I’m not a stranger to physical therapy. Both my son and daughter were injured seriously enough to require rehab under a watchful and well-trained physical therapist, named Justin Solotoff. When my back went out for a second time late last fall, I picked up the phone and called Justin’s office; Fairfield Physical Therapy Center. Justin examined my x-rays, gave me the once (maybe twice) over physically, and figured out how to help me become whole again. Justin is a physical therapy “rock star!”
Justin knows that I’m a writer who spends many hours sitting in front of the computer. Over the years, he’s listened to me complain of back and neck pain unrelated to my recent back injury as I’ve sat in his office while he worked on my kids. Recently, he suggested that I might benefit from a new-to-market back support called the Posture Trainer. I gave him a narrow-eyed look; because I’ve been sucked into buying one too many gadgets that never deliver on their promise.
Justin smiled and explained to me that most of us slump when we sit. As we slump, our shoulders round, our head protrudes forward, and our back arcs, creating a posture that does not engage our core muscles properly. Over time, sitting improperly can cause many health issues such as interference with blood flow, increased tension in our back and neck muscles, breathing difficulty, and digestive disorders, just to name a few. He went on to tell me that the Posture Trainer, which is an air-filled (and customizable) cushion, would remind me to sit up, sit back, and use my core muscles to maintain proper postural alignment, which ultimately would help alleviate my chronic neck pain.
I was skeptical that an air-filled oval-shaped cushion that looked a little like a flying saucer could get rid of my neck and back pain, but Justin persisted. He said that most chairs and back supports are designed to make you feel comfortable with your dysfunctionality. That is, they allow you to sink into your misalignment (improper posture) and do very little, if anything, to treat the cause of the problem. He went on to say that the Posture Trainer makes you feel comfortable with functionality, as it offers gentle resistance in supporting and lengthening the spine; thereby creating perfect spinal alignment. It seemed to make sense to me, so I took one home to try for myself.
Every time I sit to write, I slide the Posture Trainer in behind me, raising it a couple of inches off the chair seat so that it’s pressed between my back and the chair’s back. If I slump or lean too far forward, the Posture Trainer slips down, reminding me to sit back properly. Does it work? I can only speak for myself and my answer is YES — it worked for me! Over these past weeks I’ve been pain free. My neck feels particularly great. Like I said, Justin is a rock star physical therapist and he was right about what the Posture Trainer could do for me.