Do you brace or not? When to wear a lower back brace largely depends on why. Mindlessly strapping on spinal support is not always in your best interest. Excessive bracing could lead to a weakening of back muscles and structures. Generally, a strong, pain free back needs no support. This includes during occasional lifting so long as you use proper technique.
A lower back brace limits spinal motion. The reasons this limitation may be necessary include support and pain.
Brace support for your lower back acts as a preventive measure. One situation for restraining movement is after a fracture or fusion surgery. Bracing helps ensure appropriate healing takes place.
Another occasion you might need a brace for support is to prevent further injury. If you’ve previously injured surrounding muscles or ligaments, then bracing can help reduce the chances of additional injury during recuperation.
Finally, wearing a brace can assist in preventing injury whenever you intend to place repetitive, heavy demands on your lower back. For example, brace while lifting heavy objects or moving stuff around with an awkward motion.
Brace for pain can often reduce or resolve this symptom. Typically, acute lower back pain is caused by muscle or ligament injuries. Pain that is chronic usually indicates an actual spine problem, like bulging or ruptured disc, disk degeneration, sciatica, discitis, arthritis, stenosis and osteoporosis.
Wearing a lower back brace provides pain relief for a couple of reasons. One is it helps reduce the pressure on your lower back. Another is pain causing movement is limited. And thirdly, the area warms up under the brace and this heat may reduce the pain of inflammation.
Essentially, a lower back brace should be worn for intermittent support or pain. But using this health device all the time is not a good strategy because you could eventually cause some back problems you meant to avoid.