Back pain seems to be synonymous with both pregnancy and parenthood. Unless you were an outdoors(wo)man before babies, life suddenly becomes a lot heavier when once little people enter your life. If you’re not carrying your baby in a sling, at some point or another you’re fighting commuters while you lug a pushchair up the stairs. Then your baby starts walking – but suddenly refuses to put another step in front of the other and you have to carry… normally balancing child on one side, and the week’s groceries on the other. To add insult to injury a toddler can be a force of destruction on your house* and you’ll find yourself bending over a thousand times a day to pick stuff up off the floor.
The result? An aching back and a desperate longing for the massages you took for granted in life before child.
So if you can’t get to a weekly chiropractic appointment, what can you do? Well – you could try PosturePlast.
PosturePlast is a patented X-shaped plaster with flexible struts which control your movements and keep your back in the optimum ‘Safe Zone’. Basically, there are two plastic bits inside the plaster that act as a finger on your back, reminding you to keep it straight. I’m not really sure how else to describe it, but in my mind’s eye, it’s almost like a finishing school stuck to your back.
The ‘thing’ with PosturePlast is that it replaces the need, in theory, for a brace which performs much the same function.
This is a drug free alternative for correcting posture, and therewith reducing pain. It is safe for use in pregnancy, and can be used in conjunction with other treatments. It is immediately effective in that the moment you stick it on you can feel that supportive ‘pressure’ when you step out of line.
PosturePlast is discreet under clothing. You could wear it with the tightest of outfits and it’s unlikely that anyone would notice. There are no unsightly bulges and it doesn’t cause the love handle bulges that a brace or support belt might.
The blurb with PosturePlast says that 78% of people reported less pain after using PosturePlast for 1 week and 90% said that PosturePlast improved their posture.
I can definitely see how that would work, if….
I thought perhaps it was bath oils on my back that were preventing the plaster from sticking, so had an appropriately hot shower with no lotions or potions and tried a third one, but the same thing happened.Firstly, I tried to stick it on myself and found the sticky bits turned in on themselves, meaning I had to pull it all off to unstick it from itself and try again. I again couldn’t get it to stick properly, so binned my first attempt and got my husband to help me with a new PosturePlast. He managed to stick it on for me, and it felt great for about three minutes – then I had to bend down to pick my toddler up, and the top of the plaster came unstuck meaning it was moving around inside my shirt and no longer providing much support, and then folding in on itself again… returning us to the problems I had with PosturePlast number one.
It’s possible that I just had an ‘old’ batch that had lost their stick a bit, which is unfortunate, but I didn’t feel able to test them properly, despite being able to feel what it was that they were meant to be doing. I totally get the idea. I’m just not so sure about the execution of it.
I was only sent three PosturePlasts to test, and none of them were very sticky. I figure if you’re sitting at a desk most of the day, they’d be great but for bending down, picking up, lifting… I didn’t find the simple cross plaster very effective, I’m afraid.
As I didn’t have enough to use for a whole week, I can’t really comment on how effective or not they were in reducing my back pain, especially as I couldn’t keep them on for more than a short while.
I really get what they’re supposed to do, and for the moments that it did work, I think it’s a great idea, but unfortunately I think it needs a much stronger stick to make it parent-with-toddler friendly.
*These are all the bad points, of course. We all know we love them, really.