A back support brace really supports for your abdominal muscles. If these muscles aren’t strong enough to keep your tummy in, your spine will not be adequately supported and all kinds of back problems can ensue. However, overuse of a lower back support belt or brace is self-defeating and risky, weakening the muscles needed to support the spine.
“Simple rubberized back support belts for work with Velcro fasteners provided instant relief for the first few weeks I was out of bed,”
commented a chemical engineer who was recovering from a bout of severe low back spasms.
I wear a girdle when I know I’m in for a taxing day. If my back is really concerning me I do find that a strong lumbar back support brace is of immense help until the inflammation subsides.
Many different kinds of back support braces and corsets are available, including some that you can purchase at a surgical supply shop without a prescription. However, most people who have experienced lasting back pain relief with these aids used back support braces and belts that had been prescribed for them.
The risks of supporting yourself artificially are clear.
“After wearing a back support brace for two months, and not exercising, my muscles were so weak that my back pain worsened greatly after the brace was removed”
commented a professional athlete who had been through disc surgery.
Emily, also had a very negative experience: “When I first sought medical help, I was prescribed a back support brace and corset. It definitely gave some temporary relief and re-educated my posture. But long-term it caused more harm then good, weakening all the essential muscles, causing upper back pain from new bad habits (bending above the corset level) and promoting this self-image of disability and weakness. When, years later, a newer-generation consultant told me to bin it and go to physio “rehab”, the pain got worse initially but then as I grew stronger I became much more positive and felt more able to cope with “normal” activities.’
In summary, if your muscles are strong enough to provide you with a built-in back support, you will only weaken this natural mechanism by using an aid. But if you’re not in shape, a back support brace or back support belt may help you until you feel well enough to strengthen your muscles through exercise.
Back support braces can definitely provide some relief during acute episodes of back pain but they are not usually recommended by healthcare professionals for long term use, and should only ever be used as a very temporary measure.