There are many causes of lower back pain, but a brace can help for most. Common back ailments include spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, scoliosis, herniated discs, and muscle strain or spasms. Wearing a back brace for lower back pain can improve both the symptoms and their causes.
A belt supports and stabilizes the structures in the lower back, including the spine, its discs, muscles, and ligaments. A back stabilized by a brace limits the person’s movements and prevents hyperextension and muscle strain.
Some braces also improve a patient's posture to strengthen back muscles and prevent herniated discs and resulting sciatica. There are three categories of back braces, and each has its benefits and uses.
1.) Soft Elastic Braces will limit movement and support the spine during exercise or stress. Soft braces help people lift heavy loads safely. These are great for improving posture.
2.) Rigid braces are form-fitted plastic and metal that severely restrict movement, typically used for patients recovering from surgery.
3.) Semi-rigid braces combine the other two, with some rigid supports and padding added to a soft, flexible material. This type can help with herniated discs or degenerative disc disease.
How Long Should I Wear My Back Brace?
How long to wear your brace depends on why you are using it. For example, if you wear a back brace due to an injury or after surgery, consult your doctor about when to use the brace and for how long.
Wear your device only when engaging in strenuous activity if you want a back brace to prevent damage. For example, wear it while moving boxes and take it off when you are done.
If you want to improve your posture while seated at a desk, wear the support for an hour at a time and try duplicating the posture using your muscles for a period before putting the brace on again. For most support braces not prescribed by a doctor, limit usage to 60 minutes at first to see how your body and skin will react. Increase the length of time incrementally.
Some studies have found some problems with wearing back supports for lower back pain for too long. For example, your muscles can atrophy or weaken, and your skin could react to the materials.
Worn improperly for long periods, they can even increase heart rates and blood pressure. The keys are to follow doctor’s orders when appropriate and increase the amount of time you use a back brace incrementally if you are not consulting a doctor.
7 Best Back Braces for Lower Back Pain
The CopperFit Unisex Advanced Compression Brace is infused with CoQ10, copper, and menthol to simultaneously provide support and pain relief. The construction supports back and abdominal muscles, and the infused products, released as you move, prevent injury and provide pain relief and healing.
1.) High-performance fabric that is lightweight & breathable.
2.) The contoured design and adjustable closure allow for a better fit. Comes in 3 different sizes that will fit waists from 28” to 60”.
3.) Includes 4 built-in stabilizing supports muscles designed to help reduce lower back pain & strain, and improve posture..
4.) Copper naturally inhibits bacteria growth & odor reducing.
The CopperFit Pro Back Belt is great because of its discreet design underneath clothing. Its double belt closure provides good support to your lower back and abdominal muscles. The compression belt also increases oxygen flow.
The TIMTAKBO Back Support Belt for Women helps with herniated discs and sciatica pain. It's ideal for supporting a woman's back when sitting at a desk for hours or lifting heavy objects. The wide range of sizes makes getting the right fit easy.
1.) Available in sizes from S/M to XXXL. S/M fits waists from 26” x 32”, The large/XL size fits waists from 29.5” through 37.5 , XXL 37.5” through 45” and the XXXL 45” to 53”.
2.) This 2.0 version of their original belt has four wide ribs and wider back wraps supporting the lumbar region and correcting posture.
3.) It relieves back pain due to herniated discs, muscle spasms, strains, and osteoarthritis without inhibiting movement too much.
4.) It is made from SPACER & DRY TEX, high-tech materials that are lightweight and breathable. Your skin remains cool and comfortable.
5.) An attractive design with either rose or blue outer wrap makes it great for wearing outside a thin T-shirt while working or working out.
The Timtakbo Back Support for Women is great because of its wide range of sizes to fit any body type. The lightweight, flexible material combined with plastic stays support your back without preventing free movement.
The AllyFlex Sports Back Brace was designed with the help of sports experts. It’s perfect for providing back support while lifting heavy objects. The Y-shaped suspenders and two lumbar support pads help you prevent injury. The high-tech neoprene provides excellent support, and the Coolmax inner lining wicks moisture away from your skin.
1.) The contoured Y-Shaped suspenders fit comfortably over your shoulders to keep the belt in place and provide additional posture support. The suspenders can easily be removed when you don’t need them.
2.) The two 3D lumbar support pads are adjustable and removable. They fit on either side of your backbone keeps lower back muscles stable as you lift.
3.) The belt is made from a hi-tech neoprene which is strong and durable but breathable.
4.) The inner layer of Coolmax material keeps you cooler by wicking moisture away from your skin.
5.) The belt can be loosened and tightened quickly, and the range of sizes makes getting the right fit easy. XS/S fits 23-30” waists, M 30-37”, L 37-45” and XL/XXL 45-55” waists.
The AllyFlex Sports Back Brace is great for work to prevent injury when lifting. The strong neoprene, Y-shaped suspenders, and dual lumbar support cushions all work together to keep a worker from injuring muscles and herniating discs.
They encourage proper posture and help current injuries heal by preventing further aggravation. You can remove the suspenders and remove or adjust the pads to customize the product to your needs.
