Back Brace for Lower Back Pain
Back braces may be worn for several reasons:
A back brace for lower back pain relief may help to stabilize a spine in the same way that a cast would stabilize your forearm that has become broken. When suffer from a broken forearm, X-Rays will tell how bad the damage is, and if the break will heal on its own or if it needs to be set by the doctor. Once the bones have been realigned, motion must be limited to the part of the body where the bones have become broken. If motion is not limited in the broken bones, than a re-break might occur before the injury has healed to the point where the bones are as strong as or stronger than they were before.
- During developing adolescents with scoliosis. Back bracing rarely reverses a person's developing lateral curvature, but it may keep the advancing curvature from increasing.
- For patients recovering from spinal fusion back surgery
- For patients who are recovering from a spinal fracture
- And for people in occupations that require heavy lifting. Back braces, or back belts, as they are also known as, are thought to increase intro-abdominal pressure on and to take pressure off of the lumbar spine during lifting motions. Doctors are divided on how well these braces work. What is thought is that these back belts force their users to become more aware of their lifting techniques, so that they lift with their legs and straight backs.
This is one of the ideas where back bracing might work for people recovering from back surgery procedures and traumatic accidents where the spine has become fractured.
One thought is that back braces hold your lower body in certain positions during motions that involve lowering and raising your body to lift heavy objects. The idea is that these back braces force you to use proper body mechanics so that you don't lift with unsafe motions. Doctors are divided as to whether or not these braces actually reduce workplace injuries in heavy lifting occupations, such as baggage handling, moving, and landscaping. But corporations and bosses believe in these products to the point that they offer them and pay for them.
Incorrect lifting techniques are one of the most common causes of lower back pain. Just talk to a nurse or doctor who works in an emergency room, and they will tell you that admissions spike during every big snowstorm. Heavy lifting puts a lot of people in the emergency room, and they cause many missed workdays throughout the year related to back pain.
The best way to lift properly is to bend your legs and not your back. Your back should remain as straight as possible throughout all of the motions of a lift, carry, and dump.
Other causes of lower back pain include:
Back braces and supports may help people avoid back pain and injuries. Some lower back braces provide compression to decrease pain. Other back braces are designed to provide pain relief following surgery.
- Work around the garden or in the house
- Repetitive motion injuries and overuse
- Bad posture
- Accidents and falls resulting in back trauma
- Sports like cycling and jogging
- Getting older increases risks of spinal instability. Two age related conditions that may destabilize the spine include degenerative scoliosis (also known as adult scoliosis) and compression fractures.
Some back supports are designed specifically for workers who do a lot of lifting and carrying.
For pregnant women, there are back supports available to help women distribute weight evenly when they are in the final months of pregnancy.
For people with upper back pain, there are upper back supports and clavicle posture supports that may help to prevent muscle strains and stretching.