The Pro-Lite Deluxe clavicle support by FLA is a figure-eight style brace that can be used to assist with sprains, shoulder instability, clavicle fractures, and fibromyalgia. This product is actually manufactured by BSN medical and sold by FLA.
During this review, we will be discussing the use of this product as it relates to correcting rounded shoulders and neck forward posture.
With today’s modern western lifestyle involving very little physical activity and sitting still most of the day, it is estimated that up to 90% of Americans use head forward posture, causing excessive stress to the neck and shoulders. The Prolite Deluxe helps to correct the common issue of poor posture. Ultimately, the goal is to relieve the excessive strain by forming better posture habits.
Figure-eight supports such as the ProLite have been around for decades and there is good reason for this. They are inexpensive, effective, and have helped people of all ages achieve better posture.
They work by providing support to the shoulders which helps to keep your shoulders back and prevents head forward posture.
Such supports should be used as a coaching tool and not necessarily worn all day long over a long period of time. Most physicians recommend wearing a clavicle brace for about an hour each day which will help you relearn what good posture should feel like.
The design of the Prolite is not necessarily innovative but is actually quite basic.
At the center of the brace is a large hard plastic ring which serves as an attachment point for the shoulder straps. Two padded shoulder straps attach at the top of the ring and wrap over top of each shoulder before once again joining the ring at the center of the back.
Each shoulder strap incorporates a velcro adjustment which allows for an inch or so adjustment. The velcro attaches to the shoulder strapping material.
As for quality, the Prolite seems to be made incredibly well considering it’s low price. In fact, several buyers have commented on the better than expected quality.
The most notable feature of this support is it’s rigid design. Some products offer some degree of flexibility while others do not. Whether or not you choose a ridged support is a matter of personal preference. For instance, a non-flexible design might be ideal for an office worker who remains in a fixed position for an extended period of time. Likewise, someone who plans to use this support while moving about might find a ridged design to be to restrictive.
Another notable feature is the padded design of this product. While the thick material may cause excessive sweating, especially in warmer climates, the padded material will quickly absorb and wick away moisture.
Size and Color Options
FLA Orthopedics only offers this clavicle support in the color navy blue and does not currently sell it in white or any other color.
It is sold in five different sizes ranging from x-small to x-large. FLA recommends purchasing the next size up if your measurements fall on the upper end of the provided dimensions. This is because they tend to run a bit on the smaller side and a snug. You want them to be snug, but not too tight in order to achieve results. Remember to measure the circumference around your chest and under the arm pits.
The following should give you an idea of what size to purchase.
- 19.75″-25.5″ X-Small
- 25.5″-31.5″ Small
- 31.5″-37.38″ Medium
- 37″-42.25″ Large
- 43.25″-49.25″ X-large
One of the more appealing aspects of the ProLite is its price. FLA doesn’t sell this product directly to the consumer on their website. Instead, they rely on a number of retailers in both brick and mortar locations as well as online.
Because they are sold at the retail level through many different sellers, the price is going to vary slightly. On average, this price of this product should be somewhere in the $24-$30 range. In comparison to other posture supports, this one is priced significantly lower.
Can it be concealed?
The Prolite is concealable to some degree. The dark blue color and thickness of the straps are two factors that will determine the degree in which it can be concealed.
Naturally, a dark colored brace underneath a light color shirt will reveal itself so you may be limited to the color of clothing that you are able to wear with this support.
Also, straps are padded and are about 1/4″ thick. Take this into consideration when wearing clothing that is tight fitting in nature.
In other words, it should conceal well under darker colored, loose fitting clothing. Wearing lighter colored, tight fitting clothing will likely cause the ProLite to be revealing.
Can I sleep in it?
You may be wondering if you can or should wear this support while asleep. It is uncommon and most experts will agree that wearing this support or any other while asleep is never a good idea. Such supports should only be worn while awake and for a limited period of time. Wearing for a prolonged period of time can actually cause posture to worsen.
What’s being said about the ProLite?
Mixed reviews online give us some insight into this product. In general, most who have tried it are fairly satisfied with their purchase. Others however have expressed discontent with their purchase.
One common complaint has to do with the overall design of the product. Since it’s snug fitting and wraps under the shoulder, several have complained that the tight fitting nature of the shoulder straps cuts off circulation under the armpit, resulting in numbness of the arms.
Others complain that wearing this product is uncomfortable. Unfortunately, this is a common complaint for anyone who is not accustomed to wearing a brace and has bad posture. When using this support or any one that is similar in style, your body is going to ache for the first week or two as you become accustomed to wearing one. Over time, your postural muscles will strengthen and the discomfort will subside.
For years, figure-8 braces such as the ProLite have been the standard when it comes to posture braces. They are inexpensive and can be effective if you were to stick with using one. The ProLite is basic and inexpensive although there are concerns when it comes to it causing numbness in the arms.
In recent years several new posture improving products have entered the market and have drawn a lot of attention. Among these are posture t-shirts and electronic posture trainers.
Posture shirts such as the Alignmed Posture Shirt have revolutionized the way that we correct poor posture. Instead of a rigid brace, these shirts are made from a spandex type material and have elastic bands which help to activate muscle movement and correct poor posture. Such shirts are clinically proven to improve posture and do not restrict movement as traditional supports do. They are worn like a t-shirt and are generally machine washable.
One downside is that they are usually a bit more expensive than a standard clavicle brace.
Electronic coaches such as the Lumo Lift are also relatively new and a great alternative to a standard brace. This particular product attaches to your clothing and senses the movement of your upper body. When ever you begin to slouch, the sensor detects your body postion and sends out a gentle vibration to remind you to pull your shoulders back and resume good posture. This particular product allows you to sync the sensor to your smart phone and will record your posture throughout the day and will even provide real time feedback on your phone.
Posture trainers such as the Lumo Lift are easy to use and do not restrict movement. They allow you to be in control while correcting your posture. Once again, they are usually more expensive than a standard brace.
If you are not interested in spending more than $30 on a solution for your posture and are okay with wearing a rigid support then the ProLite may be a good choice.
For others who are able to spend a few more dollars and are interested in a more innovative and arguably better solution, a posture shirt or electronic trainer may be the better option.
Whether you choose this product or any other, it’s equally important to incorporate exercises designed to strengthen your posture into your weekly routine. Poor posture is caused be the habit of sitting and standing improperly for many years. Correcting it will require strengthening muscles that have become weakened over the years as well as becoming more aware of your posture by using a support or training device.
Over time, with commitment your great posture will slowly return to normal which will benefit your health in several ways.
Pros V Cons
- Padded straps can be comfortable
- Simple and effective
- Relatively inexpensive
- Available in 5 sizes
- Can be concealed under dark, lose fitting clothing
- May cut off circulation under arms
- Difficult to conceal under tight fitting or light colored clothing
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- One-size-fits-most unisex design
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- Comfortable and durable reinforced material
- Comes with removable armpit cushions
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- Simple yet effective