Professionals and amateurs alike have discovered a new technology, Neurobands, to optimize their performance on the field and alleviate pain from current and prior injuries.
Developed with the help of a 16-member team of physicians, trainers and other specialists, Neurobands mimic contractions that stimulate neuron pathways in specific muscles so they continuously adjust muscle balance to keeping the skeleton in alignment.
"Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, who's had repeated neck and back injuries and multiple surgeries, now has eight therapeutic shirts with built-in Neurobands and wears them pretty much every day," says Bill Schultz, who brought the technology to market via his company, AlignMed, www.alignmed.com.
"Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard began wearing MyLign shirts after suffering a torn labrum (shoulder injury) in January 2013 when he was with the Lakers. The National Basketball Association approved it as a medical device."
And Diana Nyad wore one when she made her record-breaking swim from Cuba to the Keys last year," he says.
Nyad, who injured her shoulder in her 2011 crossing attempt, can be heard asking during a training session, "When are we gonna put my shirt back on?" in the 2013 documentary, "The Other Shore: The Diana Nyad Story."
How and why do therapeutic posture shirts work?
• Body alignment and good posture are the key recognizable characteristics of human health and a fundamental requirement for performance. The skeletal system will best support the weight and forces put on the body using the least amount of energy when it is correctly aligned. However, many people, including professional athletes, have a difficult time maintaining perfect alignment, or posture, either because they've had an injury that impedes it or because they're unable to do so without making a conscious effort. "These shirts are actually even more helpful and effective for people who sit at desks all day, since they tend to sit with their head forward," Schultz says.
• Compression shirts don't perform the same function. Compression shirts are designed to indiscriminately squeeze regional body parts. The only scientifically validated benefit is increased blood flow in the legs when certain regions are compressed, Schultz says, adding compression garments tend to be worn more for an aesthetic the wearer hopes to achieve.
• Correct alignment improves blood flow and reduces stress on joints. Increased blood flow improves muscle strength. In one of the independent studies done on AlignMed Posture Shirts, the University of Southern California tested pitchers' velocity, accuracy and throwing arm physiology when wearing the shirts and when wearing their usual game day undergarments. Velocity increased 1.47 mph and an overall 23.5 percent improvement in accuracy. "Reducing the excess force on joints cuts down on fatigue, the No. 1 cause of injury," Schultz says.