4.25 Star Rating
Who is Med Patent?
The Spidermed II is produced by Med Patent, a rehabilitation and orthopedic company that is based out of Warszawa, Poland. According to their website, for more than 25 years Med Patent has been making products that enable people to live an easier and more convenient life.
Aside from the Spidermed 2, the company also produces the Spidermed 1 which is similar in nature to the Spidermed 2 but focuses primarily on correcting shoulder slump.
In addition to the Spidermed line, Med Patent also manufactures the Dinopad Massage Mat, the Kangaroo Pregnancy Belt, and the Dinopad Mini Massage Mat.
Spidermed 2 – A Product description
You might be examining the above photo and are trying to figure out exactly what this product is and how it works. In past reviews, I have tested out a number of different posture braces/supports, exercisers, and even t-shirts that help to correct poor posture but never a posture trainer that uses an audible signal as a reminder which helps to retrain poor posture. This unique product caught my interest so I had to get my hands on one and see exactly how it worked.
First and foremost, it’s important to understand that the Spidermed II is not a posture brace and provides absolutely no support for your shoulders and back. At first glance, it does however appear to be quite similar to most traditional posture braces that are being sold. In short, if you are in search of a simple support and you order this product, you will likely be disappointed when your package arrives and you look inside.
However, if you are interested in trying a system that actually retrains your posture for long lasting results without becoming dependent on wearing a brace on a daily basis, this innovative product may be of interest to you.
There are four main components that make up this device – the figure-eight clavicle straps, a belt that wraps around your midsection, the main body, and the connecting strap that joins the clavicle straps to the main body. I’m going to briefly mention the significance of each component.
Figure-eight clavicle strap: These are a pair of adjustable elastic straps that are approximately 5/8″wide and wrap around each shoulder and join together at the center of the back using a metal ring. A plastic slide buckle on each strap allows for several inches of adjustment to accommodate nearly any size.
Midsection (stomach) belt: The midsection straps wrap around the waist and attach at the rear main body of the device. The longer section of the belt is made from a ridged nylon material and is approximately 1″ wide. It features a plastic adjustment slide which can accommodate a wide range of waist sizes. This part of the strap also contains the male end of the attachment buckle. The other piece of the waist belt is a shorter 1″ wide elastic belt which contains the female end of the attachment buckle. When worn, the male strap will of course lock in to the female strap.
Connector strap: This is simply a short piece of nylon strapping that joins the clavicle straps to the main body.
Main body: The main component of this device is the body. It’s an oval-shaped plastic electronic device that serves as an attachment point for both the clavicle connector strap and the midsection belt. Three straps (two from the midsection, one from the connector strap) all join together at the main body using metal fastening loops. Each metal loop attaches to a plastic ribbon loop which goes into the main body of the device. These plastic ribbons seem to be attached to an on/off switch which when pulled, activates an audible alarm.
How it works
Before you are able to use the Spidermed, you must first make a few adjustments so that it functions properly. Failure to make the proper adjustments will result in the alarm not activating as your posture begins to fail or worsen, or an alarm that continuously activates even while sitting up straight and using good posture.
Use the following steps to make the initial adjustments prior to wearing. These step takes a few minutes to complete and are easiest to do with the help of a partner. However, once the initial adjustment have been made, you can put it on and remove by yourself.
- Loosen the adjustment slide on each shoulder strap and and put an arm through each strap so that it forms a figure 8 on your back. Ensure that the straps lay flat and are not twisted.
- Loosen the waist strap so that it fits around your mid section. Fasten the male end of the strap into the female end.
- While looking in a mirror, straighten your posture. Your shoulders should be back, abs tight, and back straight.
- Have an assistant slide the adjustment buckles on both the shoulder straps and waist belt until snug.
- The last and most important step is to fine-tune the straps so that the slightest shoulder, back or stomach movement triggers the alarm. The key is to adjust so that the alarm doesn’t sound while using good posture yet activates whenever you begin to lean forward or your stomach relaxes and protrudes.
Once these initial fitting steps have been completed, you should be able to use this device without the help of an assistant.
How its used
After the initial fitting, you are ready to put the SpiderMed to work. When and how should you use this product?
According to the manufacturer, this product should be used in 15 minute increments 3 times per day. They further suggest that it can be used for longer periods of time and more often if you would like to achieve faster results.
It’s only appropriate to use it when preforming activities that involve limited movement. For instance, it can be used while seated behind a desk while working on a computer. You may also use it while watching television or any other sitting activity that doesn’t involve vigorous movement. The reason for this is because during activities such as walking, running, and bending, your muscles will naturally flex and move. The movement of your body will cause the alarm to sound constantly, even if you are using good posture. After a few minutes, you will no longer pay attention to the false alarms and the product would not be very useful.
With the device on and in the seated position, go about your activity as you normally would. If you begin to slouch forward or allow your abdominal muscles to relax and stomach protrude, the alarm will sound. When this occurs, simply return to the good posture position and the alarm will turn off on its own.
The idea is to constantly monitor your posture in real time and take immediate corrective action when you being to shift away from using good posture. By doing so, you are strengthening your postural muscles and retraining at the same time.
In addition to using this product, the manufacturer also offers instructions for 8 different exercises which will help to strengthen your postural muscles.
