A back injury is one of the most debilitating injuries any man or woman can experience. It can put you out of work for weeks, sometimes even months. That is why it is important to seek the support of a good doctor, chiropractor, or another healthcare provider who can prescribe a back brace that will help to get you on the road to better health. Want to know some back brace essentials that will ease you back into a pain free life? Read on for more info on the how, why, and what of back braces.
Should You Be Wearing a Back Brace?
The purpose of wearing a good back brace is to help the patient limit the movement of the lower spine, otherwise known as the lumbar spine. Your doctor will help you to find a back brace that is appropriately fitted to support the injury or surgery that has occurred. This is an important step because engaging in sudden or too frequent movements can delay the healing process. This can lead to fractures or post-operative fusions.
A proper back brace will limit movement of the spine, allowing it to improve the healing process for the bone. Your back brace will also help to decrease pain and discomfort in the lower back area.
How Can a Back Brace Help Relieve Pain and Discomfort?
A properly fitted back brace can help provide added support for your spine and muscles. When your body is in the proper posture for your height and weight, it will keep the pressure off of the spinal nerves that can create pain and discomfort.
A back support can be worn all the time, or it can be worn when needed during certain activities like lifting, exercising, or other daily activities. If you find that you must bend or lift frequently at work or at home, a good back brace can prevent an injury as well as help you heal from damage that has already occurred.
How Often Should You Wear a Back Brace?
The amount of time needed to wear a back brace completely depends upon your needs. If you are wearing it to prevent an injury, then you only need to wear it when engaging in the activity that involves bending and lifting. However if you are suffering from pain and inflammation in your back from an accident, surgery, or daily activities you will have to wear it more often.
What Are the Features of a Good Back Brace?
You can find back braces made in a variety of materials including cotton/nylon with elastic, foam rubber, and molded plastic. The kind that is best for the patient is generally decided by the physician.
A good back brace should protect your back from strain as well as continue to train your muscles to support your posture while standing or sitting. Every back brace has its own support system to help your back become stronger. The back brace support system you choose depends upon where in your back you need the support most. This can be in your upper, middle, lower back, shoulders, or some combination of these.
What Are Some Examples of Back Brace Styles?
Upper Back and Shoulder Support
Poor posture can cause lower back pain and muscle strain. That is why there is a back brace to support your upper back and shoulders, like the Delco Discovery brace, which features an adjustable posterior support, adjustable shoulder straps and a unique abdominal compression system.
The upper back brace was originally designed to support horse back riders to improve their posture while riding. If you notice, most equestrians posture is surprisingly straight while riding horses, even when slightly bent over when galloping around the track.
Depending on your injury or the surgery you went through, you can wear this kind of brace for as little as 1 hour per day to get the support you need. It can be worn over or under your clothes and can be worn while performing light exercise, sitting, or standing. You can expect that a back brace that supports your upper back will help you to stand straight, breathe more effectively, and naturally realign your spine.
To be properly fitted for the upper back and shoulder support brace, you can measure the circumference of your rib cage right below your breast bone. If you are experiencing difficulty with arm and shoulder mobility problems, you may want to find someone who can help you properly put it on or discuss other alternatives with your physician.
Full Back and Shoulder Support
This type of back brace provides full support for the upper and lower back. The brace wraps around the lower back, attaching at the front to protect your lower back. It also features shoulder straps to help pull you into the proper posture while also realigning your spine. The crisscross shape of the straps along the upper back naturally pull your body into a neutral position helping to protect you from back and shoulder pain. The Dual Pull Elastic Crisscross Lumbosacral Belt is a popular option for high compression and support.
The material is made to prevent pinching in the shoulders that can cause discomfort and further injury. It can be worn under or over your clothing. The proper way to fit your body for this kind of back brace is to measure your waistband.
Hidden Lower Back Support
If you need occasional support from a high quality back brace that fits snugly under your clothing, then you may want to look for a brace that supports your lower back. This works well for people who experience occasional lower back pain from a strain or overall muscle weakness. The brace is made to fit the natural curves of your body so that it will be unseen under most loose fitting pieces of clothing. This may be worn if participating in light lifting activities or anything where the lower back needs a bit more support than normal.
The Aspen Horizon 627 LO is a great lower back support brace. It has the lowest profile design of all the Aspen braces and creates circumferential compression to increase trunk stability and relieve back pain.
The Clavicle Splint
The clavicle splint back brace pulls your shoulder blades together, helping you to stand taller. The brace forms a figure 8 between your two shoulder blades and will usually have padded velcro shoulder straps to adjust to the frame of your body. You or a trusted partner can measure from the center of your back, up over one shoulder, under the opposite shoulder, then down to the center of your back.
Should I Continue to Wear a Back Brace If My Back Feels Better?
You never understand how important your back muscles are to your life until you experience back pain from a debilitating injury or surgery. Everyday tasks like picking up socks off the floor or sitting at your desk to type an email can wreak havoc on your productivity. Having said that, a back brace should always be worn according to the directions given to you by your physician or another health care provider. Staying within the confines of what you can and cannot do can mean the difference between walking without pain and being bedridden.
Some people are fooled into believing that after wearing the brace for some time that they no longer need it – that is until they strain themselves while carrying a small child or bending over to pick something up. Your healthcare provider will give you guidelines on which model back brace to wear, when you need to wear it, and how long to wear it. This will ensure that your back and spine heal properly. How long will this take? It totally depends on your back injury.
Aeroflow is always here to help you find a pain relief system that makes your life easier and more comfortable. We offer a wide selection of back braces, and can also help you qualify for a back brace through insurance!