When Should You Consider a Back Brace?

According to experts, over 80% of the population in the U.S. experience back pain at some point in their lives. Back pain can affect people of all ages from adolescents to the elderly with a variety of causes. So when should you consider a back brace? 

^Bracoo's BB30 Advanced Back Brace

It is important to remember that back braces are prescribed as one aspect of a comprehensive treatment program, and that wearing a brace on its own or wearing a brace not according to a doctor’s recommendation may cause further injury and increased pain. Hence consultation with a doctor is recommended before using a back brace. A doctor’s evaluation will help determine whether a brace is likely to be beneficial, as well as the type of brace needed and how it should be worn. 

Conditions That Can Benefit from Bracing

In addition to other nonsurgical treatments, wearing a back brace may help heal and relieve pain from the following conditions:

Post-Operative Healing. A rigid brace may be prescribed following spinal surgery with the goal of reducing pressure on the spinal column, adding stability, and limiting movements and micro-motions to provide a healthy healing environment. Bracoo’s BB30 Advanced Back Brace is designed to provide stability, limit movement to minimize the amount of vertebral slippage to help control pain and lessen damage to joints, nerves, and muscles. 

Spondylolysis. Similar to Isthmic Spondylolisthesis, a semi-rigid or rigid brace such as Bracoo’s BP30 Guardian Advanced Back Brace may be recommended to minimize painful micro-motions at a fractured vertebral level, reducing pain and potentially allowing the fracture to heal. It is thought that a lumbar brace can prevent or reduce vertebral slippage (Isthmic Spondylolisthesis). 

Osteoarthritis. Instability and painful micro-motions from spinal osteoarthritis may be reduced with the use of a rigid or semi-rigid back brace such as the BP60 Guardian Breathable Back Brace.  Additionally, Bracoo’s braces can reduce pressure on the affected facet joints, alleviating pain and allowing easy maneuver in the everyday movements , such as moving from a seated to standing position, or vice versa.

Vertebral Compression Fractures. A rigid or semi-rigid back brace may be recommended for vertebral compression fractures in order to reduce micro-motions at the fracture or affected vertebral level, as well as reduce pressure on the spinal column.

Lumbar Herniated Disc. When a spinal disc breaks down and/or herniates, Bracoo’s BS60 Breathable Fulcrum Back Brace can help stabilize and reduce micro-motions at the affected spinal area. Bracing may also be used to limit bending and twisting and assist in carrying some of the weight the discs normally withstand.

Spinal Stenosis. Bracing for lumbar spinal stenosis aims to reduce pressure on and limit micro-motions in the lower spine, both of which can cause nerve root irritation and radicular pain. Bracoo’s BS31 Lightweight Back Brace can help adjust posture or shift weight to the abdomen the goal of unloading pressure from the spine.

Muscle Tension and Strain. A flexible back brace may be advised for low back muscle strain. Bracoo’s BS31 Lightweight Back Brace can help alleviate muscle tension by reducing pressure on the spine, hence reducing the amount of strength needed in the muscles to support the spinal column. Bracoo’s SE20 Advanced Adjustable Waist Trimmer traps heat which can help relax tense muscles, contributing to pain relief. A back brace for muscle injury or weakness is generally not recommended for longer than 2 to 4 days.

Back braces are typically recommended on a short-term basis depending on the severity of back pain or injury. Consult your doctor to see whether a back brace will be a positive aid to your recovery. One important tip is that back bracing provides more beneficial results when it is thought of a positive attitude regarding its effects. Brace up and embrace your confidence!