When to Wear a Back Brace for Pain Relief: Top 5 Reasons

About Lamia A Kader, MD

Lamia A Kader is a Medical Doctor and a Medical Research Professional with a Ph.D. in Clinical Research. ISMMS, USA. She had enhanced her medical knowledge of medical devices and equipment development and innovation by attending clinical meetings, local national courses, journal clubs, and conferences, in addition to e-learning, subscribing to major medical journals and keeping an eye on latest trends in medicine and keeping an eye on clinical trials industry and healthcare marketing current trends. She had participated in several medical device innovation projects by conducting clinical research studies, developing clinical trial protocols, writing patient safety narratives and β€œMedical Device Risk Assessment Reports” to transform new medical technologies into real products that save and improve lives. Follow her on LINKEDIN. Read her LATEST POSTS. Learn more about her HERE.

Wondering when to wear a back brace for pain relief? The worry stops here!

As a renowned Doctor, I’ve gone through the roughs and tumbles of back braces – consulted research journals, and talked to experts (yes, my colleagues) – to learn all the secrets about these special braces.

In this article, you’ll learn the top 5 reasons when to wear a back brace, and also which health conditions they aid best, why it matters, and how to decide best!

Keep reading to discover how you can take advantage and learn how to use them to their full advantage!

Key Takeaways

  • Wearing a back brace at the right time can effectively reduce pain and aid in recovery.
  • Professional advice can optimize the use of a back brace, mitigating potential side effects.
  • Expert guidance can help manage chronic back pain, improving quality of life.

This post contains affiliate links. We earn a commission if you purchase at no extra cost.

Why Wear A Back Brace For Pain Relief? (Top 5 Reasons)

Here are the reasons it’s time to opt for a back brace!

lady putting on her back brace

#1 Dealing with Chronic Back Pain

A lumbar back brace, answering the question of “what is the purpose of a back brace,” is designed to help support the core muscles and relieve discomfort. Depending on the type of brace you pick, there are many options for relief [1].

If you contend with relentless pain that interferes with your daily activities, a back brace can provide significant relief and enhance your quality of life.

#2 Post-Surgery Recovery

Hans-Rudolf Weiss and Mario Werkmann, in their study

“Treatment of chronic low back pain in patients with spinal deformities using a sagittal re-alignment brace”, found that certain back braces can “significantly reduce pain in chronic postural low back pain patients. [2]”

Whether it’s a strain, sprain, or more serious damage, a back brace can stabilize the injured area, promote healing, and prevent further harm.

Following spinal surgery, a rigid back brace can be a vital companion.

Surveys among spinal surgeons highlight that a primary rationale for post-surgery bracing is to restrain activity and movement.

In support of this, back braces are commonly advised for use from 3 to 8 weeks post-surgery, but the duration is tailored to the patient’s unique needs.

#3 Experiencing Spinal Disorders

The right back brace can effectively manage conditions like spinal stenosis or degenerative disc disease, which offers support and limits harmful motion.

#4 Undergoing Post-surgery Healing

Doctors often prescribe a rigid brace after spinal surgery. This aids in reducing pressure on the spinal column, adding stability, and limiting movement to create a conducive environment for healing.

#5 Preventing Future Injuries

If you’re involved in heavy lifting or activities that put your back at risk, wearing a back brace can protect your muscles and spine, preventing potential injuries [3].

Keep in mind, while a back brace can be a valuable tool, it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional before use.

Your unique health scenario determines the type of brace and the correct usage method.

If you’re the visual type, check out this neat comparison table for a superb summary!

ReasonDescription
Dealing with Chronic Back PainA lumbar back brace is designed to help support the core muscles and relieve discomfort.
Post-Surgery RecoveryBack braces can be beneficial for post-surgery recovery. They can stabilize the injured area, promote healing, and prevent further harm. 
Experiencing Spinal DisordersSpinal disorders such as spinal stenosis or degenerative disc disease can be effectively managed with the right back brace. 
Undergoing Post-surgery HealingAfter spinal surgery, doctors often prescribe a rigid back brace to reduce pressure on the spinal column, provide stability, and limit movement. 
Preventing Future InjuriesBack braces can also prevent future injuries, especially for individuals involved in heavy lifting or activities that put their back at risk. 

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STOT SPORTS Breathable and Adjustable back brace for lower back pain women and Men - Comes with Mesh Bag - Ideal Assistance for Lower Back and Heavy Lifting
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How Can Back Bracing Assist in Health Conditions? (3 Examples)

You don’t have to suffer in silence – bracing can help with many conditions! Bracing is commonly used to relieve muscle strain, degenerative disc disease, and related problems.

Incorporating a back brace into your treatment plan can supplement other nonsurgical interventions to heal and mitigate pain stemming from specific conditions:

#1 Isthmic Spondylolisthesis

Leveraging a rigid back brace for isthmic spondylolisthesis can decrease vertebral slippage, significantly enhancing mobility and pain control.

#2 Spondylolysis

For patients with spondylolysis, a semi-rigid or rigid brace may be suggested to limit painful micro-movements at the fractured vertebral level.

