The Alignmed posture correcting shirt, known officially as the Posture Shirt 2.0, is one of the few products of its kind. This isn’t the same as traditional posture braces in the type of materials used and the way it works, among other things. Let’s take a look at the shirt – what it is, how it works, and how it feels when worn, to name a few aspects.
The Company Behind the Product
The Alignmed posture shirt is manufactured by the eponymous company, which was established by Bill Schultz in April 2001. Shultz, the current president, spent more than 20 years in the surgical equipment industry mainly as a salesman of equipment. While he was in his mid-30s, he started experiencing lower back pain that worsened over time. His doctors recommended spine surgery but he was hesitant about it due to the risks.
He searched for alternative therapies and found a Newport Beach-based chiropractor who offered him a posture device. Said device was actually designed to aid in realigning the body after shoulder surgery but it was also effective in other applications. He almost immediately gained relief from the pain after putting on the device, which removed his initial doubts about its effectiveness.
He purchased the patent, invested in its research and development, and started manufacturing his line of evidence-based apparel known as Alignmed. In fact, the Alignmed posture shirt is just one of several products designed for posture-correcting purposes.
The Evidence Behind the Shirt
According to the company, its line of evidence-based apparel has nearly a dozen scientific studies to back up its claims that, indeed, it’s the only source for the best posture corrector apparel. These studies have been published by prestigious universities, such as University of North Carolina, the University of Southern California, and UNC Chapel Hill, as well as known research institutes like the Lexington Clinic and Stedman Philippon. The extensive medical research conducted on the effectiveness of the Alignmed shirt contributes to its credibility as a reliable product.
Furthermore, the company also boasts that its apparel has the approval of nearly two dozen of medical professionals including doctors, orthopedic specialists, and physical therapists, many of whom serve on its advisory board. The apparel is also used by many organizations including the Navy Seals and the L.A. Police Department, as well as sports teams like the New York Giants and the Chicago Blackhawks. Even celebrities like Peyton Manning, Elton John, and Roger Fredericks, among others, have attested to the effectiveness of Posture 2.0 shirt as a back posture corrector.
The Alignmed Posture 2.0 is classified as a Class I medical device by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Interested individuals can purchase it as an over-the-counter product although doctors also recommend it to their patients with a wide range of posture-related health issues. Emphasis must also be made that, as with all medical devices, its proper and regular use is a must for the best possible results, particularly better back posture.
The Anatomy of the Shirt
The Alignmed posture shirt is unlike the traditional posture braces in two major ways. First, it can be worn either as an undershirt without worrying about unsightly bulges or as a shirt on its own similar to a compression shirt. In contrast, posture braces are bulky affairs that can be unwieldy to wear under your street or business clothes.
Second, it stimulates the muscle groups involved in proper body posture resulting in gradual yet natural corrections in body alignment. In the case of traditional posture braces, these work by performing the muscles’ work, oftentimes resulting in dependence on the device – when it isn’t worn, you can revert to your old poor posture.
At first glance, the Alignmed Posture 2.0 closely resembles a form-fitting compression shirt. But upon closer inspection, there are several differences between a compression shirt and the Alignmed posture vest.
Most compression shirts use a combination of polyester and spandex fabrics, as is the case for an Under Armour compression shirt. The Alignmed posture shirt also uses the same materials, particularly in a 77:23 ratio (polyester-to-spandex) but features incorporated into it provide posture assistance. Compression shirts have their uses, such as stimulating blood circulation, but these aren’t designed to assist in proper body alignment.
Most compression shirts are also long enough to cover the body from the mid-arm to the mid-hip. But the Alignmed posture correcting shirt is four inches longer than typical compression shirts, mainly to ensure that the muscles involved in proper posture are covered. These muscles extend from the shoulders to the buttocks, thus, the longer shirt length.
The Alignmed apparel has a patented posture correcting system that incorporates Neuroband technology, an original innovation by the company. Basically, variable tension bands, seams and panels (i.e., Neurobands) made of tightly-woven 100% polyester fibers stretch in two directions during each body movement and, in the process, retrain the muscles involved in proper posture. These bands also mimic the effects of athletic tape, particularly Kinesio, in stabilizing muscles, improving muscle tone, and reducing pain.
