If you have a forward head posture and your upper back is excessively hunched, you may have thoracic kyphosis, otherwise known as hunchback.
This type of poor posture is becoming more prevalent in modern times as we spend longer and longer hunched in front of our computer screens and huddled over our mobiles.
This is problematic for many reasons.
If you do feel you have bad posture you must be proactive in improving your posture, because it puts a lot of pressure on your spine and tends to worsen with age.
And the more you sit in front of your screens, mobiles and televisions your posture is only going to get worse.
You want to fix it as early as possible—the longer you have it, the more health problems it can cause, including:
- Hyperlordosis (excessive lumbar curvature)
- Herniated discs caused by increased weight load on your spine 
- Neck pain from forward head posture 
- Poor blood circulation to the brain
- Increased risk of falls and fractures and reduced mobility as you age 
- Higher risk of arthritis 
- Fatigue caused by misalignment and poor blood circulation 
- Backaches and muscle pain from the strain of trying to stand upright
The sooner you start correcting your posture, the faster you will see results, which could prevent serious pain and numerous doctor visits down the road.
Not to mention that you will also look and feel a lot better when you are standing up tall, rather than being hunched over.
In this post, I’ll look at some of the best posture correctors to help improve your posture.
Not only that, but I’ll also discuss if posture correctors actually work, and look at some other natural posture correction methods worth trying towards the end of the article.
Posture Correctors and Back Braces: Do They Actually Work?
Research has shown that posture braces result in measurable postural improvement for people with thoracic kyphosis, but mainly in adolescents with spinal deformity .
While adolescents have the potential to change their form with the help of a brace, studies have revealed that adults can’t experience a significant change in their spinal curvature from a back brace.
In a medical study published in Scoliosis, 16 adults with thoracic kyphosis wore posture braces.
Their self-rated levels of back pain reduced significantly with the use of the brace, and they experienced better posture and balance.
However, their posture without the brace remained the same .
That’s not to say thoracic kyphosis can’t be corrected, however.
The best way to fix it is to correct the muscle imbalances involved in the posture (which I will discuss later in the article).
By tightening overstretched back muscles and opening up the shortened muscles in your chest, you can release the hunchback position overtime.
This is commonly referred to as corrective exercise.
Nonetheless, kyphosis braces and posture correctors can be great tools for helping you improve thoracic spine health and correct your posture.
Put simply, they brace your back in a more neutral, straight posture.
This takes the pressure off your spine and reduces strain in your muscles, so that you can hold a more upright posture without the pain, fatigue and stiffness.
A hunchback position causes muscle tightness and strain, which in turn hardens the hunched posture.
The result is a vicious cycle that causes thoracic kyphosis to worsen.
Wearing a posture brace reduces back muscle strain and tightness, so that you can break the cycle.
You can wear the brace while doing your everyday activities, and remove it to perform exercises that help reverse thoracic kyphosis.
Then, when you put the brace back on, you can avoid counteracting the corrections you made with the exercises.
Instead of going back to muscle imbalances in which your back muscles are overstretched and chest muscles are shortened, your back will be in a more neutral position, so that the corrections you made can take effect.
What to Look for in a Good Posture Corrector
The best posture corrector will depend on your own needs.
If you’re experiencing pain and fatigue from your kyphosis posture, you can probably benefit from a more heavy-duty brace that helps relieve the burden of your weight on your back.
If you want to prevent kyphosis early on and improve your posture before it gets worse, you may like a posture corrector that helps detect poor posture and remind you to fix it by straightening up.
Here are some features to look out for when shopping for a posture corrector:
If you choose a kyphosis brace, the importance of fit goes without saying.
Without adequate adjustability, a brace can’t provide support if it doesn’t fit your form.
Look for a brace that is easy to adjust and can adjust at as many points as possible for a unique fit.
Comfortable to Wear
Given that a posture corrector should be worn frequently, you need it to feel comfortable enough to wear for long periods, when you’re sitting at a desk, driving or doing manual work.
Braces with padding made of soft foam are great choices for comfort, though they can be a little bulkier than some of the more “strappy” back braces that are designed to stay out of sight.
Finding a posture corrector that is comfortable to wear is one of the most important factors you should be looking out for.
Much along the same lines as the point above, you want to be able to wear your back brace without it getting too hot and sweaty.
Look for a back brace made with material to prevent sweating and discomfort, especially if it’s designed to be worn against your skin.
Ease of Use
To ensure you use it often, your posture corrector should be easy to get on and off.
If it takes a long time to strap on and adjust every time, you may not be as apt to wearing it.
If the brace is easy to wash, that’s also a plus that makes it easier to use.
