One of the highlights in Season 7 of Shark Tank, the BetterBack has come out strong as an effective lumbar support and posture retraining device. It is compact enough to fit in your handbag, and makes any chair ergonomic by working directly on the body’s sitting posture - and it doesn’t even need to be used on a chair! You can even use the Betterback when seated cross-legged on the floor.
The BetterBack was even taken and studied in a random clinical trial by Parker et al., Deparment of Physical Therapy, William Carey University, Hattiesburg, USA. The study, titled "Does BetterBack Lumbar Support and Posture Trainer Decrease Back Pain and Improve Posture?" (click to read article), concluded that the "device provided effective lumbar support immediately reducing LBP, but did not carryover without the device." However, "the study noted significant improvement in posture on those who used the BetterBack the right way. Note the words in bold, I'll get to that in a bit.
The BetterBack realigns your pelvis by supporting it in the body’s natural curvature. There’s a misconception that having good posture is simply “sitting up straight and not hunching”. That’s half right.
There are a number of camps as to whether back pains come from “bad” posture to begin with, or what “good” posture is. But in general, if you have strained your back and are having back pains, you can look at how you can adjust your posture to lighten the load on your spine, so you can recover faster.
Naturally, our backsaren’t really straight - they’re in fact slightly curved. Many of us know this, but we don’t always associate the natural curve of the spine with our daily life. When seated, the spine’s natural curvaturebegins from as low as the pelvis. Not from the lower back, or, lumbar.
Fixing the hip and pelvis alignment automatically supports the lumbar in its natural curvature. Conversely, focusing on extending the lumbar into it’s natural curvature might strain the surrounding muscles if the pelvic alignment is off. Think about sitting with your weight mainly on your hamstrings (the back of your thighs) instead of on your butt cheeks.
BetterBack ensures this doesn’t happen by locking your pelvis in the perfect angle, against your knees. Here are some opinions we’ve rounded up from the web.
“Boost Your Posture With the Comfortable BetterBack Strap” - CNN Underscored
“BetterBack Reviews from Shark Tank, MUST Read Before Buying” - AP (The Associated Press) News
“BetterBack Review: Effortless Perfect Posture Or Scam?” - Marty Wong
As with most of the products in the “therapy” “health & fitness” “injury management” category, we firmly believe that approaching them with the right perspective is imperative. We do not believe these products are a means to an end - that is to say that they will solve all your pain problems FOR you - but we believe that they can be helpful if we were to use them with awareness and discipline.
Remember the bolded words from the study above? What it means is that the product can't help us much if we don't learn and apply the postural corrections on our own, when we're not using it.
Hardly is there any magic involved where recovery is concerned; discipline, diligence and knowing when to seek external help are equally important! These products aren't a "one size fits all" solution. It may work better for some and not as well for others. Be mindful of what other conditions you may have when you're using the BetterBack.
For instance, we brought the BetterBack to a physiotherapist here in Singapore and we learnt that it may not be as good for a person with bad knees, since the support anchors itself to the user's knees. However, our physiotherapist still thinks that the product is useful and has good potential in its indication: to re-educate the user on the right muscles to use and a good sitting posture to adopt.
These products won’t FIX you. They’ll help by making it easier for you to fix yourself. Ultimately, it’s still up to you.
The BetterBack is now retailing at $80. We think it’s a great investment to prevent bad/worsening posture, and a good way to relearn the right posture.
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