The Posture Pole is a great thing to have in your arsenal of home-fitness kit along with a yoga mat and a physio ball.
The lightweight foam ‘pole’ – which is flat on one side and curved on the other – has a textured pad at the top where you rest your head before lowering your spine ‘like a string of pearls’ along the length of the pole.
A resting position with your chin tucked in shoulders dropped back and arms outstretched is indeed very relaxing and feels effective at undoing the ‘shoulders forward and raised’ position that many of us adopt when stressed or when hunched over our handlebars or computer.
The action of tucking your chin in is intended to lengthen your spine but the beneficial effect is not immediately obvious – and I wasn’t sure how far I should be tucking my chin in. A clearer indication in the user instructions would be handy.
I really like the relaxing effect that lying on the pole has and the discipline of taking 5-10 minutes to simply relax breath and re-aline your spine, but the claims on the posture pole that it: ‘improves how you move, look and feel’ are a strong statement. All I was seeking was a relief from neck pain – and over time this did improve.
Other claims include primarily – fast relief from neck shoulder and upper back pain as well as: lengthening and straightening your spine; moderates your breathing; loosens tight muscles; relieves posture pain; relaxes the body and calms the mind.
The manufacturer / developer (an Australian chiropractor) outline a wealth of research that has gone into designing the posture pole – which appears to be just a simple length of high density foam – and it is certainly worth trying.
I will certainly continue to use my posture pole but can’t guarantee it will work for everyone My only reservation is that at almost £70 it’s quite an investment to make on an apprently simple piece of kit
– Lightweight and easy to store
– Relaxing to use
– Relieves tight shoulders
– ‘Life transforming’ claims come across as a bit of a hard sell
What Posture Pole say about their product
If you ride a bike then you are going to find that over time you are going to feel a few twinges.
Problems like back pain, some neck pain maybe a bit of shoulder pain or feelings of tightness down your arms and into your hands.
Your head weighs about 4.5 to 5.5KG or 8 to 12lbs and for every couple of cms you lean forward you DOUBLE the load on the muscles of your neck, shoulders and upper back.
Now if your spine is designed to carry the weight of your head in the normal position, and you double and treble the load, and hold that position for hours, then there is going to be some reaction; basically something has to give.
What the Posture Pole does is gently stretch your spine, straighten things out and relax the tight muscles to overcome all the problems you have created for yourself from that head forward riding position.