Full Back Support
Back braces that only provide upper back support may end up contributing to an unnatural bend in your lower spine and lower back known as hyperlordosis.
Those providing full torso support along the length of your spine down to your lower back can help correct or prevent hyperlordosis as you correct kyphosis.
The 10 Best Posture Correctors of 2022
I’ve selected 10 of the best posture correctors from reputable brands to compare, to help you get a sense of what’s out there and what product could best serve your needs.
VOKKA Posture Corrector
The posture corrector from VOKKA has a firm backplate that sits right at the level of your thoracic spine when adjusted adequately to your form.
It has adjustable straps that go over your shoulders like a backpack, and around your waist.
This helps the backplate stay in place and places some counterpressure on your thoracic curve, helping it straighten.
Users highly recommend it for being so easy to put on.
They also say it’s very effective in straightening out the back, causing reduced pain and noticeably improved circulation.
The downside to this posture corrector is that it has to be worn over clothing, or it will cut uncomfortably into your skin.
However, it’s a heavy-duty posture corrector that does the job for people who need to get through the day without back pain caused by hunching.
- Effective in straightening posture while worn
- Highly adjustable
- Can’t be worn under clothing and is noticeable to wear
- Cuts uncomfortably into your skin when you wear a tank top or a thin shirt
Upright GO 2
Upright GO 2, the upgraded edition of the original Upright GO, is a posture correction device designed for people who want to avoid the unconscious slouch at their work desk.
It’s not a back brace, but rather a small, wearable device that goes on your thoracic spine and measures your curvature.
It uses this data to alert you when you’re slouching, simply by vibrating.
Once you feel that vibration on your spine, your attention is instantly directed to your upper back, and you can actively sit up straight.
It’s easy enough to set up and use, and you will see results when using it regularly.
However, people with oily skin find it doesn’t stick well to their back, which gets frustrating very quickly.
The other problem is that it bulges out and becomes noticeable when you’re wearing a tight-fitting shirt.
On the other hand, it’s only a problem if you’re self-conscious about it.
Overall, this device works for most people who want to train themselves to actively sit up straight.
However, the big problem with a posture corrector like this, is that if your posture is noticeably bad, your bad posture and muscle imbalances aren’t going to fix themselves by trying to sit up straight as this device is designed to do.
- Trains you to fix your posture instead of being a “Band-Aid” fix
- Easy to use
- Doesn’t offer support or relieve pain
- May not stick on your skin
- Isn’t likely to help someone with very poor posture
Truweo Posture Corrector
The Truweo posture corrector looks similar to the VOKKA, but the major difference is that it’s not adjustable.
It’s designed this way to be more skin-tight and wearable under clothes where it won’t be noticed.
The drawback to this is that the straps don’t adjust, and you can only choose between 3 sizes (small, medium and large).
Customers have found that these sizes do not fit all body types.
If it does fit you, it can be highly effective and comfortable.
By going unnoticed under your clothing (given you’re not wearing tight-fitting clothes), you can enjoy the appearance of better posture without showing that you’re wearing a back brace.
Truweo claims that wearing it regularly over time causes you to develop muscle memory that maintains your straight posture when not wearing the device.
Many customers have confirmed this is true, and affirmed that it reduces back pain.
- Can be worn under clothing
- Improves posture with regular use over time
- Helps reduce back pain
- Lightweight and easy to travel with
- Not adjustable or one size fits all
Marakym Posture Corrector
The Marakym posture corrector is a highly adjustable back brace that goes over your clothes.
It’s easy to place on like a backpack and then adjust the straps to the perfect fit once it’s on you.
As you tighten the straps, you feel the device pulling your shoulders back. This device is best for people whose shoulders round forward.
However, it doesn’t provide much support for the lower back and lower thoracic region, and is more focused at the shoulder level.
However, by bringing the shoulders back, the back brace helps open up your chest and keep the chest muscles lengthened throughout the day.
If you’re doing exercises to tighten and strengthen your back muscles, this brace can work alongside your efforts to help you reshape your back.
The brace pulls at your armpits, but it has insertable pads that reduce the pressure against you if needed for comfort.
However, the material is quite coarse and rough, easily causing discomfort.
You need to wear clothing under this brace that is adequately thick and has long enough sleeves, or it will cut into your skin, causing friction and potentially a rash.
- One size fits all
- Effectively opens your chest and keeps your shoulders and chest upright
- Doesn’t provide a lot of back support – as it’s mainly focused on opening the chest by bringing the shoulders back
- Uncomfortable material
The IntelliSkin is a moisture-wicking, form-fitting shirt designed to help correct posture in men.
