There is considerable debate amongst the medical profession over “Are back braces effective in preventing injury?”
Below you will see evidence which support the claim that back braces are in fact effective at treating back pain. Also explained is how back braces provide support and the different options available. You will also find out some of the problems with using a back brace and how these can be avoided.
How back braces reduce back pain and increase the functionality
The reason that people have back pain is because of pressure on the spinal nerves. A back brace helps you to maintain proper posture and consequently avoid this pressure from occurring. There are many different types of back braces including narrow braces which are suitable for people who need to bend or twist frequently and braces which are taller in the back and provide greater support but more limited movement.
Studies support the use of back braces
One of the biggest studies conducted into the use of back braces supports the conclusion that they are in fact effective in relieving back pain. A 2009 study looked at the effectiveness of an elastic lumbar belt to help treat and assist patients with acute lower back pain. The study which involved 197 participants looked at the effects on lifting capacity, back pain experienced and medical treatment costs.
The study split the participants into two groups, one with back support and the other without. The study lasted 90 days and produced some very interesting findings for back pain sufferers. In the group which used the lumbar belt patients improved 42 points on the pain scale. In addition, 61% of belt patients used no additional form of medication compared to 40% of those with no back support.
Common problems encountered when wearing a back brace
While back braces can be an excellent way of minimizing back pain they do have their disadvantages. The most common of these is the overuse by the back brace can lead to the muscles in the back weakening. A back brace should be a supplement to receiving proper back care and not a replacement for it. It is also important not to use your back brace as a means of lifting items that you otherwise wouldn’t normally lift.
Another complaint that some users of back braces have is that the back brace actually increases the pain that they experience. If this occurs for you then a back brace is not a suitable solution and your back pain will need to be addressed through other methods.
The long term effects of using back braces
In a perfect world, patients would be able to avoid the type of heavy lifting that may be contributing to their back pain but in reality, this is often not possible. For people such as farmers or warehouse workers, being able to lift objects comfortably is essential for them to earn a living.
While there are some concerns about long term use and over-reliance on back braces, most patients do not enjoy wearing a back brace and will discontinue its use once it is no longer necessary. If you are looking for any kind of brace resource, visit braceview.
This article is intended for informational purposes only. If you have any questions or are considering any recommendations, please consult your health practitioner.