Most people will have back pain sometime in their lives. Almost anything can cause a back injury. Lifting things by bending your legs and keeping your back straight can help prevent an injury, but not everyone remembers that advice all the time.
Bracing the lower back can help by stabilizing and protecting the back. Keep in mind that braces can’t cure your back problems, but they can help reduce pain and promote healing.
When to Use a Back Brace
As with any type of pain, if it is so bad you can’t move without feeling severe pain, see a doctor. The same goes if mild or moderate pain does not go away after a few days.
If the pain is moderate, bracing it as soon as the pain begins can help give enough support to keep you moving. Staying immobile is bad for the back.
Don’t use a brace for more than a few days unless specifically directed by your medical professional. If you use it more, the back muscles can get used to the brace and could lose strength.
Medical professionals often recommend back braces for people with chronic or acute back pain. A custom fit back brace is a very smart idea if you have had a spinal procedure or a spinal surgery, no matter how minimal the surgery. These braces are custom fit to you with added support based on your specific injury. This brace should be used for support immediately following the procedure especially if anesthesia is utilized.
Because of the possibility of friction between the skin and the brace, you might want to wear a shirt under the brace.
Types of Back Braces
There are several types of back braces; soft corset, semi-rigid, and custom molded. All have the goal of limiting the back’s range of motion, but the custom ones are the most restrictive, then the semi-rigid, followed by the soft corset.
There are also braces designed specifically for certain purposes like industrial work and athletic activities.
The prices and materials of the different kinds of braces vary. Some are available in drugstores, others only come after a prescription from a doctor.
No matter which type you buy, make sure the brace fits you and the natural curvature of your spine. It should be in contact with all areas of your back and fit snug, but not too tight. It should be comfortable and feel supportive.
Look for a brace that seems durable and is easy to clean. Materials like nylon, polyester, and rubber are simple to clean.
Some braces have removable inserts for additional support. The adjustability also varies, so look for that. Also, check for padding that might make the brace feel a bit more comfortable.
How Do Back Braces Work?
The types of braces from the drugstore limit the movement in the spine and can relieve the pressure on some parts of the back. They can help improve posture and reduce the load on the lower back and can help make movements like transitioning from sitting to standing more comfortable.
Straps help to tighten the brace around the body, compressing the core muscles and stabilizing the area around the spine. Intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) can counter the forces on the spine, allowing the stabilization.
The medical professionals at B3 Medical can discuss the use of back braces with you. They study the source of your pain and help you get your life back. Contact the office today to schedule a complimentary pain evaluation.