About Back Braces
Back Braces can be used to treat a variety of Back Pain-related issues ranging from low back pain to trauma, infections, muscular weakness, neck conditions, osteoporosis, and poor posture. In cases of spinal injury or surgery, braces promote healing by immobilizing and stabilizing the spine.
They are widely considered to be safe and effective tools for treating spine disorders, and are endorsed as a treatment option by the vast majority of orthopedic physicians. Chronic Back Pain may also require the support of spinal bracing. The insulation created by wearing a brace may be soothing, while the uniform abdominal pressure creates hydraulic support for the back.
In general, Back Bracing can be divided into two types: Rigid Braces and Soft Braces.
Rigid Braces are made of plastic and strap to the body; they have a great deal of structure and are recommended in the wake of surgery or injury, or to treat Scoliosis. These braces are worn for a limited period of time (usually three to six months) to prevent additional injury, limit range of motion, and promote healing. At the end of this time, wear will typically be reduced gradually, limiting daily wear down to none, rather than abruptly stopping use.
Soft Braces may be prescription or over the counter. They are made from fabric and elastic material, and support the spine while limiting motion, particularly twisting. These types of braces may be used to promote healing after lumbar fusion, and may also be beneficial for people who do manual labor or repetitive motion activities. By restricting motion, they minimize the chances of muscle strain or ligament sprain.
Within these two categories, there are many different types of braces designed for a range of conditions.
Corset Braces vary in length depending on the condition being treated. They extend over the buttocks and often have shoulder straps as well. Like the Victorian Era garment, Corset Braces have metal stays that provide structure and support, and lace up for adjustable tightness.
Lifting Belts are designed to prevent strain and fatigue caused by heavy lifting. They wrap around the waist, supporting the lower back; they are made of cloth and may also have padding.
Molded Jackets are made of molded plastic; they work by immobilizing the torso, and distributing pressure evenly over a wide area. This relieves pressure from unstable or overburdened parts of the spine.
These are just a few of the many different types of therapeutic Back Braces available.
Back Braces can have a tremendously positive effect for people who are recovering from a back injury or who suffer from Chronic Back Pain. That being said, they are not a cure-all for every Back Pain condition. They can lead to a loss of muscle function due to inactivity over a long period of time. They can also sometimes create a psychological dependency, where a patient feels like they need to continue wearing the brace for support even after they are finished healing. It’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about a brace if you think it might be helpful for you.