Custom back braces help stabilize your spine to prevent injury — which is the reason furniture movers often wear them — or to keep back pain from getting worse. Composed of a combination of rigid plastic and elastic fabric, they are made to be wrapped around your torso to inhibit movement. Custom braces work because they support your spine and reduce the pressure between your vertebral discs.
Also called lumbar sacral orthoses, custom braces come in many shapes and sizes, depending on your needs. They are fitted to the contour of your torso — which is what makes them custom. When it comes to your spine health, one size does not fit all. Once fitted, custom braces are comfortable enough to wear all day or as needed.
A Conservative Treatment
While back braces do nothing to heal your back, they can successfully help you manage your pain. Because of that back support, the spinal physicians at the Southeastern Spine Institute prescribe them as a precautionary, conservative and relatively inexpensive treatment for back pain.
SSI spinal surgeons also may prescribe them to surgery patients after their procedure. Wearing a custom back brace can help your spine and surrounding tissues heal faster because the brace provides back support while limiting movement.
Easy to Use
The technology behind custom braces has improved dramatically over the fifty years they’ve been in use. From metal contraptions to plaster jackets to rigid plastic shells, custom back braces have come a long way. Today, they are relatively comfortable, more effective and much easier to use then their historical counterparts.
Today’s custom braces use Velcro straps, hard plastic components and elastic fabric to mold to your contours. A back brace effectively can limit your movement enough to keep you from injuring yourself further, to minimize the pain you feel and to help your spine heal.
To Control Pain
When you need back support to minimize pain, a custom back brace might be the perfect treatment. Of course, it depends on how much pain you’re feeling, but if it’s not chronic or acute, you may find that a custom brace allows you to return to your daily routine without medication or surgery.
While your spine physician may tell you to take it easy while wearing the brace, you may find that you can participate in more activities than you could before. That doesn’t mean you’ll be running a marathon or playing basketball, but a back brace can keep you pain-free when you return to your home and work life.
How Custom Braces Work
Custom braces hug your torso, keeping your spine straight and providing back support for your vertebrae. Braces also elongate the spine. By reducing the compression and taking the weight off your spine, custom braces encourage your spine to heal. If you have a degenerative condition, such as a herniated disc, a back brace is only a temporary solution, since that type of problem will not heal without corrective measures.
However, if you’re experiencing minor back pain, a custom back brace will stop you from making those movements — like twisting or bending —that hurt you before. It’s like the old joke about the guy who complains to his doctor, “It hurts when I do this.” The doctor replies, “Well, stop doing that.” Custom braces help you to stop doing that.