A Lumber back brace, also known as a lower back brace, is often used for multiple reasons. It can be used to help alleviate pain when for example, someone has arthritis in the lower back area. Additionally, It is usually a part of treatment when someone undergoes spinal or back surgery. One of the main reasons for wearing one is so that you may alleviate some of your discomfort and provide relief for an injured area before it heals on its own; this will reduce the chance of experiencing any future pain from occurring again!
A doctor can prescribe the brace after spinal surgery to speed up the healing process and reduce pain and discomfort associated with surgery. However, using these devices according to their stated instructions is essential to avoid additional harm to the lower back. Here, we will discuss all aspects of using a lumber back brace in this article.
What are the reasons behind using a Lumbar back brace?
A person can wear this brace for any of the following reasons:
- To reduce muscular tightness and lower back pain
- To improve posture and disperse weight in the spine
- To provide a healthy healing environment for spinal tissues
- To increase function during daily activity
All the above benefits or results can be achieved only by using the back brace properly. Remember that misusing a back brace can lead to worse conditions.
Benefits of Using a Lumbar Back Brace
You can achieve the following benefits with the help of a back brace.
Support for the spinal cord
A back brace may give stability when the low back is unstable owing to damaged or compromised spinal components.
The spinal structures should be relieved of stress by reducing the amount of pressure placed on them. Using a back brace may assist in alleviating some of the strain on the spine's joints, discs, and muscles by minimizing the amount of weight that is generally put on the lower back. After an accident, muscular tension can be reduced by lowering spinal pressure, which is a normal response to protect oneself from further harm.
During the healing process, it is essential to limit movement. Preventing or limiting the usage of uncomfortable movements such as bending forward or backward is possible with a back brace. Additionally, limiting unpleasant movements and postures might promote awareness of the body's position (proprioception), enabling the user to intentionally modify posture for better back health.
Reduce Movements Between the Individual Vertebrae
Extra micro-movements in a specific spinal segment or vertebral fracture are limited by braces, reducing discomfort from muscular tension and inflamed joints or nerve roots.
It has been shown in certain studies that using a back brace in addition to physical therapy and pain medication may improve mobility and pain ratings.
The Other Side of the Lumbar Back Brace
In addition to its benefits, using a lumbar back brace can have some side effects as well. Therefore, one must have complete knowledge of the pros and cons of the brace before using it. Despite the widespread consensus that back braces may reduce discomfort, medical literature argues that more thorough studies are required to investigate further possible cons of using a brace.
Some experts believe that wearing a back brace might weaken the core muscles, increasing the risk of damage to the back. On the other hand, back braces have been shown to have no adverse effect on core muscle strength in several studies. Most doctors believe atrophy won't be an issue when patients wear braces as prescribed by their doctors.
Consider the fact that a back brace is virtually never a permanent component of a therapy strategy. As with any other medical procedure, the length of time a lumbar brace is worn varies from a few days to several weeks. Using a brace for an extended period may cause muscular atrophy, dependency on the brace, and other side effects that can be avoided by following the doctor's instructions and close monitoring. Because of this, people who wear a back brace are less likely to engage in body-weight-bearing exercises.
How to Choose the Best Lumbar Back Brace
When selecting a back brace, it is essential to seek the advice of a doctor or physical therapist. The following points are essential to consider while choosing any back brace for use:
Type of the brace
Some back braces are rigid, while others offer a more flexible option. A rigid brace will provide you with significant support and help keep your muscles aligned the way they should be; however, it's not always best suited for people who have certain conditions or injuries, as this may cause discomfort in other areas if worn incorrectly. On the contrary, semi-rigid ones allow us to see our own bodies so we can tell what muscle groups need extra care.
Sizing & Comfort
With adjustable belt wings or hook and eye locks, most off-the-shelf goods come in a universal size. Others are made to fit a person's specific needs.
Usually, rigid braces are made of leather or metal, while semi-rigid braces are made of cotton or neoprene. So, choose that material that suits your condition.
Maintenance and durability
Braces that can be washed at home are more convenient to wear. Velcro braces may wear out quicker than plastic ones, but frequent usage may cause them to stretch out.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How long should you wear a back brace for each day?
Back braces can be uncomfortable, but they are also an important protective device for many people. When the doctor recommends wearing one, you should listen and follow their instructions carefully so that your brace doesn't do more harm than good! In order to keep from doing more harm, it is best not to wear your back brace for too long. Most companies will recommend a duration of 30-60 minutes in the beginning, and as you get used to wearing them, longer periods without causing discomfort may be fine but do not overdo it.
Should I wear a back brace when I sleep?
Wearing a back brace to bed may provide temporary relief from back pain. Here are a couple of tips that can help. Try wearing your back brace over your clothing so that any materials won't irritate your sensitive skin or cause an allergic reaction. Also, try sleeping on your side with the offending limb stretched out and between your knees, and try placing pillows so that they can support the weight of your legs as well!
Is it better to avoid a back brace?
The answer is neither yes nor no. Rather it depends upon the situation. However, wearing a back brace for a very long time can make your postural muscles weak, and your spine can become vulnerable to further injuries.
Back braces and postural supports may be used by those who suffer from back pain to reduce discomfort and improve posture. There is no doubt about the benefits of using a brace if you follow the instructions properly. However, individuals should consult a doctor to ensure they choose the right device to help with their condition.