The tensions in the NeuroBands are designed to stimulate specific muscle groups in the body. Over time, muscle memory can be developed in these muscles such that even when the posture shirt isn’t worn, they automatically assume proper alignment. Think about it: When you wear the Alignmed posture shirt for several successive days, your body will remember the feeling of being in proper alignment and assume it, even when you have taken a rest from wearing the shirt for a day or two.
You are, indeed, retraining your body in proper posture! You will find it most beneficial when you have developed habitual movement behaviors brought about by extended periods of sitting and standing, even using electronic gadgets.
The NeuroBands are also strategically located in the back of the shirt. This provides maximum support and stability to the area where proper posture begins – from the shoulders to the buttocks.
When worn either as an undershirt or as a shirt, the Alignmed shirt provides gentle yet firm pressure on the muscles involved in proper posture. You will feel your muscles responding to the pressure mainly by lengthening (i.e., stretching) so your neck, shoulders, and back are in their proper alignment, particularly aligned with the gentle S-curve of your spine.
In technical terms, the matrix of panels, bands and seams stimulate the neuron receptors in your muscle tissues. These neuron receptors transmit messages to your spinal cord about the need for more muscle support. The concerned muscles are then set to work in providing more support and stability to your back.
Again, retraining your muscles comes into the picture. You have to wear the Alignmed shirt as many times as possible and as long as possible during the day to achieve it. You should still be able to move effectively and efficiently even when you’re wearing the shirt for as long as you chose the correct size – too loose and you will not get the muscle retraining benefit, too snug and you will be unable to move well, perhaps even have difficulty in breathing.
The Performance Aspects
One of the reasons that the Alignmed shirt is considered as the best posture corrector for men and women is that it can actually be worn by most people who have issues with improper posture – and without a doctor’s prescription, too! These people include professional athletes, office workers, truck drivers, and stay-at-home husbands and wives, as well as by surgeons, chiropractors, and physical therapists, to name a few.
Most buyers even wear it during their daily life activities, whether it’s for work or play. This is crucial in the device’s effectiveness as retraining muscles will take time – in the case of the Alignmed shirt, a few days to a few weeks depending on the severity of the poor posture. You can even wear it as many times as you want even when you already have good posture because of its compression quality, too.
The Alignmed 2.0 Posture Shirt comes in several sizes and colors for men and women. For the men, there are three colors to choose from, namely, black, white and white-and-gray combo, as well as in several sizes from small to xx-large. For the women, the choices are black and white-and-gray combo in sizes ranging from x-small to x-large.
Each shirt typically costs $95 exclusive of shipping charges. You can choose from different shipping options, such as FedEx and USPS express shipping.
Be sure to measure your chest, waist and hips before ordering your Alignmed posture shirts. You should use the sizing chart provided by the company to get the right size for reasons previously mentioned.
Let’s then take a look at the things that make the Alignmed the best posture corrector for women and men. Aside from our personal experiences with the product, we also looked at dozens of posture corrector reviews so that we can have a balanced review. We want to point out that every person’s actual experience with the product will vary based on several factors, such as age, physical condition, and reason for poor posture as well as the frequency and duration of its use.
The stylish design of the Alignmed Posture 2.0 is among its selling points, especially as it can be worn as an athletic shirt for sports activities like running, rowing and hiking. You can also wear it under your street clothes and business attire without worrying about ugly bulges here and there since the shirt lies flat against your skin, thanks to its form-fitting design.
You can even say that it’s an athletic shirt or a compression shirt, if anybody asks, instead of a Class I medical device. You may not, for example, want others to know about your posture issues, which may or may not be the result of an injury, an illness, or a lifetime of bad habits.
The neutral colors also make it easy to mix and match with jeans, leggings and shorts when worn as an outerwear, as well as blend with clothes in different colors when worn as underwear. The wide range of sizes means that every man and woman will likely find a size that suits his or her needs in the posture shirt. Again, we suggest getting the right measurements – the company provides clear instructions on the matter – so that you can get the right size.
