Wow, when Backjoy said they were out to, “Change Your Posture. Change Your Life.” they weren’t kidding.
It’s a well-crafted phrase that sums up Backjoy’s promises, likely crafted by someone who makes more than I do, which is kind of fair considering all I ever come up with are lame puns and even lamer copy. But for the love of postures and lives improved around the world, someone please find this person and give him or her a Pulitzer or maybe a new crystal ball, because this is prophetic.
And to think, if I didn’t suffer through a lumbar strain, I wouldn’t have known about this sorcery. All the decisions I’ve made in life have led me towards owning a Backjoy, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Back in late August, I was carrying a rather light load of laundry when I felt an odd tightness on my lower back. I do lift weights in the gym and haven’t been injured at all, so I’d like to assume my form was fine, if not necessarily perfect. Thought nothing of it, until I realized I was experiencing mild discomfort whenever I transition between lying down, sitting up, and standing. A physical therapist friend, the therapreneur himself Vincent Gaton, recommended some light stretches, which did help ease the pain over the course of the week.
I thought all was fine and dandy until, the following Friday when I was picking up my bag from the car floor (don’t judge), I felt sharp, stabby pains down my back which made it hard to stand up, and so I collapsed onto the backseat. Sh*t, I thought, I’m only 27. And then, remembering I still had a client waiting, I bye-Felicia’d the pain and wobbled all the way to my meeting. Suffering in silence with a smile, I could hear my college English professor narrating my life.
Long story short, the good Dr. Condor from Cebu Orthopaedic Institute called it a lumbar strain, gave me muscle relaxants and painkillers that made me loopy for ten days, and advised me a bunch of other stuff:
"Don't gain weight."
"PT or yoga or swimming thrice a week."
"Medications and painkillers for 10 days."
"No prolonged sitting. Stretch every 30 minutes."
"No high heels."
— Patty Taboada (@pattymanuelle) August 26, 2018
Thankfully, the alcohol ban only lasted for as long as I was on meds.
High heels, though, were a very different story, but even I couldn’t prioritize that immediately because sitting hurt, guys, and standing up was exhausting too. It came to a point I was so frustrated and didn’t know what to do.
The good doctor had actually recommended a Backjoy as an option, although I initially balked because, well, it’s kinda pricey. He had also said there is technically a way to emulate how to sit like you would on a Backjoy, which I attempted but could never be too sure if I was doing right. So one day I was like, oh, f*ck it, let’s get a Backjoy. And here we are.
There’s a small stall in SM City Cebu, but their actual store at the City Wing of SM Seaside City Cebu is where the party is at. There are several options—the classic Sit Smart Posture+ made of EVA foam, the Sit Smart Relief with a fabric cover and a cushion, and the Sit Smart Traction, similar to the relief but with grips to keep your butt from slipping off.
After going back and forth on things, I decided on a Sit Smart Traction, if only for the slight price difference between that and the classic one. I also gravitate towards clothing with smooth fabrics, so I thought the one with the grips was a worthwhile investment.
Since I got it, I’ve been using it in the office when I’m sitting down for long amounts of time, and in the car because traffic has been ridiculous in Cebu these days. Who knew something as simple as this little piece of plastic could make such a difference? Just the sheer comfort of not having pressure on my tailbone has been life-changing.
I didn’t want to be too dependent on the Backjoy, but loathe as I am to admit it, I start feeling strained well within two hours of not using it. Thanks to a little handle, it is fairly easy to carry around, and it fits into one of the laptop bags, so I’ve been bringing it around malls and coffee shops and restaurants on occasion. I have reached peak Tita levels.
The funny thing that happened when I got a Backjoy—because no, my title is not clickbait—is that out of sheer frustration that I’ve basically had to swap my high heels for the Backjoy these days, I’ve turned it into an accidental fashion accessory.
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On a scale of having doctors orders not to wear heels to actually carrying around a Backjoy, how Tita are you? 😂 Black turtleneck and cream leather jacket from @forever21, leather handbag from @ysl, ₱200 pompom slides from Gaisano Moalboal (natch), and back support by @backjoyphilippines . . 📸 @overkill_001 | #fujifilmph #fujifilmphlifestyle #fujifilmxa3 #photography #photooftheday #instagood #ootd #fashion #style #backjoy #backjoyph #cebu #cebucity #philippines
Since that post went up, I’ve gotten several messages from people just sharing they also have a Backjoy and that it’s been good for them, while most have been questions on how it works and whether it really makes any difference. And to my extreme amusement, I convinced two people to get one for themselves. Exhibit A:
Shamazing. I am cackling to the ends of the world, and back.
On a more serious note, it’s good that I was able to converse with people about bad backs. I don’t know about you, but I take sitting down for granted, something I’ve noticed since getting my lumbar strain. Judging by the number of reactions I got from people, bad backs are a prevalent problem—one that, now I know, can be remedied by a simple contraption. If my meant-as-a-joke OOTDs and frustrated back-related Tweets can help people, then so be it.
Also, just to hop back on the Tita train, I’m eyeing this Trigger Point Massager, as demonstrated by Rider’s Block because, why not? Nothing beats getting a massage, but to be able to take care of some knots on your own won’t hurt (or it will).