Having better posture while you exercise helps you utilize your energy efficiently because your muscles are aligned.
Like the Upright Go 2 device, this posture-correcting shirt works mainly by raising your awareness of your posture rather than providing support or forcing your body into better back posture.
It does this by acting as a girdle for your torso.
The patented PostureCue technology works like kinesiology tape to “wake up” the muscles that support spinal alignment.
It cues the body to strengthen weak posture muscles in your upper back, while lengthening tight chest muscles.
Again, like the Upright Go 2, the IntelliSkin is best for people who can fix their posture by being more aware of it and reminding themselves to sit and stand up straight.
It doesn’t fix your posture for you when wearing it, which is frustrating for people who really need a back brace for kyphosis and lower back pain relief.
- Helps remind you of good posture while exercising
- Cues your postural muscles to activate so that you can tone them up
- Requires more washing
- Doesn’t provide support for relieving kyphosis pain
BERLIN & Daughter – Posture Corrector for Women
BERLIN & Daughter posture corrector is an option exclusively for women, with a design that takes the woman’s bust into account for comfort and accurate fitting.
It’s small, tight-fitting and more aesthetically pleasing than most posture correctors, but some women are disappointed with the feel.
The straps are firm and the material can cause chafing, even when worn over clothing.
Some women felt the back brace limited the movement of their arms and caused armpit discomfort.
Though it may improve your posture and look ok on you, it all comes down to comfort.
It does work for some women, while others it doesn’t feel right, even if it fits their size.
- Thinner material and smaller for less of a clunky look
- Good fit for women
- Better appearance than most other braces
- Not always comfortable – as it causes armpit pain or chafing in some users
The Backpod is an upper back stretching device you lay on to open up your chest.
As a round, oval-shaped pad (the “pod”), it uses your body weight as leverage to reverse the external curvature of your upper back as you lay on the device.
It’s designed to be especially helpful for kyphosis by “unfreezing” ribs locked in place by tight, shortened muscles.
It allows them to stretch forward and help open your chest.
The Backpod is a therapeutic posture corrector, though its effect is drastically more intense.
Whereas a back brace forces your back to be straight, the Backpod forces your back to arch.
People with excessive kyphosis will find this quite challenging, and potentially very painful.
In their case, a brace is enough, and it does its job for longer periods as you wear it.
For people with a slouch who want to prevent thoracic kyphosis, the Backpod is a great tool to use for a short time each day.
- Helps you stretch your thoracic spine and improve circulation
- You only need to use it for a short period each day
- Too intense, painful and difficult for people with severe kyphosis
- Doesn’t provide pain relief by giving support as a brace would
Neo G Dorsolumbar Support Brace
The Neo G back brace is worn under or on top of clothing, and it’s made with thinner material, with no bulky areas that protrude.
It wraps around the fronts of your shoulders like a backpack, but it also extends down your torso and all the way around it, like a girdle.
Braces like the Marakym only focus on pulling your shoulders back to reverse kyphosis.
The lack of support at the lower thoracic region (your lower ribs) can cause you to bend your lumbar spine excessively or to open your rib cage, instead of making the proper correction in your thoracic spine.
The Neo G fixes this problem by supporting your entire lower back and not just the upper back.
In this way, it helps correct your posture throughout the spine instead of just the thoracic spine.
It also provides more support in a way that can improve pain relief.
Whether you have kyphosis or hyperlordosis, it can help you correct it.
It even extends up to your neck to help align the base of your cervical spine.
While the product aims to be adjustable and one-size-fits-all, unfortunately not all users have found that it fits.
If it does fit you, it may not be comfortable to wear under clothing, because it can feel rough and cause chaffing.
But, if you wear it over an undershirt and then put clothing on top, it’s not too noticeable.
It comes with extra padding for the fronts of your shoulders to prevent discomfort, but some users find that it still cuts too much into their armpits.
- Provides full torso support (both upper and lower back) to correct posture at every level
- Easier to wear beneath clothing compared to other braces
- Made with breathable material
- Only designed for early thoracic kyphosis
- Uncomfortable at the armpits for some
Flexguard Back Brace Posture Corrector
The Flexguard brace goes around your shoulders like a backpack to bring them back and open your chest, but it also has a band that goes around your torso.
This torso support isn’t as full as what the Neo G provides, but the band that goes around your torso does provide extra support many other braces don’t offer.
With your lowest to ribs tucked inside the band, it can help you keep your rib cage closed and your lumbar spine in a neutral position.
Meanwhile, it doesn’t feel as much like a girdle.
The Flexguard comes with a booklet that describes exercises you can do while wearing the product, to help improve your posture.
