At one time, back braces were only available through a physician. Today, you can purchase a brace in just about any drug store. Although custom braces are still available, non-prescription braces allow the everyday consumer to find relief from back pain and help support a back injury at an affordable price.
While there are plenty of braces to choose from, choosing a product from a trusted and reputable brand will greatly improve your chances of achieving the results you want.
Top 5 Back Braces for 2019
- BraceUP Stabilizing Lumbar Lower Back Brace
- AidBrace Back Brace Support Belt
- Copper Compression Recovery Back Brace
- Lower Back Brace by FlexGuard Support
- Andego Back Posture Corrector for Women & Men
When it comes to affordable back braces, Mueller is the brand that comes to mind. This family-owned brand has been in business for more than four decades.
You may know some of their early products, such as M-Tape, MediKit trainer’s kit and M-Wrap.
The brand was trusted by athletes for two decades before creating a retail line of sports medicine products. Mueller’s ultimate goal was to make their sports medicine products accessible to everyday consumers all over the world. Unlike other therapeutic brands, Mueller only manufactures sports medicine products.
Today, the brand has several patented braces and supports. Their adjustable brace is one of the best-selling and best rated on Amazon.com.
No matter whether you’re recovering from a back injury or looking to improve your posture, Mueller is one brand you can rely on for a quality and affordable brace.
Ergodyne is the brand behind the ProFlex line of back supports and braces. Designed to prevent back injuries, workers all over the world rely on the brand’s back supports.
The unique design of their products provides the back with essential support while also limiting range of motion.
As a result, you’re forced to lift heavy objects properly and are less likely to injure your back.
While these back supports are typically used in the workplace, you can also use them to limit your range of motion after a back injury has already taken place. Because Ergodyne designs their products with workers in mind, their products are heavy-duty and built-to-last.
The HoMedics brand is a leader in the wellness industry, so it should come as no surprise that their hot/cold therapy back wrap is one of the best rated braces on the market.
The company has been in business for nearly three decades and offers a wide range of health and wellness products, including heated back massagers.
As far as back braces go, HoMedics goes beyond just providing you with support.
Their hot/cold therapy back wrap combines the therapeutic benefits of hot and cold therapy with the power of magnets to ease tension and melt away pain.
The heat soothes away pain, while the cold reduces inflammation. If you’re dealing with a back injury or chronic back pain, this therapeutic wrap will speed up the healing process and finally give you the pain relief you’re looking for.
The ACE brand is a part of the 3M family. The company offers a wide range of therapeutic braces for just about every part of the body, including the knee, foot, ankle, wrist, arm, hand, elbow and back.
ACE also offers a line of hot/cold therapy products.
If you’re looking for a reliable back brace, ACE offers two: An adjustable brace and a lumbar brace. Both will provide you with the support you need, but the adjustable brace comes with the added bonus of having odor control and a breathable fabric.
With both braces available at affordable prices, ACE makes it easy for the everyday person to finally find relief from chronic back pain.
SAI (Surgical Appliance Industries) has been in business since 1893, and was originally known as the Ohio Truss Company.
The company got its start offering saddles and bridles in the Port of Cincinnati, but with the invention of the automobile, the founders of the brand found themselves without a market.
SAI would get its start by offering a line of hernia trusses and abdominal supports.
Today, SAI focuses primarily on producing compression therapy products. They offer a wide range of rib belts, abdominal binders and sacro braces that provide back pain relief and speed up the healing process.
Their therapeutic braces are primarily designed to support those who have suffered back injuries and may not be as beneficial for correcting posture.
Much like ACE, Futuro is a part of the 3M family of brands. While ACE is focused more on athletes, Futuro is focused more on offering products to the everyday user.
The brand offers an adjustable back support brace and a stabilizing brace.
The adjustable brace uses a double pull cord system that makes it easy to adjust the brace to your size. It allows full range of motion, but provides the back with compression and support.
The stabilizer brace comes in a range of sizes and helps keep the spine properly aligned.
Futuro is another brand that is well-rated by consumers, and their braces are widely available in most drugstores across the country.
McDavid’s line of SportMed products are some of the most trusted and respected in the industry.
While their therapeutic products are designed with athletes in mind, they also provide everyday users with the support and pain relief they crave.
McDavid has been in business since 1969 and was responsible for creating the first protective knee brace that was widely used by football players.
Today, the brand offers braces and support products for just about every part of the body, including the back. The McDavid Level 3 Back Stabilizer provides maximum support and helps prevent pulls and strains.
The brace provides compression and thermal therapy to soothe away back pain and help speed up recovery.
How Do Back Support Belts Work?
Having back pain is nothing short of agonizing. When your back hurts, you will want to be able to find some form of relief so that you can maintain a fairly regular routine that does not irritate the problem. Instead of waiting until there is a problem to find relief, a back support belt should be worn. These belts are meant to do one thing – support the back.
Many people wonder “how do back support belts work?” Well, the answer to this question is not as cut and dry as you may like. There are many supportive points that need to be understood to fully appreciate how these belts will support your back.
1. Reduction of Loading
Back braces hug the spine and provide what is medically called loading support. This is the actual pressure that is put on the spine when lifting. The idea is that a belt will reduce this force so that the spine is less affected by lifting.
This ensures that vertebra do not grind together and the discs in your back are never compressed when lifting.
2. Positive Lifting Feedback
When going to lift, it is important to remember to maintain good posture and keep your back straight. Back belts will allow for the lifter to consciously make an effort to lift correctly thanks to the feedback the belt provides.
While the belt is not doing much in this circumstance, it is used by the brain as a trigger to maintain good posture when lifting.
3. Reduction in Bending
Moving or bending in the wrong manner can put a lot of undue stress on the back. If a person bends too far forward, they can strain their back and cause injury. If a person lifts objects while being bent over incorrectly, this can lead to pressure within the spinal column or even tears in muscle.
Support belts will eliminate some of the over-bending positions that cause a person to lift improperly. While not all belts provide full bending support, side to side bending support is typically provided.
4. Enforcement of Good Posture
Positioned on the lower back, belts will enforce good posture. Not only will a person be lifting correctly, but they will be reminded to keep a straight back at all times including lifting, standing or sitting.
The vast majority of back-related issues are caused by bad posture. With a slight adjustment to your posture, the potential of a back injury occurring is drastically reduced.
If you already have a back injury, good posture can put a halt to further injury and actually hasten the healing process.
5. Points to Remember
One of the biggest misconceptions when wearing a support belt is that they will prevent all back injuries from occurring.
This is definitely not the case and can actually lead a person to further injure themselves. Back support belts are meant for support, but you will still have to maintain proper posture when lifting.
A major concern is that some wearers will attempt to lift more than they are capable of due to wearing a belt. This will lead to further injuries. Any time you lift, you need to:
- Squat down using your legs
- Maintain a straight back
- Lift with your legs
If you lift with your back, a support belt will not be able to prevent an injury from occurring.
Support belts have been implemented in some of the biggest companies in the world.
By allowing for the loading force to be reduced on the back when lifting, a wearer’s back will be less prone to injury and support will be provided for any existing injuries. With the proper wearing pattern, pain will be alleviated, healing will occur and potential back injuries can be prevented.