Pros and Cons of using a Back Brace
The Pros of Using a Back Brace
1. Braces are used directly after surgery and it can be useful for spine stabilization.
2. Lumbar support braces are useful for after in an initial low back injury by limiting movement of the spine in the low back area.
3. Some people who use back braces report that the braces support their abdomen, improve their posture and take some of the pressure off their lower back.
4. Back braces can make transitional movements (such as from a sitting to a standing position) more comfortable.
5. If you have a labor-intensive job that places stress on your lower back, a back brace can help you when you first return to work after a back injury by avoiding too much strain on your spine.
The Cons of Using a Back Brace
1. Many doctors are concerned that use of the back braces long-term may result in atrophy of some muscles that support the spine through lack of use. In other words, the muscles and ligaments that do not have to work due to the support of the brace will weaken. This will demand more and more from the back brace. At some point the brace will not be able to do that much work and an injury may result.
2. When you wear a lumbar support brace, the demand removed from one area of your back may be transmitted to another area nearby, and result in either pain or later injury.
3. Since muscles and ligaments weaken over time with the use of a back brace, the spine becomes vulnerable when the brace is not being worn. The spine then is at at a higher risk of injury than it would have been had the brace not been used.
4. In teenagers with scoliosis, back braces are used to prevent advancement of the spinal curvature. Few of the young people who don’t wear a brace don’t have any problems and their curves never worsen. Others wear a back brace for years, and they still end up needing back surgery.