When people think of back support, I'm sure the Hulk Hogan Jimbelt comes to mind. Fortunately, over time, they have become much more sophisticated. Customized braces are easy to find in most stores, from lightly supported to fully secured. Some of the benefits that back braces may offer are:
Less stress and pressure on the spine when moving your back hard
- Helps maintain a better posture while bending and lifting
- Increased spinal support by stiffening the spine
It can limit twisting and bending movements (range of motion) and prevent further injuries.
So when is it better to wear a back brace? Usually one of these reasons:
After hip surgery. Back support can help stabilize the spine and help heal.
After acute (new) back pain. This will relieve stress from the spine and speed up injury healing.
During activities that require intense physical demands on the lower back.
Please note that all of these are temporary uses of the back brace. Consider using it only "as needed". For example, if you have a lot of bending and lifting at home or at work and you need additional back support. If you are using them to help heal after surgery or injury, you should wear less braces as the level of pain decreases.
Let's take a look at some of the bad uses of back support.
One of the biggest no-nos I see with back braces is the false sense of security they tend to give. It is very common to see people perform activities that they do not normally do, such as lifting very heavy objects, which results in a disaster. There is a simple rule. If you can't do it without a brace, don't do it with a brace. The additional support does not mean that it will turn into Schwarzenegger.
Another problem is that while wearing a brace reduces the demand for the lower back, it tends to place the brace in other nearby areas. Doing this increases the chances of new pain or injury. Many patients have seen new pain in the center of the back, hips, legs, and knees.
Spine braces can be overused as easily as taking painkillers "as needed" for pain. The biggest concern I emphasize to patients is that the braces should not be used as crutches. Because the curly braces are easy to depend on. As you follow that route, new issues begin to turn their ugly heads back.
By using more and more back braces and reducing your back muscles, it will weaken over time. Think of it as "use or lose it." The body begins to rely on brace support, reducing the natural strength and stability of the lower back. This can lead to faster fatigue and poor posture. As a result, the spine has a higher risk of future injuries than without the brace.
Perhaps the most worrying thing I see is the use of braces instead of getting treatment. This is even more so for serious problems such as lumbar disc hernias and severe disc degeneration. Simply put, braces should not be used in place of treatment. In fact, prolonging care can put you in a constantly worsening condition that can require something as dangerous as back surgery.
The use of back braces can be very beneficial in the short term. However, long-term or prophylactic use of braces can actually be a disadvantage to you and lead to situations you were trying to avoid. When using the brace, wear it only when you need it, not always. If you are suffering from chronic pain or have severe back pain, do not prolong for treatment as the brace makes the pain tolerable.