Back braces are wearable devices you can wear to fix your posture and relieve back pain. Back braces come in many different shapes and designs, and all of them accomplish different things.
The main mechanism of a back brace is to apply force to guide or remind you into perfect posture.
Understanding Different Kinds of Braces
A back brace is a simple device that wraps around your body. It provides support at your back and helps maintain a good posture.
It’s like a personal trainer for good posture without the shouting.
If you’re feeling back pain or you’ve injured your back, a back brace can help relieve your pain. It keeps your back from moving in ways that might make the pain worse, and it also offers support and distributes the weight your back usually carries.
Most back braces are designed to specific needs.
Back Braces For Scoliosis
These braces are made for people with spine curves that are not normal. They are usually worn until bones stop growing, usually around age 18, but in some cases, extended usage may be necessary. There are two types of braces for this:
- Rigid Braces are made of sturdy materials like plastic or metal, provide strong support and are mainly worn for most of the day by kids and teenagers who are still growing.
- Dynamic Braces are made from softer materials, offering more flexibility and movement. They are typically worn for about 16 hours a day and can be more comfortable for older adolescents and adults.
Choosing a scoliosis back brace depends on how severe the condition is, age and activity level. These help slow or stop spine curvature, reduce pain, improve posture and breathing, and avoid surgery.
Back Braces for Kyphosis
These braces are used to treat excessive curvature of the upper spine, which can cause pain and poor posture.There are two types of braces for kyphosis:
- Thoracic Lumbar Sacral Orthosis (TLSO) supports the entire spine with hard plastic or metal materials and typically worn for whole day.
- Posture Corrector Braces are more comfortable to wear and they are made of soft materials.
The advantages of wearing a back brace are pain reduction, improved posture, increased lung capacity, and avoid surgery.
Complete Support Back Braces
Complete support back braces, like the Posture Lobster, are made of hard materials like plastic or metal and support the entire spine, from neck to lower back.
These braces are great for conditions like scoliosis, kyphosis, and others. They help reduce pain, improve posture, keep the spine stable, slow down changes in spine shape, and even avoid surgery or aid in recovery after surgery.
Other Types of Back Braces
- Corsets cover from chest to hips
- Sacroiliac (SI) belts: Support the sacroiliac joint, the connection between your spine and pelvis, and it’s often for SI joint issues and pregnancy-related back pain.
- Hyperextension braces: Restrict spine movement to aid healing after injury, usually worn briefly.
How Does A Back Brace Relieve Pain?
Back braces reduce pain in different ways by taking pressure off the spine, which helps with muscle strains, spasms, and nerve pain. They also support the back, leading to better posture and preventing more injuries.
They also limit spine movement, which is helpful for post injury or post surgery recovery. They also serve as a reminder to be mindful of your body posture, allowing you to make adjustments and prevent discomfort or lessen the pain.
Can I Wear a Back Brace While Working Out?
Yes, you can wear a back brace while working out, and it has benefits:
- Relieving Pain: It supports your spine, reducing stress on your muscles and ligaments, which lessens pain and swelling during heavy or repetitive workouts.
- Better Posture: It keeps your spine straight, which improves your posture. This helps prevent injuries and can enhance your workout performance.
- Spine Stability: It stops your spine from moving too much, which is really useful for core or balance exercises.
Some back braces are designed for everyday wear, while others are designed specifically for exercise.
Can A Back Brace Make Me Taller?
A back brace can help improve your posture, making you look taller and more confident. However, it’s important to note that a back brace cannot actually increase your height.
Your height is determined by genetics and bone growth. Back braces are beneficial for conditions like scoliosis or poor posture as they straighten the spine, resulting in a taller appearance.
If you want to appear taller, using a back brace can be helpful, but remember that it won’t change your actual height.
How Long Do You Have To Wear A Back Brace?
The duration of wearing a back brace depends on your condition and back pain severity. Some may only need a few hours a day, while others require wearing it all day. However, it’s important to note that it is possible to become dependent on back braces. Wearing a brace for too long can weaken the back muscles and make the pain worse.
It is recommended to start wearing the Posture Lobster for 30 minutes and gradually increase the duration as comfort improves. To see best results, make sure to wear it every day for a few hours and add back exercises to your routine.
What is the alternative to a back brace?
There are also alternative options available for back support. You can consider physical therapy for stronger muscles, exercises like yoga for flexibility, and ergonomic chairs for better posture. You can also use heat or cold packs to lessen the pain, and a good body massage to relax the muscles.
While it’s easy to get caught up with one specific solution, it’s best to do as many things for your posture as possible. This prevents you from becoming too reliant on one method and allows you to start training yourself to build better posture on your own.
A back brace can provide support and help manage back pain caused by poor posture, injury, or strain. They come in different styles, each for a specific purpose but the main job of a back brace is to push gently or remind you to stand or sit straight.
While back braces are the most effective and affordable way to correct your posture, it is important to remember that you should wear a back brace for an appropriate duration depending on your needs and you can also do alternative options, like exercise, to achieve the best results.
Remember to invest in a high quality back brace that supports your whole back to really help with any pain and posture problems.