They also suggest a few diet changes such as cutting down on fat, drink plenty of water, and avoid carbonated drinks.
The cost of the Spidermed will vary depending upon the retailer from which it’s purchased. In the United States, this product costs between $40-$50 plus shipping. Compared to the average cost of a traditional brace, the Spidermed is slightly less expensive.
Two different sizes are available, regular and large. The regular size is for those with a waist that is between 23″ to 33″ while the large is for those with a waist from 33″ up to 43″. At the moment, there doesn’t appear to be a product that is available for those with a waist larger than 43″.
My experience testing the Spidermed II
My Spidermed arrived in the mail and was packaged inside of a retail carton. After unpacking and taking a quick look over the instructions, I was ready to get started.
While the manufacturer suggested having a partner assist with the fitting process, I decided to tackle this task by myself. I started by lengthening all of the straps and then putting it on. I put it on, just as I would a backpack and made adjustments to the belt so that it was barely snug with my stomach sucked in. I then took it off and shortened the shoulder straps a couple inches. I put it back on, tested the fit and ended up removing and adjusting the shoulder straps two more time before I found just the right position. A couple more tweaks to the waist belt and it was just right.
Completing the fitting process without assistance was actually fairly easy and all together took less than 5 minutes. I was ready to go!
While standing in the mirror, I intentionally moved my shoulders forward, no more than 1/4″ and the alarm sounded. It was somewhat of a pleasant sound alarm that sort of resembled the sounds of a canary. The alarm also sounded whenever I allowed my abs to relax and move out just a fraction of an inch. This product really lets you know immediately when your posture begins to suffer. Time to put it to the test.
The at work test
For the next three weeks, I tested this product out while working behind my computer. For years, I’ve always had a tendency to start my day by sitting up straight and somehow end up slouched down in my seat within a few minutes. Without the assistance of a brace, my bad posture habit always seems to return. The SpiderMed was particularly interesting to me because it allowed me to use my postural muscles instead of relying on a brace to keep me upright.
I started my day by strapping it on and going to work. It wasn’t very long before the sound of chirping greeted me from behind, reminding me to sit up straight and suck it in. I responded by pulling my shoulders back into position but once again, a couple minutes later, the alarm sounded reminding me to straighten up. Withing the first 15 minutes of wearing it, I must have caught myself slouching at least six times. Well, it definitely lets you know when you are not using good posture!
After the first 15 minutes, it was time for a break. I took it off and tried to sit upright for the next 3 hours. After lunch I put the SpiderMed back on and went through the process all over again for another 15 minutes.
As the manufacturer suggested, I used it for a third time towards the end of the work day. Before retiring to bed, I noticed that my abs and neck were somewhat sore from my attempt to sit up straight all day.
I continued on for the next three weeks, gradually increasing my wear time from 15 minutes up to 25 minutes. I would often wear it 4 times per day instead of the suggested 3 times.
During the last couple days of week three I decided to test this product in conjunction with another product that I use on a regular basis, the Alignmed Posture Shirt. In the past, I have added the posture shirt to my arsenal of tools to combat my bad posture. I thought that the two products together would complement each other because they work in completely different ways.
The Spidermed alerts you as you begin to slouch while the Posture Shirt actually interacts with neuron receptors in your back to help realign your posture. The results – a one-two punch that was quite effective. I found the SpiderMed was activating less often when worn with the Posture Shirt. I was able to continue improving my posture with the posture shirt while not using the Spidermed.
One downfall of this product was that the alert sound became muffled while leaning back against my computer chair. The speaker becomes covered and you are unable to hear if the alert goes off. In most cases, I found that while using good posture your back typically doesn’t rest against the back support of the chair so this wasn’t much of an issue. However, if I drifted back into my seat, the alarm was silenced by the backrest.
The Spidermed is a unique product that is in a league of it’s own. It was created by a rehabilitation specialist and is recommended by the National Institute of Public Health.
It’s surprisingly effective and serves as an immediate reminder when your posture begins to suffer.
Due to the nature of this product, you are actually strengthening your muscles instead of relying on a support to hold your body upright. During the first couple of weeks you will feel sore from using muscles that are usually not used. Within a week or two, this soreness goes away and with time, you will begin to develop the habit of using good posture.
Overall, this product is incredibly effective and well designed. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in changing their bad posture habits. Keep in mind that it’s going to take work and you will be uncomfortable for several days as your body becomes accustomed to sitting up straight.
If you are dedicated and are willing to use this device as intended (along with regular strengthening exercises), you will benefit from using this product.
Pros vs Cons
- Created by rehabilitation specialists & NIPH recommended
- Serves as a reminder, not a support
- Helps to strengthen and retrain posture muscles
- Provides long lasting results
- At $40-$50 (USD) it’s relatively inexpensive
- Works just as advertised.
- Sound is muffled if you place your back against the back rest
- Requires effort in order to work
Still Need Help Choosing a Posture Brace?
From posture supports and resistance trainers to biofeedback shirts, there are well over 100 products that are currently being sold in stores and online. With so many to choose from, finding one that delivers can be challenging to say the least.
After evaluating over 25 of the most popular products being sold, I have created this Posture brace comparison table which assigns a ranking to each product based on criteria such as comfort, effectiveness, innovativeness, durability, and cost.