In this way, the Flexguard is a great back brace for people who want to improve their posture through exercise and not just with a device alone. It can also be worn during regular exercise activities, like walking or running.
Like many posture correctors, this product can potentially cause pain in the armpits.
Some people found it wasn’t small enough to fit them even when adjusted to full tightness.
- Goes around your lower ribs for lower thoracic support
- Can use it during exercise
- Can cause armpit pain and chafing
- May not fit you if you’re small
ORTONYX Full Back Support Brace
The concept behind this posture corrector is great—like the Neo G, it’s designed to support your full torso and act as a girdle.
The material used is a high-quality, breathable, elastic fabric.
Unlike the Neo G, in addition to this elastic girdle, the ORTONYX also features a metal stay, which you can put in or leave out.
The metal stays aren’t quite like the ones in the VOKKO or Truweo braces, because they cover the entire spine instead of just the thoracic region.
The problem with this is that everyone’s spine is a different length, and people with shorter spines find the metal stays impossible to use.
Others find they’re too uncomfortable because they force your entire spine to be straight, and there’s not enough bend to suit the spine’s natural curvature.
Another problem is sizing.
You can order the product in different sizes, but the largest size may be too small for larger body types, and the smallest size may not be small enough for petite frames.
The ORTONYX seems to effectively provide pain relief and posture correction for those whom it fits.
- Provides full torso support for the thoracic and lumbar spine (lower back)
- Gives you the option of inserting a metal stay into the elastic brace
- Not enough sizing options
- Metal stays are too straight and inflexible
The Best Posture Corrector: Our Top Pick
I’ve compared several cutting-edge and found that there’s no one product that serves all needs.
I love that it supports your entire spine and not just the thoracic region, helping to ensure weight is distributed evenly.
It gives you the amount of support you need, because you can use just the elastic girdle, or you can choose to insert either flexible or firm metal stays into it.
With this adjustability, you can use the device when you need pain relief or when you want to actively work on strengthening your postural muscles.
It’s also made with quality material and is an FDA-approved medical device.
How to Fix Your Posture the Right Way
As long as you are fit and healthy to do so, the best way to fix your posture is to perform corrective exercises to fix the muscle imbalances that cause poor posture.
If you remember, thoracic kyphosis refers to the excessive outward curvature of your upper back, where your thoracic spine is located.
It involves an imbalance between opposing muscle groups in your chest and back, which develops over time from maintaining a rounded, slouched upper back position.
With the muscles in your chest shortened and your upper back muscles overextended, they end up tightening in this position and reforming the shape of your spine.
The good news about thoracic kyphosis caused by bad posture is that it can be reversed assuming you catch it in its early stages.
By performing corrective exercises on a regular basis you can reverse the muscle imbalances that cause you to hunch.
Other Posture Correcting Devices
Here is a list of other devices that could potentially help you develop good posture.
Back stretchers are devices that help lengthen out the muscles in your back.
These type of devices can not only help you develop better posture, but can also aid in dealing with any lower back pain you have.
Related: The Best Back Stretchers in 2022
Massaging out your lower back can help loosen up your back and take out the arch in your lower spine region.
If your lower back can straighten up, you may find that your upper back starts to straighten up naturally.
Related: The Best Back Massagers in 2022
Massage guns can help you deal with any trigger points that cause tightness in your body.
In the case of hunchback posture, you may have a lot of tightness in the pec muscles.
Stretching can certainly help but using a massage gun on your chest can release a lot of tightness that some stretching techniques won’t be able to do.
Related: The Best Massage Guns in 2022
Target Fixing Your Bad Posture from all Angles
While there’s little medical research to support the effectiveness of back braces for improving posture in healthy people, people who use these products get relief from pain and enjoy the benefits of good posture.
Many back braces help you activate your postural muscles so they can strengthen and help improve your posture.
When combined with back and core exercises and massage techniques that release tight, shortened chest muscles, posture correctors can help you fix thoracic kyphosis.
It’s possible to correct your posture without them using corrective exercises for thoracic kyphosis, but it does help you get results faster, and potentially relieve back pain in the meantime.
The consequences of bad posture are serious, as it can put your spinal health at risk and be the root cause of chronic back pain.
The benefits of good posture are probably greater and more numerous than what most people realize.
When you correct your posture, you can enjoy more confidence, circulation, oxygenation, energy and range of motion. Your mood will improve, and you’ll be able to look your best.
Many people have benefited from back braces and other posture correctors on their journey to improved posture.
The best posture corrector for you will be one that feels comfortable and easy to use, helps you achieve a better posture, provides support and activates your postural muscles.
Related: How to improve your posture