Medical Back Supports Explained
Back pain is a common ailment for many people and can have many causes, from back injuries and strains to incorrect posture, chronic conditions, and pregnancy. Back supports offer stability to your back while sitting or standing by using compression to lift the back into the correct position and prevent strain when moving around. If you are recovering from an injury, a back brace can compress the area and reduce swelling through natural warmth. It can also offer back pain relief for tired and sore backs by restricting unnecessary movement, including rotating and extending.
If you work from home or have reduced mobility, you may find yourself sitting down for long periods in the day. Back support, also known as a lumbosacral orthosis, can play a major role in developing a proper ergonomic approach to your daily routine that will give your back the support it needs and help to keep you in comfort.
How a Back Brace Can Help
Back pain can range from acute to chronic and last anywhere from days to years. Acute back pain comes on suddenly from an identifiable injury, such as lifting an object incorrectly. It's caused when the soft tissues of the back become strained or sprained, including muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Chronic back pain develops over a period of time and lasts for longer than 3 months. It is often caused by a condition that affects the spinal structure, such as osteoarthritis or sciatica.
A back brace can:
- Provide spinal support - Back supports can stabilise the lower back when it has been weakened or injured. It can help to keep the torso straight during recovery and prevent further injury.
- Reduce pressure on the spine - A brace can reduce the weight that is placed on the joints, discs, and muscles in the lower back. This may help to lessen muscle tension and alleviate back pain.
- Minimise movement for faster recovery - Back braces help to limit movements that can be painful, such as bending or twisting to the side, to assist in faster recovery. They can also help you consciously adjust your posture.
- Reduce micro-movements - Micro-motions can be lessened between vertebral segments which can reduce pain and irritation of nerves and joints.
Conditions That Can Benefit from Bracing
Back supports can help with many different types of acute and chronic back pain conditions, as well as prevent bad posture and ease discomfort when sitting or standing. Here are just some of the conditions a back brace can help with:
- Sciatica - This is a condition that causes pain to radiate along the sciatic nerve, from the lower back to the leg. A back brace can offer support and compression to limit waist movement, protect the nerve, and reduce pain in the area.
- Herniated disc - A lumbar herniated disc occurs when one of the spinal discs breaks down. A back brace can provide additional stability and reduce micro-movements to aid in pain relief and discomfort.
- Osteoarthritis - Back braces can stabilise a weakened spine and minimise the pressure placed on the affected joints to ease pain and make moving around easier.
- Post-operative support - Bracing is often used after surgery to immobilise the area and give it time to heal without being aggravated by movement.
- Lumbar spine injuries - Lumbar injuries are ones that happen to the lower region of the back. Lumbar and sacroiliac belts can apply pressure to shift weight off the spine and limit excessive movement to help reduce pain. They can also add warmth through compression to relax tight muscles.
- Poor posture - A back brace can provide posture support by helping to keep you upright in a correct position. You can find lumbar braces to correct lower back posture, as well as braces for upper back pain and posture that can assist with clavicle and shoulder issues.
Treating Posture Back Problems
Long-term postural problems can result in back pain if you don't take steps to correct them. A posture corrector can draw your shoulders back and keep your back from slumping when you feel tired or have been sitting for a long period of time. While they can be effective in improving your posture by keeping you upright, they also work to draw your attention to the problem area. This helps to remind you to straighten up without the use of the brace so that you can build muscle endurance and a stronger core for a good, long-term posture.
Pregnancy Back Problem Treatment
Back pain is common during pregnancy as the weight of the growing baby puts extra pressure on your back and abdomen. The right-back brace can help to support this additional weight. It can also help to correct your posture, relieve stress on the pelvis, abdomen, and lower back, and ease both lumbar pain and pelvic girdle pain.
How Often You Need to Wear a Back Brace
Generally, back braces are not intended to be worn all day long as this can weaken your core and lead to muscle atrophy. You may need to wear your brace during times when you will be moving the most, such as daily activities or exercise, or while you are sitting to help promote proper alignment. Follow the advice given to you by your healthcare professional to determine how long you will need to wear your support each day.
Benefits of Using a Back Support for Spinal Bracing
Back braces can be used to stabilise the spine with varying levels of support, from flexible to semi-rigid and rigid. They can help to control back pain by reducing unwanted movement and compressing the abdomen to unload pressure off the discs and other spinal structures. They can also help to immobilise the spine after surgery to stabilise a weak back and correct or prevent the progression of spine degeneration in certain conditions.
