What is a Back Brace and What Are the Benefits?
An orthotic back brace is a device made up of different composite materials that are used to immobilize the spine to help treat back pain and prevent from back deformities. Back pain affects approximately 80% of men and women from all over the United States. Though back pain affects people of all ages, it primarily is targeted towards adults between the ages of 35 and 55 years old.
Back pain can be linked to a variety of issues, either catalyzed by a pre-existing health condition or by a number of problems related to accidental injuries, poor posture, strained muscles, etc. Back braces are normally prescribed by a doctor and act as excellent alternatives to more invasive treatments, like back surgery, psychical therapies, pain relief medications, etc.
- The many benefits provided by orthotic back braces include:
- Alleviation of affected painful areas
- Relief of pain without the risks associated with enduring a surgical procedure
- Prevention or correction of back spinal deformities
- Ability to provide stability to ease common spinal pressures
- Immobilization of injured areas
- Posture improvement
- Spinal elongation
- Alleviation of pain during transitional movements
What Types of Back Braces Are Available?
Back braces mainly fall into two categories, which include hard (rigid) types and soft/elastic types. One of these main types of back braces is issued depending on the severity level of one’s back pain and what areas of the back in which they’re experiencing the back pain.
The hard, rigidly designed back braces are designed to restrict transitional movements by as much as 50% to prevent from further back-related issues. Made with rigid composite materials and/or molded plastic, they are perfect for maintaining stability in those that require elaborate limitation of spinal movements.
These particular braces are mainly used by patients with serious conditions that have acted as a catalyst for their back pain. Some of the more serious conditions for which hard, rigidly designed back braces treat effectively include: scoliosis, spinal fractures, ankylosing spondylitis, muscular injuries, and degenerative disc disease.
The more commonly prescribed back brace is the soft, elastic back brace is made up of more flexible materials and are mainly used to compress the muscle joints associated with the painful areas, as well as the abdominal cavity. This type of compression aids in the stabilization and support of the muscles, allowing for the spine to complete a forward motion without experiencing back pain.
Several types of back braces, including the corset brace, hyperextension brace, rigid brace, and sacroiliac and lumbosacral belts are used to treat a plethora of different back problems and are designed to treat specific affected areas.