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Clothing May Improve Posture, Ease Back Pain

BOSTON (CBS) - Office Manager Nicole Klein spends eight to ten hours a day sitting at her desk. "I've always had bad posture but it's made it worse," she says.

By the time Klein gets home she says her lower back, neck, and shoulders are in pain. She says, "I think it's due to so many hours hunched over."

Doctors say poor posture is a real problem for millions of people. "As we get older and exercise less the muscles get weaker and gravity tends to pull us forward. This can lead to long-standing neck and back pain," says Dr. Peter McCann an orthopedic surgeon.

But now several clothing manufacturers say they can help ease these aches and pains with therapeutic clothing. Polyester bands are strategically placed to gently pull the shoulders back realigning the spine to normal posture. There are also shirts that contain an electronic sensor. That sensor can detect when the wearer begins to slouch. It then vibrates reminding them to straighten up.

Dr. McCann says these shirts are great aids, but the results are are only temporary. He says, "To rely on the shirt rather than exercises and getting your muscles stronger, I think will lead to failure."

Dr. McCann says for permanent results you need to do the work yourself and says a simple exercise can help. Just shrug your shoulders up, then back and hold for a count of two and repeat. And getting out from behind that desk a little bit more probably won't hurt either.

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