Individuals suffering from chronic lower back pain often find themselves searching for products and practices to treat their pain. In many cases, back pain sufferers consider buying a back brace for lower back pain. Though back braces can be useful for some back pain conditions, they must be used appropriately to prevent further back injuries from occurring.
Is a back brace a good treatment option for your back pain condition? If so, which back brace should you buy? Continue reading to discover the best back braces for lower back pain treatment.
Should I Wear a Back Brace for Lower Back Pain?
If you are suffering from frequent and acute lower back pain, a back brace may be a good treatment option for you. If you have recently experienced a major back injury or are recovering from surgery, you may be fitted for a rigid back brace by a healthcare professional. These braces are generally fairly heavy and uncomfortable and limit roughly 50% of motion in the spinal region. If you have broken bones, experienced a fracture, or have recently undergone a spinal fusion procedure you may need to wear a rigid back brace.
If you are suffering from any other lower back pain conditions, an elastic corset brace will probably be a better treatment option for you. These braces are more flexible and can be worn throughout the day or as needed, depending on the severity of your pain.
Conditions that commonly benefit from lumbar back brace use include:
– Degenerative disc disease
– Herniated disc conditions
– Spondylosis/arthritis in lower back
– Facet joint problems
– Posture-related back pain
– Stress fractures in the lower back
– Lumbar sprains
– Muscular strains
– and more…
Unless your pain is constant and severe, you will generally want to wear a back brace for only a few hours each day. Most doctors do not recommend sleeping in a back brace. For most conditions, patients are advised to use a brace only when needed, such as during a flare-up or while exercising. When used appropriately, a back brace can reduce back pain and promote lower back pain relief.
Pros and Cons of Using a Back Brace
Buyers should consider the potential benefits and drawbacks to using a brace before purchasing a lumbar support device.
The benefits of using a lumbar support brace are numerous. After surgery or major injury, a brace can help the lumbar spine heal. Braces tend to work best when they are used shortly after injury or surgery has occurred.
Lower back support braces can take pressure off of the joints and muscles in the lower back and abdomen. This can aid in pain management and improve posture throughout the spine, neck, and shoulders.
Back braces are particularly beneficial for individuals who experience increased pain during movement. Lumbar back braces can make movements like sitting up and moving around more comfortable for individuals who struggle with chronic lower back pain. Individuals who experience pain while exercising or performing physically strenuous activities often benefit from using a back brace as well.
There are a few drawbacks to using back braces, however. Some doctors are hesitant to recommend braces to their patients, as many individuals overuse the braces. Using a back brace constantly can lead to a weakening of the muscles in the lower back and abdomen. If the muscles atrophy enough it will increase the chances of further back injuries occurring. This consequence can be avoided by wearing a back brace only a few hours a day or as recommended by your doctor.
The use of a back brace will sometimes result in additional pain for the wearer. Some individuals experience muscle spasms or pain in other areas of the back when wearing a lumbar brace. This may be a sign that your brace does not fit correctly or is being worn improperly. If this occurs, you may need to alter the way you are wearing your brace or stop using it altogether.
If you are unsure as to whether you should use a back brace or not, talk to your doctor before making a purchase. Your healthcare professional can evaluate you and recommend an appropriate treatment plan for you.
How to Choose the Right Back Brace
There are a handful of important factors to evaluate before buying a lumbar support brace. Remember to appraise these four features before making a final purchase.
It is essential to measure yourself before looking for a back brace. If you are particularly small or large you may have to do slightly more research to ensure that the lumbar brace you purchase will fit you.
Many manufacturers sell numerous back brace sizes. You will need to measure yourself around your abdomen to determine which brace you will need. Those with abdomens of 27″-40″ or less will probably need a small or regular back brace. Those with waists over 40″ may need to order a larger size.
Level of Support
Buyers should contemplate the amount of support offered by various back braces. Reading customer reviews is the best way to determine the firmness or flexibility of a particular brace model. The materials used may also help you determine the rigidity of a brace.
