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Side Effects of Posture Correctors

If you’re considering using a posture corrector to help improve your posture, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I will share what you need to know about potential side effects so there are no surprises. 

We’ll break down the minor things to watch out for and important signs that may not be working for you. By the end, you’ll have a good idea of how to use one safely and when it’s time to consult a doctor. Let’s get started!

Common Minor Side Effects of Posture Correctors

Posture correctors are there to gently encourage better habits, not force you into an inflexible position. Here are some of the minor issues with these:

1. Initial discomfort

Don’t worry if you feel a little sore the first few times using your posture corrector. Just like a new exercise, your back muscles aren’t used to working this way yet.

2. Skin irritation

Cheaper correctors may use rougher fabrics that rub the wrong way. Be on the lookout for redness. If that happens, take a posture corrector break until your skin calms down.

Check that the material isn’t rubbing you the wrong way. Cotton or spandex tends to be gentler on sensitive skin than rougher nylon.

3. Restricted movement

You may find your range of motion feels tighter at first. Stick with it and those flexible feelings will return in no time as your body adapts.

4. Fatigue

Correcting posture is a workout for muscles that usually slouch. A short 20 minutes a day is plenty until they strengthen up.

5. Stiffness

Some temporary tightness is par for the course. Gentle stretches before and after wear can help limber things up.

6. Stress to muscles

Be careful not to overdo it in the beginning. Forcing an extreme change overnight could strain tender areas like your upper back.

7. Sleep issues

The unfamiliar feeling may disrupt sleeping positioning at first. Stick with a trial period and regular wear should normalize pretty quickly.

Over time, you’ll adjust and regain your full range of motion. Be patient – these minor side effects generally subside within a couple of weeks as your body adapts.

Potential More Serious Side Effects of Posture Correctors

While unlikely, there is a risk of more problematic side effects if a posture corrector is not fitted or used properly. 

1. Muscle Soreness

One concern is muscle soreness or tightness, especially in your upper back. Forcing a major correction too quickly can strain or overly fatigue those muscles. 

Go slow at the start – just 20-30 minutes daily – to allow your body to strengthen naturally.

2. Back pain

It’s also possible to experience back, neck, or shoulder pain from overcorrection or an ill-fitting device putting too much unnatural pressure on your spine. Make sure to choose a posture corrector designed for your specific needs. 

You don’t want to feel painfully crunched or pulled out of alignment. Listen to your body – back off the wear time or adjust the fit if discomfort persists.

3. Anxiety

In rare cases, breathlessness or anxiety has been reported by people experiencing a “straitjacket effect” from overly constrictive posture correctors. 

Make sure the piece you select is form-fitting without feeling restrictive. And check for sizing ( adjustable velcro is ideal). If anxiety kicks in, simply remove the corrector until you feel relaxed again.

4. Rib Injury

On an even less common note, the risk of rib injuries exists with posture correctors applying extreme amounts of pressure or squeezing forcibly on the ribcage area over long periods. 

I would avoid those models altogether – going gentle is key for a reason! Your spine health journey should never involve subjecting yourself to undue force or pain.

How to Avoid Side Effects?

  • To minimize risks, go slowly with wear time. Start with just 15-20 minutes daily and gradually increase over a few weeks as comfortable. Rushing correction risks strain.
  • Listen to your body. If something hurts or feels off, take a break until it improves. Never push through serious discomfort.
  • Choose a comfortable material. Breathable fabrics will be gentler on the skin than thick, restrictive ones. Adjust straps if needed.
  • Stretch it out. Simple shoulder rolls and backbends before and after wear prep muscles for gradual alignment changes.
  • Take mini breaks. Even if just to stand up straight for a couple of minutes per hour to prevent fatigue buildup.
  • Consider your activity levels. Those with active jobs may need less wear time than desk-bound folks adjusting postures.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Diet, exercise, and adequate rest all support natural posture improvement alongside corrector use.
  • Get properly fitted. Adjustable sizes allow finding the best curvature match for your body type upfront.
  • Seek advice promptly. Consult your doctor with any major or lingering pain instead of toughing it out. Your health comes first.
  • Going easy and listening to your body is key to minimizing side effects as you gradually develop better habits. Start small and be patient.

When to See a Doctor?

Whilst posture correctors are generally quite safe when used properly, it’s important to seek medical guidance if side effects seem excessive or won’t subside.

Some red flags include:

  • Persistent pain in your back, neck, or shoulders even after reducing wear time/adjusting fit
  • No improvement or worsening of discomfort/stiffness after 2-3 weeks of steady use
  • New symptoms develop like numbness, weakness, or tingling in arms/legs
  • Rib injuries cause sharp chest pains or difficulty breathing

Your doctor can help determine if it’s an issue with the corrector versus an underlying condition, or simply advise discontinuing use if deemed necessary for your situation. It’s always better safe than sorry with spine or pain concerns.

Conclusion

In closing, posture correctors have real potential to beneficially train better habits over the long run. But as with any device, minor side effects are normal due to the adjustment process. 

I hope this overview helped provide useful guidance for noticing potential red flags and safely avoiding problems. 

Always listen to your body and consult expert advice promptly if needed. With patience and care, a posture corrector could be a great ally in your wellness journey.