We've all seen the infomercials for equipment targeted at helping with sore backs, knees, etc. But have you ever wondered how, or even if, these things actually work?
There are a number of different products out there that look like they actually do a good job of fixing the cause of the problem. Unfortunately there appear to be a lot more out there that just "solve the problem" without actually addressing the root of the problem. Probably the worst of these, at least that I've seen, was a posture harness that you wear around your shoulders.
This harness was designed to correct bad posture and slouched shoulders by pulling the shoulders back into the correct position. In a previous post, I mentioned how bad posture is often caused by the positions we put our body's in during our daily lives - this results in the chest muscles becoming tight and our back muscles becoming weak. With that in mind, the cause of bad posture is seen to be those same tight and weak muscles in the chest and back respectively.
So if the tight/weak muscles are the problem, the fix would be to loosen the tight muscles and strengthen the weak muscles. However, equipment such as the aforementioned harness does nothing to create these effects. Sure something like this harness may help you feel better at the time, but by creating "better posture" without actually strengthening your back muscles this equipment would actually make the problem worse over time when the harness is not on - and who wants to wear something like that all the time?
Would you start using a wheelchair all the time just because your knees are sore?