunkchick on June 29th, 2009 04:53 am (UTC)
I'll second the corset and using one of the exercise balls for sitting at desks. I have terrible back alignment and sitting up straight actually hurts a lot (and has since I was at least in middle school). Only wear the corset for a little bit at a time at first if you decide to go that route. While I still may not always sit up straight, it doesn't actually hurt to do so anymore.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: ra teapot and coloured cupsscoradh on June 29th, 2009 03:49 pm (UTC)
That is good news! I guess it's the same as any exercise with practice reducing the hurt. :D