This can diminish discomfort and potentially aid in the fracture’s healing process. A lumbar brace is proposed to deter or reduce vertebral slippage (isthmic spondylolisthesis).

#3 Osteoarthritis

Patients dealing with spinal osteoarthritis may find that a rigid or semi-rigid back brace lessens instability and painful micro-movements.

More specifically, a back brace can decrease the pressure on the affected facet joints, easing pain and facilitating routine movements like transitioning from sitting to standing or the opposite.

As you know, each person’s health condition and needs are unique, so always consult a healthcare professional to determine if and when a back brace suits your situation.

Should you wear a back brace? Find out in this video:

2 Main Types of Low Back Braces

Regarding low back braces, it’s important to understand the two main types: rehabilitative and functional.

Rehabilitative braces support and promote recovery after an injury or surgery. They are often used together with physical therapy.

lady wearing a cream back brace for her back pain

On the other hand, functional braces are designed to provide support and improve posture during activities that may be strenuous or cause pain.

Both types of braces can help manage low back pain.

1. Rehabilitative Braces

A rehabilitative brace may be beneficial in addressing underlying causes of discomfort rather than simply providing temporary relief.

Rehabilitative braces are designed to provide elasticity benefits, posture improvement, and pain management.

These braces can treat various conditions such as strains and sprains, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, and sciatica.

The duration of wear depends on individual needs. However, it’s typically between four to six weeks. Side effects may include skin irritation, muscle weakness, and reduced mobility.

It’s important to note that rehabilitative braces should only be used under the supervision of a healthcare provider.

Proper fitting and regular adjustments may be necessary to ensure the brace works effectively.

With the help of rehabilitative braces, there’s the potential to reduce pain and improve overall functioning.

By transitioning to the use of functional braces, additional gains in mobility and stability may be achieved.

2. Functional Braces

You can experience improved mobility and stability with the help of functional braces. These braces are used for preventative care and to support posture and can be customized to each individual’s needs.

A physical therapist can help with fitting and measuring the brace and provide muscle-strengthening exercises to help the body adjust to the brace.

Functional braces are an important part of any rehabilitation and preventative care plan and can lead to long-term pain relief.

Successful bracing requires appropriate fitting, consistency with use, and physical therapy.

Factors such as age, severity of the condition, and a patient’s lifestyle can influence how successful a brace is.

It’s important to have an individualized plan created by a healthcare professional to ensure the best results. With the right support, patients can experience lasting relief from their pain.

What Are The Factors For Bracing Success? (3 Key Factors)

By carefully considering various factors, you can maximize the potential for successful bracing and the associated comfort it may bring.

Without delay, here are 3 key factors to consider when selecting a back brace for pain relief:

  1. Muscle tension: Braces support the muscles and ligaments in the back, helping to reduce tension and pain.
  2. Vertebral compression fracture: Some braces are designed to support the vertebrae and prevent further compression.
  3. Spinal column: Braces can help maintain the spinal column’s natural alignment, reducing pain and increasing comfort.

By thinking diligently about these factors, you can choose the best brace for your needs and experience pain relief!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is wearing a back brace more effective than other treatments?

A back brace is an effective treatment for pain relief, but it’s not the only option.
Other treatment options (E.g., physical therapy, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and muscle relaxants) can also provide relief.

2. How often should a back brace be worn?

When you wear your back braces, do so only a few hours in a day. In addition, please don’t do it for more than two days in a row.

3. Are there any risks or side effects associated with wearing a back brace?

Wearing a back brace can have both positive and negative effects. It can lead to muscle weakness and posture problems if worn incorrectly or for too long.

4. Are there activities to avoid while wearing a back brace?

Activities such as running and jumping should be avoided, as the brace may not provide enough support for these activities.

5. What type of back brace is best for pain relief?

When finding the best back brace for pain relief, it’s important to consider your individual needs.
Luckily, soft, hard, and specialty braces are also available.

Conclusion

Learning when to wear a back brace for pain can be challenging – but it doesn’t have to be.

You’ll find that using your back brace can provide relief from pain. It’s important to wear it correctly and for the right time.

Certain conditions, such as herniated discs, scoliosis, and degenerative disc disease, can benefit from braces.

It’s important to recognize the factors that may determine bracing success, such as age, body weight, and the severity of your condition.

Overall, a back brace can effectively manage pain and speed up the healing process. Speak to your doctor to determine if bracing is right for you.

LADY HOLDING HER BACK WITH BACK PAIN

References

1. Boutevillain L, Bonnin A, Chabaud A, Morel C, Giustiniani M, Pereira B, et al. Short-term pain evolution in chronic low back pain with Modic type 1 changes treated by a lumbar rigid brace: A retrospective study. 2019;62:3–7.

2. Weiss H-R, Werkmann M. Treatment of chronic low back pain in patients with spinal deformities using a sagittal re-alignment brace. Scoliosis. 2009;4.

3. Misterska E, GΕ‚owacki J, OkrΔ™t A, Laurentowska M, GΕ‚owacki M. Back and neck pain and function in females with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: A follow-up at least 23 years after conservative treatment with a Milwaukee brace. Jan Y-K, editor. PLOS ONE. 2017;12:e0189358.

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