If you sit long enough you will start to slump, your spine will compress, your neck will stiffen up, and things will generally get out of alignment. Repeat that over a period of time and all kinds of other problems—headaches, back pain, etc.—can develop. An ergonomically designed chair like the Aeron can help. Getting up periodically an walking around can help. A device such as the ARC can help.
What is the ARC? The ARC is a postural support device conceived by Gene Shirokobrod at Verve to give users relief for headaches, neck, and back pains resulting from prolong sitting and other bad-posture-inducing situations.
The device itself is pretty simple looking:
- Rigid PVC extruded body with a slightly curved shape
- The curve is covered by a neoprene closed cell memory foam neck pad
- On the edges are removable santoprene rubber pressure bumpers
The ARC comes in Regular (for users 5’4″ or taller) and Small (for users shorter than 5’4″). The goal of the ARC is to help the user align the spine is at its optimal angle. Proper alignment of the spine distributes the forces (of gravity, of being an upright animal) and reduces the stress on the joints, nerves, and muscles. The ARC is designed to correct posture issues, but is also good for for spinal exercises and to improve blood flow. We’ll look into those aspect in a future report.
When used lying down, the shape of the ARC applies pressure on trigger points by using the weight of the head to push its rubber inserts on the skull’s sub-occipital muscles, creating relaxation of the muscles and relief from pain and headaches.
The ARC may also be used while seated to help keep the head and spine in proper alignment. Note that there is nothing for the user to actually “do” while using the ARC. The device, when in place, will automatically promote proper posture and alignment.
Folks here do sit around a lot so there was no lack of potential test subjects. A few of us gave the ARC a try and one had immediate success with a nagging lower-back pain after just 10 minutes. The result was immediately and noticeable. We will follow up and report in the Summer to let readers know whether the relief was a one-time thing or something a bit more permanent. So far, things are looking good!