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Choosing the Right Brace for Your Back Pain

Your back health is integral to maintaining your personal health. Many daily activities begin with the back. The back is used to perform the lifting, turning and twisting required to engage in exercise or other forms of movement. However, sometimes these actions can lead to back pain.

man backache

Severe back pain can take hold in an instant and last for days or weeks. You can treat back pain in a number of ways, including using a back brace. Knowing how to choose the right back brace can help you manage this pain and still maintain your quality of life. Here are a few tips to help you choose the right brace.

My Aching Back

Back pain is a problem that affects 8 out of 10 people at some point throughout their lifetime, but each person might feel something different. The first tip for choosing the right back brace is to understand what type of back pain you are experiencing. Back pain occurs when there is continued stiffness along your spine, sharp pains anywhere in your back including the neck, upper back and lower back, chronic aches following long episodes of sitting or standing, pain that radiates from the spine to the lower back to the leg and an incapacity to stand up straight without experiencing muscle spasms. This pain ranges from moderate to severe.

Knowing what is causing the aches and what area of the back the aches are coming from will help inform your decision-making process when choosing a back brace. There are certain signs of more severe back issues that you can experience, including numbness or tingling in the arms, legs or groin or increased pain when coughing, which could be a sign of a herniated disk. Seek the assistance of a medical provider if you experience these severe back pain symptoms.

Brace Offerings

There are a variety of different types of braces that are available for any type of back pain issues. Lower back braces help support your lower back and lumbar region during work or play and are able to provide a lift to your abdominal area. The wrap type of brace supports your lower abdominal area and lower back and gives relief to pain in these areas. This brace is often used under clothing or during the workday.

Other kinds of back braces include the following:

  • A shoulder support brace that helps improve posture and relieves pain in the upper back region
  • A belt brace that wraps around both your hips and shoulders and provides an anchor design to improve posture and support your upper back
  • A belt that wraps around your waist and provides lumbar support in your lower back region
  • A posture aid that fits around the upper back and the clavicle and also helps to promote good posture

The brace you choose should target the area where you experience back pain. Back braces should be made of comfortable material and be easy to adjust. Choose a brace that is the proper size and will fit you. Make sure the brace allows you to breathe comfortably while you wear it.

When to Wear Your Brace

A back brace is an effective support to help alleviate pain and improve your quality of life. Back braces should not be worn all the time. The brace should be used as a support mechanism throughout the day. However, there should be times for your back to be brace-free. This allows your muscles to heal from the pain but not rely completely on the brace for support. Wearing the brace for too long can weaken your back muscles, leading to further problems. Each person is different, so you will need to test your own back to see what amount of time and what level of brace tension works for you.

Back pain is no fun. However, a back brace can help restore your quality of life. Choosing the right size and the right type of brace can create positive outcomes for your back health. There are a number of great back brace options. With a little research and some testing, you can be on your way to better back health.

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