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Discussion of Back Braces
Please call The Sports Medicine Shop M-F 8am to 5pm PT at 415-885-6300 to place an order.
Look here for a discussion on back braces.
We are often asked if back braces are a good idea. The answer is yes and no. If you just want to be lazy and have a support to maintain proper posture for you, then back braces are a bad idea. It is always best to maintain proper posture on your own and not rely on any type of brace. However, there are many situations where back braces are a good idea.
For people who, due to injury or illness, lack the ability to maintain proper posture on their own for extended periods of time, a brace can be an excllent supplement. The brace makes it easier for you to maintain proper posture, allowing the postural muscles to work less and thereby work for longer periods of time. Ideally, people in this situation should undertake physical therapy to condition the postural muscles to allow the patient to ultimately get rid of the brace.
People with sever back injuries or joint disease often require back braces to diminish the pain associated with their condition. These people are usually under the care of a physician, and should talk to their doctor about wearing a support before buying one.
For people who work at a job that requires lifting or other strenuouse exercise, a back brace can significantly reduce the risk of back injury. Controversy exists as to why that is. It is very possible that the support the brace offers is not the cause of the reduced injury rate. Rather, it may be the effect wearing a brace has, that reminds the person to use correct body mechanics while working. Either way, lumbar supports worn while working reduce injuries enough that most companies purchase the supports for their employees as a way to save money on medical expenses.
Our lumbar supports are divided into two general categories; lumbar supports and lumbar sacral supports. Both types of supports are just what their names suggest. Lumbar supports provide support to the lumbar or lower back area. Lumbar sacral supports provide support to both the lumbar and sacral (upper buttocks) areas.
For those who can reach and maintain good posture without experiencing pain, the lumbar support we recommend is the Back-A-Line. The Back-A-Line has a semi-rigid lumbar pad that fits snugly into the lumbar area. Wearing the Back-A-Line is much like strapping a lumbar roll to your back. The pad has a depression along the center to prevent pressure directly against the spine and stimulate the muscles on either side of the spine to promote proper posture. The Back-A-Line is comfortable, effective and we highly recommend it. The only problem this brace has is itís bulk. It is designed to be worn over the clothing, an aspect which turns some people away.
The Bioskin lumbar support is an excellent low profile brace. Made of a special breathable yet elastic material it is comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. The three strap system allows for varying degrees of support at the lumbar spine. It is softer and slighter than the Back-A-Line and so can be easily worn under clothing. This feature makes this a popular brace for people who want to want to be more discrete about wearing a lumbar support. The elastic material allows the brace to move with you making it quite popular among our athletic population.
The Lumbo-Sacral corset from Depuy is an excellent support for severe back problems. The Depuy corset covers both the lumbar and sacral areas and is especially good for people who have been diagnosed with disk bulges, had back surgery or are suffering from similar severe problems. This corset is very rigid and performs well at keeping the wearer in correct posture. The elastic allows the corset to adapt to spinal abnormalities while the inelastic buckle straps prevent the brace from loosening once in place. The Depuy corset is somewhat bulky but still fits nicely under clothing. For ongoing or severe back problems, this is the support we recommend.
The Comprifix by Bauerfeind is also a corset style brace providing support to both the lumbar and sacral areas. This support is lower profile than the Depuy corset, although it is slightly less supportive. Many people want the comfort and support a lumbo-sacral corset has to offer but donít want the rigidity or bulk of the Depuy corset. In that situation the Comprifix by Bauerfeind is an excellent choice. The Comprifix fits easily under clothing and is frequently reported by our customers to be the most comfortable of all the supports we offer.