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Clothes that can help ease your pain

March 10, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Those with chronic body pain are aware of its ability to limit function and quality of life. Now imagine clothing you can wear that alleviates that pain with a series of bands that encourage perfect posture.

"Despite having MS and despite my body basically having such difficulties moving, being able to stand in proper posture is priceless," said Keith Gouverneur.

He has multiple sclerosis, a disease that over time can leave those who have it unable to do the things most take for granted, like moving around easily or even just standing up straight.

But the 'posture shirt', a high tech garment, is helping Gouverneur gain mobility. It was created by Bill Schultz to help ease his lower back pain. He worked with a physician who had invented a jacket with Velcro pulls in key areas that mimic a physical therapist's taping.

"He put the straps on my shoulder, he put them on my back and it took away the pressures and the pains that I was having in my lower back," said Schultz, founder of Alignmed, Inc. "In six weeks, my spine pain had all but gone away and I was no longer a candidate for surgery."

The clothes work on connective tissue and appear to show promise in helping some avoid surgery. "This does not replace what the body needs to do. It's an assistant," cautioned Schultz.

Stretching and strengthening still remain necessary.

To keep good posture you don't have to wear the clothing all the time. Studies indicate that the bands inside the clothing stimulate nerves that control muscle stimulation that can actually train the body to realign.

For Gouverneur, it's a blessing.

"Tomorrow will never be better than today. If tomorrow is the same as today it's a major triumph," he said.

The shirts cost about $100 and the pants cost $190. Insurance companies vary on coverage.