About Smart Back
Smart Back is an adjustable, one-size-fits-all posture sling that’s claimed to instantly adjust your posture and alleviate pressure on your back. Smart Back accomplishes this by providing “powerful lumbar support,” which aligns your body and immediately corrects your slouch or slump.
According to the manufacturer, Smart Back is portable and discreet enough to be worn underneath your clothes. This means Smart Back can be used anywhere you go, including at the office, at home while watching TV, while attending sporting events, and more.
In addition, Smart Back is claimed to be easy to use, working over 3 simple steps:
- Wrap the padded Smart Back brace around your back.
- Anchor the cushion straps to your knee.
- Pull the straps to your desired tightness to provide “perfect alignment.”
With this said, are there even any advantages to improving your posture?
Are There Any Benefits to Proper Posture?
In short, there are many. According to the American Chiropractic Association, this includes maintaining proper bone and joint alignment, reducing stress on spinal joints, helping muscles work more efficiently, and preventing muscular strain and pain. As such, while Smart Back may not directly provide any pain relief, the improved posture it provides may reduce some of your back-related pain.
This brings us to another important aspect you should keep in mind about Smart Back.
What Is “Lumbar Support?”
When talking about proper posture, your lumbar region, which references the abdominal section of your torso, can’t be ignored. Why? Because this area acts as a “pivot point” between your head, neck, and shoulders, and your hips.
And by pulling this region into an ideal position, it will naturally align the remainder of your spine, thereby potentially reducing pain. Which is basically what Smart Back claims to do, so it’s realistic that it might work as advertised.
However, based on the demonstration in the Smart Back commercial, we noticed two things that could prevent you from achieving optimum benefits:
- First, just because your spine is aligned, this doesn’t mean you’ll be comfortable (or that it will reduce pain, although we’ll discuss in the next section). This might be especially true if you’ve been sitting with bad posture for years, and your body has become used to the position.
- Second, depending on how much support you need, as well as the fact that your knees are providing the bulk of this, we could potentially see an opportunity for knee pain. On top of this, there doesn’t appear to be much padding in the knee region, which might further exacerbate your pain.
Speaking of pain, there’s one big caveat to keep in mind about Smart Back, which we’ll talk about next.
Pain is an Individual Experience
Remember that finding a solution to the back pain you’re experiencing is a very personalized process, so what works for you may be completely useless for someone else.
For example, even if you and your neighbor are suffering from back stiffness or pain, they may have completely different causes. Yours might be the result of a slipped disc, while theirs might have been caused by muscle strain. As such, although you’re both experiencing back pain that might be exacerbated when sitting, they have different causes, and thus different treatments, which we’ll detail next.
For now though, if you’d like an in-depth look at this topic, be sure to read through our article Winning the Battle Against Sciatica & Chronic Back Pain.
Other Back Pain Treatments
As we mentioned above, effectively treating your back pain is a highly personalized experience, which involves not just personal preference, but also the underlying cause based on your doctor’s diagnosis.
Because there are almost as many causes of back pain as there are sufferers, a whole industry of back products exists, including braces such as BeActive Brace and Royal Posture, belts such as Dr. Ho’s Compression Belt and OneBack Belt, devices such as Kyrobak and BackBridge, and even cushions such as WedgyWedge and Smushion.
In addition to these, there are many options fairly similar to Smart Back, which you can see for yourself by entering the phrase “posture sling” or “lumbar belt” into your favorite search engine.
But who makes Smart Back, anyway?
Smart Back’s Manufacturer
Smart Back is manufactured by up-and-coming “As Seen on TV” company Spark Innovators, who manufactures many popular ASOTV products such as InVinceable, Engrave-It Pro, and more. And with nearly 100 HighYa reader reviews, these products have an average rating of 1.5 stars, with common complaints citing failure to work as advertised and high price.
Admittedly, this doesn’t mean you’ll experience the same with Smart Back, although it’s certainly something you’ll want to keep in mind prior to placing your order.
Smart Back Pricing & Refund Policy
Two Smart Back posture braces are priced at $19.99 plus $15.98 S&H (don’t worry, there’s nothing wrong with your eyes—they really do cost almost as much as the product itself!).
Smart Back comes with a 60-day refund policy. Although the product’s commercial indicates this includes S&H charges, the refund policy on their website states that refunds are less S&H charges.
Ultimately, this means that by the time you return your Smart Back braces to the manufacturer, you’ll likely lose more in non-refundable S&H charges than you’ll receive as a refund.
In order to request a refund, you’ll need to contact customer service at 866-304-4199.
Is Smart Back Your Solution for Better Posture & Pain Relief?
Taking all of this information into consideration, if your back pain is caused or aggravated by poor posture and starts from your lumbar region, then Smart Back might be a hit. On the other hand, if you’re not within this fairly narrow portion of back pain sufferers, then Smart Back might end up as a flop.
Even if it does help though, remember that with Smart Back’s fairly obvious knee straps, you’re definitely not going to look cool. Sure, you might get some stares in public, but it might not exactly be the kind of attention you’re looking for.
In addition, keeping in mind that you’ll lose more in S&H charges as you’ll receive as a refund, as well as the fact that other lumbar support solutions are probably available at local retailers, you might want to explore these options before placing your order.