Every lumbar brace features a slightly different design. Some braces provide support exclusively for the lumbar region. Others offer support for the upper back as well. Some come with shoulder straps which are either attached or removable. Though a simple lumbar brace is sufficient for many users, others prefer these additional support features. What you prefer will depend on your back condition and personal taste.
Most elastic back braces are fairly affordable. Though there are many lumbar braces available for $35 or less, you should research the quality of the item you are purchasing. If the reviews on an affordable brace attest to its durability, you can feel fairly confident that you are getting a good product.
Choosing the right back brace for you is very much a matter of personal wants and needs. Read every review and consider your specific back condition before purchasing a brace.
The Top 5 Best Back Braces for Lower Back Pain on the Market
There are hundreds of different back braces available today. These five are among the very best back braces for lower back pain.
The Mueller Lumbar Back Brace is one of the most popular back braces available. Thousands of users have had success with this product. With strong steel lumbar spinal supports and removable cushioning, this lumbar brace can be adjusted to suit the needs of a variety of users. If you’re looking for a high-quality back brace at an excellent price, the Mueller Brace is a great choice for you.
– Steel spinal supports
– Lightweight and comfortable
– Very affordable
– High customer satisfaction rate
– No shoulder straps
– Sizing runs slightly small; customers with an abdomen of roughly 50″ should opt for the larger model
The McDavid Back Support Brace has helped many individuals reduce their lumbar pain. Made from lightweight materials, this brace is ideal for users who participate in sports or physically strenuous work. The brace is made of 100% neoprene, making it especially flexible and comfortable. To support your back while staying active, buy the McDavid Back Support Brace.
– Elastic and comfortable
– Comes with flexible metal supports
– Fits well both over and under clothing
– Excellent for sports and physical activity
– Runs somewhat small; fit options are 27-42″ (regular) and 36″-52″ (large)
– Velcro sometimes comes undone
– Retains some heat during exercise
The AidBrace Back Support Belt is a durable and highly supportive lumbar brace. The AidBrace comes equipped with a sturdy double-tension support system, making it perfect for back pain sufferers who need a good compression brace. The brace also comes with removable shoulder straps, a feature that some users love. In spite of its firm build, the AidBrace manages to remain breathable. This high-quality brace is built to handle years of regular use.
– Highly supportive
– Offers excellent lumbar compression
– Extremely durable
– Equipped with removable suspender straps
– Larger sizes (XL, XXL) do not always fit perfectly
– Support and compression may be too intense for some users
The ComfyMed Back Support Belt is true to its name. Customers rave that this belt gives them lower back pain relief from sciatica, herniated discs, pulled muscles, and other back conditions. Best of all, the ComfyMed Belt remains comfortable whether the user is standing or seated. For users looking for an effective and well-designed lumbar brace, the ComfyMed Belt is certainly worth considering.
– Very comfortable
– Excellent design; doesn’t “roll” when sitting down
– Highly breathable
– Durable and supportive
– Sizing occasionally an issue
– Velcro sometimes comes undone
The NMT Lower Back Brace is one of the top lumbar braces on the market today. With a comfortable, wide design, this brace offers more support than most of its competitors. The belt, which contains therapeutic magnets, is designed to relieve arthritic pain in the lumbar region. Many individuals with issues ranging from muscle strain to sciatica have benefited from the NMT Brace as well. In short, the NMT Lower Back Brace offers excellent pain relief alongside optimal support.
– Wide belt design offers extra back support
– Comfortable for prolonged wear
– Therapeutic magnets for increased health benefits
– Easily adjustable
– Sides of belt are not highly supportive
– Not as durable as other options
– Therapeutic magnets not suitable for individuals who are pregnant or have a pacemaker
When used appropriately, back braces can prevent injury and promote healing in the lumbar region. Before purchasing a back brace for lower back pain, consider talking to your doctor about treatment options for your lumbar condition. Only a healthcare professional can tell you if a back brace is the right solution for you.