Many of you who are suffering from lower back pain from things such as, disc herniations, degenerative disc disease, and back strain/sprains may consider the use of a back support/brace. Although these problems are the most common causes of lower back pain, this can only be determined through a proper diagnosis by your chiropractor. Once you are certain that you are suffering from a disc injury, sprain/strain, or have degenerative disc disease, you can then discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using a back brace with your chiropractor. This may help you cope with your condition, as using a back brace may help you recover faster and provide pain relief, allowing you to do the physical things that need to be done.
On the other hand, if your pain is due to a subluxation, or spinal misalignment, a back brace may not be the best choice. The reason is because a misalignment occurs when one or more joints in your spine is not moving correctly, or it’s “locked up.” If you immobilize your spine with a back brace, it actually may take longer for your back to heal in this case. Also, consistent use of a back brace can weaken your spinal muscles and make it more prone to getting injured. If you’re unsure if you should be wearing a back brace or not, talk to your chiropractor.
How can a back brace help?
A back brace can help you by providing additional support for your spine and muscles. By keeping your body in the proper posture, it will help keep pressure off your spinal nerves, muscles, and joints, which can help decrease your pain.
Using a back support can also help you go through your daily activities without causing additional strain to your back. Especially with activities like bending and lifting. Along with good lifting techniques, a back brace can help an injury heal faster and prevent further injury to an already injured area. Back braces become less helpful with a chronic back problem.
How often should you wear a back brace?
It depends on whether they are in severe pain and what activities make the pain worse. The more pain you have, the more often you may want to use a brace. If you get more pain with physical activity, then you should only wear it then. If you have pain while resting, you should NOT wear a back brace because it becomes less beneficial and overusing a back brace can weaken your postural muscles, making your spine more prone to further injuries. If you are having mild pain or no pain at all, you should not wear a back brace. If you are about to do an activity that will cause a lot of exertion, and potentially pain to your back, it may be a good idea to wear it. In this case, you can put it on and take it off as needed.
Are there disadvantages to using a back brace?
Like any form of treatment, using a back brace does have its disadvantages. One of the disadvantages of using a back support is that it can cause weakness of your spine if you wear it excessively. This can be easily avoidable if you do not rely on your back brace as a crutch. Occasionally, patients may have increased pain while wearing a back brace. If this happens to you, then the brace may not be a good option.