Types of Back Supports Available
There are many different types of back supports to choose from that support different areas of your back with varying levels of compression. Some of these include:
- Low back support belts
- Industrial back support belts
- Lumbar rolls
- Sacroiliac belts
Amcal stock a great range of back supports to alleviate pain in the lumbar region from injury, strains, sprains, fatigue, and more. We have Futuro Stabilising Back Supports in small/medium and large/x-large with cushion pads that offer firm support for sore, aching muscles, a back panel, and an adjustable design for a customised fit. We also have Thermoskin braces to support the lumbar discs and sacroiliac joint with side straps for extra compression. For long-lasting pain relief, try the ActiPatch Back Pain Device that uses electromagnetic therapy to target inflammation and reduce pain.
When to Consider Wearing a Brace
A support brace may be recommended if you have recently had surgery and require extra back support, if you have injured your back, or if you live with a chronic condition that causes back pain and reduces your mobility. Speak to your healthcare professional to see if a back brace can help you and be incorporated into your comprehensive treatment plan for recovery.
How to Use and Wear a Back Support
Each back support will have its own set of instructions for you to follow. Making sure you follow the steps carefully so that you are wearing your brace correctly and receiving the full benefits it can offer. Our back supports by leading brands have a wraparound design with adjustable features, such as velcro straps and fasteners, so you can easily fit it to your size and find the right compression for your needs.
Looking After Your Back Brace
To ensure your back brace remains clean and free from bacterial build-up, you'll need to wash it regularly. Secure any fasteners or cinch straps. If possible, remove any padding first. Wash your brace in warm water using a mild soap or detergent. Rinse well and leave to air-dry. Don't tumble-dry, bleach, or use fabric softeners, as this can damage the material and reduce its functionality.
When to Seek Medical Advice
If your back pain hasn't resolved within a few weeks or has gotten worse, see your doctor about it. You should also seek medical advice if you are experiencing other symptoms, such as weight loss, tingling, bladder and bowel problems, or numbness in the legs, as this can indicate a more serious problem.
Buying a Back Support Online at Amcal
We've got the most trusted brands for back braces in Australia to help ease sore, strained backs and help you get on with your day. Shop Futuro back supports with side conch straps or lace-up corset design, Thermoskin back straps with adjustable support to relieve pain from lumbar injuries, and ActiPatch electromagnetic pulse therapy for up to 720 hours of back pain relief. We also have an extensive range of sports braces and medical supports for other injuries, including ankle braces, knee braces, and wrist braces. Discover our range of products today, pop them on your wish list, or checkout with free delivery for orders over $89 Australia-wide.
FAQs About Back Supports
What is the Best Back Support?
The best back support for you will depend on your reason for wearing a brace and the area you need to support. We have Thermoskin and Futuro back braces to stabilise the lumbar region and provide pain relief through compression. Look for braces with:
- An adjustable fit with velcro straps or laces
- Neoprene fabric that's breathable and retains heat
- Cushion pads for support
- Sleek design to fit under clothes
Do Back Braces Really Help?
Back braces can be useful for alleviating pain associated with back injuries, correcting posture, improving controlled movement, and supporting the spine to promote faster healing. Braces work best when part of a wider treatment plan that may include pain relief medication, pilates, exercise, and physiotherapy to improve and strengthen your core muscles.
Are Lower Back Supports Any Good?
The lower back is where a lot of people feel the majority of back pain. This can be a result of muscle strain, trauma, or a chronic condition such as arthritis or spinal stenosis. A lower back brace, such as our ones by Futuro and Thermoskin, can help to:
- Reduce lower back pain and muscle tension
- Redistribute the weight in the spine to improve posture
- Provide support for healing spinal structures
- Increase daily function and mobility
What is the Best Brace for Lower Back Pain?
Lower back braces are made to support the lumbar region of the back, reduce pain, and improve your ability to move comfortably. Check out these popular lower back braces at Amcal:
- Futuro Adjustable Back Support with dual pull cord system to help ease low back pain from fatigue or strain
- Thermoskin Back Support with adjustable elastic straps for pain relief from injuries associated with lumbar discs and the sacroiliac joint.
- ActiPatch Back Pain Device with electromagnetic pulse therapy to provide up to 720 hours of advanced pain relief in the lower back.