My Back is in Pain - Do I need a back or lumbar brace?
My back hurts!! - mine did - I got a back brace and it really helped my recovery.
Maybe you tripped, maybe your posture is not correct or maybe you strained your back lifting something at work. - whatever the cause we answer the common questions like
The answer to these questions does vary with each individual - however we will give you the low down on these back support braces and how they may help you in your recovery or prevention of back pain.
Research has also shown there is a benefit in using these devices for helping to relieve back pain and strain, but also in the recovery.
What are the different types of back braces for lumbar support?
Flexible back brace
Full back brace
These look a bit like a corset that women used to wear, this is the backbrace that helped me.
They extend from the lower back up to the mid range area. Often they will have vertical support rods that make them semi rigid.
A back belt is positioned lower down the back - and these are often made of stronger material or webbing giving good support for lower back pain, sprains and strain.
Rigid Back Brace
These are more frequently used after operations.
There are two flaps on the side of the brace that wrap around the front securing the brace via strong velcro and allowing you to adjust for comfort and support.
Typically there is a hard insert that keeps the back straight and in a healthy posture position.
How does a back brace work?
Do I need a back brace or belt?
A posture belt will help to protect and support your back. It may help to speed up the healing process as well as easing your pain.
These devices are really popular and in my research (and my own experience) do help in the first few weeks after a back issue. However they are not a substitute for professional advice - but rather an aid.
I found for the first 10 days mine was great - it reduced the pain, protected and reminded me not to over move, i.e it restricted my movement. After those 10 days I was able to take it off for most of the day. I also started regular exercises to strengthen my stomach as associated muscles.
If you’ve had back surgery you may also have to wear a back belt until your back starts to recover. These are the full rigid type are often recommended by your health professional .Usually this belt will be the full type and support the spine, muscles and soft tissue.
Prevention - Even if you’ve never hurt your back, or when a back injury has healed, you can still benefit from wearing a back or lumbar belt. Wearing a good quality back belt when lifting heavy objects can protect your back.
How to select and use a back support or posture brace.
When you’re choosing a back belt it’s important to select one that fits well. Before you buy a back belt you should measure around the fullest part of your middle stomach so that you order the correct size. People often make the mistake of ordering a belt in their waist size but the belt doesn’t go around the waist - it goes around your stomach or abdomen.
Use common sense when putting on the posture device. It should be snug, but not too tight. It shouldn’t hamper your breathing.
When using a back brace wear them for one to two weeks. If you wear them longer the muscles can start to adapt and they can lose strength, which can lead to more problems.
Do not become brace-dependent.
Start working on strengthening your core muscles that support your back. This is important for the long term and reducing the risk of back injury.
Do figure out your own physical limits to avoid re-injuring your back – both when you're wearing a back brace and after you've stopped using it. Stop whenever you have the slightest feeling of discomfort.
Back Brace Checklist
Buy a belt that fits well.
Check the length of the fastening straps.
Choose a brace that’s adjustable.
Buy a support that’s well made and durable.
Buy a brace that’s easy to put on.
Use a belt that can be washed.
Summary: Back and Lumbar Support
If you give your back some support you can help to prevent painful injuries and reduce the pain and discomfort in the recovery phase.
Always seek medical advice for back pain and if your back is in bad pain, or stiff to move please see a medical professional immediately.
What Is the Best Back Belt for Back Pain? We examined a number of back belts that are suitable for people who are suffering from different types of lower back pain. We looked at quality, price, comfort and the support that each back belt provides.
We’ve reviewed them and listed some pros and cons for each one.