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You are bound to experience back pain at one point in your life. Most causes of back pain usually include disorders and injury, but a significant number of cases range from bad posture to improper lifting. One of the most common ways of improving posture and preventing back pain is by wearing the right type of back brace.
A back brace serves different purposes for a range of conditions. Ultimately, its main role is to help limit spine mobility and provide enough support. However, you’ll need to use the brace as instructed by the physician for best results.
A back brace is designed to hold up your back in the right position and prevent any strain when you sit or stand. They are best suited for wearing in different situations including at work and when exercising among others. However, back braces are only recommended for short term relief. Wearing it for longer can cause dependence which ultimately results in weakening the back, worsen pain and increased chances of injury.
Remember, back braces are not supposed to be work all the time because excessive use can result in weakening of the core and muscle atrophy. Plus, you don’t have to wear a brace if the doctor doesn’t see the need for it. It’s also important to note that back braces are not supposed to be worn all the time.
Conditions Where Back Braces are Useful
- Spinal Stenosis
- Facet Syndrome
- Degenerative disc disease
- Acute sprain or strain
- Fracture management
- Herniated or bulging disc
- Post-surgery support – laminectomy, discectomy and fusion
- Instability – traumatic or chronic
- Postural or deconditioned back pain
Benefits of Wearing Back Braces
It’s important to get a back brace that feels supportive, fits you well, is comfortable and serves its intended purpose which is helping relieve pain. Professionally fit back braces usually provide a safe and equally non-invasive treatment for back injuries and helps prevent chronic conditions from intensifying. Here’s a breakdown of some of the benefits of wearing back braces:
Immobilization is quite beneficial for the spine and back alike. Unnecessary movement helps prevent back pain especially after a spinal surgery or any back injuries. In some situations, immobilization is important for the back to properly heal. And this is where a back brace comes into play as it helps prevent major movements around the back area.
Some of these movements include rotation, extension and flexion. In this case, the back brace will work to prevent you from using the back fully to avoid further injuries and back pain. Ensure you get the right type of brace if you’re using it to reduce unnecessary mobility. Remember, there’s a wide range of back braces available on the market that offer added protection.
Helps Improve Posture
The spine should be upright, core tucked in, chest up and shoulders back. However, most of us can’t hold that position hence tend to slouch and that makes the spine curve. Bad posture can result in severe back pain, spinal weakness and deformities in some cases. Plus, it makes you more susceptible to injuries.
Wearing a back brace is one of the easiest ways to ensure healthy spine alignment as it forces the back at a straight position.
Prevent Back Pain
Back pain always ranges from mild to severe and can affect your day-to-day operations like walking, working and exercising. A mild back pain can be a slight inconvenience you can’t say the same about a severe one. In this case, a back brace will come in handy to help prevent unnecessary movements that can further damage the back. This in turn strengthens the back muscles and aligns the spine.
A back brace can also help take support off some vital parts of the back like vertebrae, invertebral discs along with the spine. As a result, it alleviates the stress that these parts endure when supporting the back resulting in pain relief.
Braces are Easy to Wear
Back braces are easy to wear and take off and can remain virtually invisible underneath clothing. However, you need to ensure you are wearing the right size. This means that it has to cover your tailbone and lower back fully. It should neither be too snug nor too loose.
Helps Treat Different Back Conditions
Back braces are not a cure but they usually help manage the symptoms of different back conditions including scoliosis, spinal fractures, back muscle sprains, spinal tumors, spondylolisthesis, kyphosis and whiplash among others. However, you need to consult with a physician before you start wearing a back brace.
Helps Strengthen the Back and Core
Wearing the right type of back brace helps in strengthening the core and back. The core should support your whole body and not the back. However, most people have a weak core so the entire support falls on the back which can result in severe pain and injuries. Enter a back brace. In this case, the back brace will force a tucked tummy and straight spine which in turn, strengthens the abdomen.
Effects of Wearing a Back Brace All Day
Just like other forms of treatment, wearing a back brace all day also has its limitations. With the most common one being that it tends to weaken the spine especially if you wear it for back support excessively. You can avoid all these by not being overly dependent on the back brace and using it as a crutch.
Sometimes, patients usually experience increased pain levels when wearing a back brace. In this case, you may have to try out other treatment options.