Dwight Howard credits protective undershirt for improving his back, shoulder

The tight undershirt Dwight Howard wears under his jersey may look nothing more than just another accessory.

But the device has actually played a large part in Howard healing from 10-month-old back surgery.

“It does a pretty good job in keeping everything straight as far as my back and my shoulder,” Howard said Thursday after morning shootaround at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo. “It makes sure everything is aligned. A lot of people think it’s a regular polo T, but it’s not. It’s a shirt that was made strictly for posture and making sure it stays like that.”

As the Lakers (28-30) host the Minnesota Timberwolves (20-34) tonight at Staples Center, Howard has other issues to confront.

He’s nursed a torn labrum in his right shoulder for the past two months, which initially sidelined him for two games. It was aggravated about a month ago, forcing him to miss two more games.

Howard has gone through frequent icing and electronic stimulation. He tries to minimize posting low so he’s not as vulnerable to physical contact.

“If anybody who has a torn labrum, it’s not something you feel all the time or that it’s something that bothers you when you’re walking or working out,” Howard said. “There’s moments when you feel really good and moments where somebody pulls you or hits you in the wrong direction. That’s when your arm goes numb. It just depends.”

How frequent does that happen in a game?

“As of late, it hasn’t been there that much,” Howard said. “The shirt I’ve been wearing has helped me out a lot. I’ll continue to wear that.”

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at mark.medina@dailynews.com