The ORTONYX Full Back Support Brace with Removable Dorso-lumbar Pad works great to improve posture and relieve both upper and lower back pain.
The strategic design pulls shoulders back and keeps the spine straight. The lumbar pad gives extra support to the lower back. This is a great choice for Thoracic Kyphosis or curvature of the spine, and round shoulders, both of which cause back and neck pain.
1.) A soft, contoured lumbar pad distributes support evenly across the lower back muscles to keep them stable.
2.) Armpit pads protect your underarms and keep the belt from chaffing.
3.) Easy-to-use hook and loop closures make the belt adjustable to the perfect tension.
4.) Removable metal stays provide additional structure if needed.
5.) Crisscross straps pull your shoulders back to improve posture and alleviate pain from sore muscles and herniated discs in the neck and upper back.
The ORTONYX Full Back Support Brace is great because it corrects your posture and supports both your upper and lower back. It provides posture correction and muscle support without inhibiting your movement. The material is light and comfortable, and the two-fold measuring system makes sure you get a good fit.
The Mueller 255 Lumbar Support Back Brace was designed by the experts at Mueller Sports Medicine to support the spine and lower back. The removable lumbar pad and flexible stays allow for a range of support levels for people with different needs.
Great for people suffering from degenerative disc disease. The discs that cushion the vertebrae in your spine wear down over time, and many older people have back pain due to eroded discs and lower back stiffness.
1.) The double-layer design allows for a custom fit for men and women. You get concentrated support where you need it.
2.) A t-shaped lumbar support pad can be added or removed as needed.
3.) The internal molded plastic component keeps the belt working and prevents it from rolling or bunching as you wear it.
4.) The four flexible steel springs within the belt apply a comfortable amount of pressure to keep the spine and muscles stable as you move.
5.) The three sizes available fit waist sizes from 28” through 50”.
The Mueller 255 Lumbar Support Back Brace is great because you get excellent support for your lower back structure. People with degenerative disc disease need their spine and lower back muscles to be stable as they move to avoid sciatica pain and muscle strain due to stiffness. The springs, internal molded plastic, and lumbar support cushion provide that stability.
The TIMTAKBO Lower Back Brace with a removable lumbar pad is an excellent choice for people with a herniated disc. The stays on either side of the spine provide some traction, and the design and adjustable fit promote a properly curved lumbar region.
1.) A removable lumbar support pad supports the herniated disc.
2.) Adjustable pulley straps enable you to customize the amount of compression and the fit to your shape.
3.) The design reduces the pressure on your abdomen, so wearing it is more comfortable.
4.) Four wide, curved steel stays incorporated vertically in the belt to run on either side of the spine to help keep vertebrae aligned and separated.
5.) The lightweight, breathable mesh makes it possible to use the brace while exercising or participating in sports.
6.) Spandex and Velcro make it easy to put on and take off.
7.) The four sizes, S/M, L/XL, XXL, AND XXXL, fit from 23.5” to 55” so this back brace for lower back pain caused by herniated discs and sciatica work for anyone.
The TIMTAKBO Lower Back Brace is great for people with herniated discs because it supports the lower spine and puts your lower back in a healthy curve. The adjustable pulleys mean you can get a great fit and change the compression needed easily and quickly.
The Back Brace by Sparthos can be worn all day, and you can still move freely, so it's ideal for nurses and other medical professionals. In addition, it provides support to relieve and prevent lower back pain due to muscle strains, herniated discs, scoliosis, degenerative disc disease, and sciatica.
1.) The adjustable lumbar support pillow can be moved around to find its ideal placement for maximum pain relief.
2.) The heavy-duty hook & loop closures keep the belt in place while you wear it.
3.) The fabric is elastic but breathable mesh, so you can wear it comfortably under your clothes all day.
4.) The firm support stays are plastic rather than metal, so they don’t poke you but give the right compression degree.
5.) This back brace for lower back pain comes in three sizes to fit belly sizes from 26’ to 72”. The 72" maximum is larger than most other back braces.
The Back Brace by Sparthos is great for nurses and other medical professionals who need to move freely while getting therapeutic back compression. Its lightweight makes it comfortable under clothes, and the plastic stays help you keep your lower spine aligned.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I wear a brace while exercising?
Some lighter-weight braces that are made from breathable materials will work under workout clothes or during sports. However, you may need to adjust the compression to allow more movement. A belt can protect you when recovering from an injury while you do strength exercises.
How long can I wear a back brace?
Most manufacturers have instructions on how long to wear their belt or brace when you first get it. If you are under a doctor’s care, follow medical advice. A good rule of thumb is to wear it for 30-60 minutes the first day and then increase the time by 20 minutes each day after that.
You can wear some lighter-weight braces throughout an 8-hour shift. You should take breaks every couple of hours or so with more restrictive braces. Watch for problems like skin reactions or pinching.
What can I do to prevent a skin reaction from wearing a brace?
Sometimes back braces for lower back pain rub against your skin as you move around with it on. Other times, your skin may react to the materials themselves. In both cases, the easiest answer is to wear a thin T or undershirt under the brace. Ensure the shirt fits you well, and it doesn't bunch or wrinkle under the brace.