If you’re used to wearing compression shirts, then wearing the Alignmed shirt shouldn’t feel like a big change in clothes. But even if you favor loose-fitting clothes, you will feel the material stretching to accommodate your body shape without sacrificing on the snug yet comfortable fit. After an hour or so, the tight fit will become less apparent so much so that within a day or two, you will feel comfortable wearing it the entire day.
When you first put it on, you will feel its elastic material stretching across your chest, shoulders and back before settling in, so to speak. You should feel a gentle yet firm pressure from the NeuroBands on the back that, in turn, serves as an encouragement to pull back your shoulders and straighten your spine. You will feel your muscles lengthening within an hour of use, which can become automatic in nature with regular and proper use of the Alignmed Posture 2.0 shirt.
We should also say that the shirt has vented mesh in certain areas, aside from the polyester and spandex materials. The vented mesh aids in keeping a cool feeling while wearing the shirt, thanks to its moisture-wicking property. We even tried wearing it for an entire working day in 90-degree, 90% humidity conditions – and it performed well in keeping us cool despite its snug fit.
Plus, the shirt dries quickly after washing. You can wear it almost as soon as you take it off although we suggest buying a pair for convenience purposes.
Of course, the actual results from its use is the best measure of its value as a posture shirt. The Alignmed Posture 2.0 shirts are as effective as can be as a posture correcting apparel, as evidenced by the dozens of favorable consumer reviews online including our review.
As soon as you put on the shirt, you will feel a gentle yet firm pressure signifying that the NeuroBands are already at work. The two-way directional pull feels natural, too, unlike the pull of traditional posture braces. You will then be encouraged to pull back your shoulders and straighten your spine whenever you feel the pressure until such time that it becomes natural to do so.
You shouldn’t feel restricted in your movements whenever you’re wearing the Alignmed shirt provided that you have the right size. You shouldn’t also worry about the shirt riding up the front or back, thanks to the horizontal band sewn across its inside back part. You may even feel the gentle pressure across your hips, which acts like a compression apparel with posture benefits.
If you’re the type who works for four hours straight at your computer before taking your lunchtime break, then you will find it beneficial in easing the aches that come with sitting for extended periods. While you’re wearing the shirt, you will have a constant reminder to sit up straight instead of adopting your habitual hunched or stooped posture. You will then experience less discomfort in areas where dull aches or sharp pains were common, such as on your lower back.
You may even want to wear the posture shirt during your cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility training sessions. Your form and technique can become better, thanks to your improved posture. You will have an increased awareness of your posture during workouts, too.
You must keep in mind, nonetheless, that the Alignmed apparel will not increase your cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, and flexibility capacity. This isn’t performance-enhancing device but a posture-correcting device, an important difference.
According to the manufacturer and consumers, the proper and regular use of Alignmed posture shirts provides the following benefits:
- Improve the spinal alignment
- Decrease pain in the neck, shoulders and back
- Increase the activation of muscles in the abdomen, hips and knees, even in the ankles
- Improve shoulder strength, range of motion, and posture as well as scapular stability
- Increase in nerve conduction in the limbs including the elbows, wrists and hands
The shirt has also been used as an adjunct treatment for a wide range of injuries and illnesses. These include posture dysfunction, degenerative disc disease, lumbar instability, scoliosis, scapular dyskinesia, rotator cuff tear, tendinitis, golfer’s elbow, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, osteoarthritis, and snapping hip syndrome, among others. We suggest asking your doctor about other treatments including medications, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes along with the use of the Alignmed apparel.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the posture shirt.
- Clinically tested combined with anecdotal evidence from satisfied customers
- Recommended by physicians and physical therapists
- Effective in correcting posture
- Relieves discomfort or pain in the back
- Stylish design that allows it to be worn as innerwear or outerwear
- Snug yet comfortable fit
- Breathable fabric with moisture-wicking property
- Comes in several sizes
- Adjustment period of 2-3 days in case the wearer isn’t used to wearing snug clothes
- Spandex material can have a funky smell during the first day of use
- Expensive at more than $100
In conclusion, the Alignmed posture shirt is the best in its class! We highly recommend it for people who want to enjoy effective posture corrections with the use of an apparel, aside from the other treatments like lifestyle habits, medications, and physical therapy.