Back braces are a technology dating back to ancient times, they used to be simple tools that restricted the movement of the back. Today, our back braces are much more advanced, and therefore can do much more. There are two main kinds of back brace:
-Hard, which are rigid, usually plastic and restrict the movement of the back by up to 50%, these are usually the braces you’ll wear out of necessity or because a doctor prescribed them.
-Soft, these are made of softer materials and generally are more flexible, they’ll allow you much more mobility while still providing support to your back. These are usually the braces you’ll buy on your own without medical advice.
What are they used for?
Back braces have been used throughout history, dealing with different kinds of back issues. The simplest issue back braces help with is good old back pain, which is greatly lessened by even a soft brace. Back braces also help with progressive back ailments such as scoliosis, in adolescent scoliosis, a back brace may even reverse the damage done, although generally they’re used as a preventative measure to make sure scoliosis doesn’t get worse.
Back braces, specifically hard ones are especially useful in helping the back deal with a fracture, as the decrease in movement lets the bones heal seamlessly. Besides these two, there is a myriad of other cases where back braces will be used for treatment.
How do I know which is the best for me?
Now you may be wondering, if back braces are so ancient, why are there so many kinds of them? Back braces have evolved over time, and similar to medical practice, in general, have specialized for their niches, some are designed to help with your lumbar pain, others improve posture, et cetera.
All of these different kinds of braces are created to solve different issues, and finding one which is made for your case is especially critical. Now that said, there are still quality differences between braces, some braces are flimsy, some break easily or aren’t made from materials which are up to par.
It can be difficult to select a brace which is the best in its niche, mostly because there are so many to choose from, luckily you don’t have to, the website FreeYourSpine has a great article about it which will teach you all the nuts and bolts about which brace to pick.