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FAQ: How Do Back Support Belts Work?

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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 effected 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.