Back Brace – I am a chronic back pain sufferer like so many others around the world. My journey down the road of back pain began in 1997 and unfortunately, I am still dealing with it still today. Through the years I have experienced many procedures and used several back pain products.
When it comes to a Back Brace I have worn several of them. If you happen to have any back surgery for bulging or herniated discs, it is common to have to wear a back brace post-surgery. Which I have done for each of mine. But I have also worn them for back pain and support other times.
What is a Back Brace?
A back brace is an apparatus that is designed to limit the motion of your spine in cases of fracture, herniated, bulging, fusions or in post-operative events. They are additionally used in preventative measures against some progressive conditions like Scoliosis.
How a Back Brace Can Help?
The back is the most important part of your body. Do not get me wrong, there are other important parts like your brain and heart. From my experience of years dealing with chronic back pain. When your back is hurting, it affects the rest of your body as well. Everything in one way or another is connected to your back.
Your back contains your spine, which protects your spinal cord. The spine connects your peripheral nervous system which leads to your brain. The brain works as a control center letting other parts of your body communicate. Your rib cage can protect certain organs but it also relies on your spine and other parts of your back, like the muscles and ligaments for support. Your kidneys and lungs rely on your back for protection.
There are many complex parts to a back. If anything happens to any part of your back, you can expect some pain as the final result. If not immediate, there is a good chance it will show up in the near future.
There are several causes that could be behind back pain. Muscle & ligament strain, ruptured or bulging discs, skeletal irregularities like scoliosis, osteoporosis, degenerative disc disease, arthritis, an injury, and more.
A quick fix for back pain can sometimes be remedied with a Back Brace. It’s a safe, low cost, drug-free, and surgery-free way to alleviating your back pain.
Two Main Back Brace Types: Hard & Soft
There are two main types of back braces and those are Soft and Hard. The Hard is also referred to as Rigid. There are many conditions for which a back brace may be used. These two main types also have sub-categories within them.
Soft braces are generally made with soft fabric that’s breathable allowing for airflow. They will have adjustable Velcro or elastic closures. A soft brace will compress your abdominal region and relieve pressure from your spine. This is possible by supporting the muscles that usually need to hold up the skeletal structure. The soft brace will allow the forward motion of the spine.
Some soft braces are specifically designed for heavy lifting. Then you have others that are for lightweight support. Its something you might wear while working around the house. These braces come in all different sizes and shapes. This will depend on the area the brace is needed. Braces will vary on the design as well. Some will extend from just below the chest to the hips. Then there narrow braces that look like a large belt.
Since soft braces are adjustable, chances are you will not need to be measured for one. Depending on your situation there are times a doctor will want you to be fitted for a customized back brace.
Some hard/rigid braces are designed specifically for support after an injury or having surgery. I had to wear a brace after two of my back surgeries. Plastic material parts will get placed over the lower back and stomach. Then they are attached with Velcro straps.
Correcting/preventing curvatures of the spine like scoliosis would call for a rigid type of back brace.
The More Common Rigid Type of Back Brace
Boston Brace: The brace provides support from the shoulder to the tailbone in back. Then from below the chest to the pelvis in front. This has to be worn at all times but can be removed for bathing.
Milwaukee Brace: This one is shaped like the Boston brace. However, it has an additional part that is used for supporting the neck area.
Charleston Brace: Specifically designed for people who have scoliosis. The brace is to be worn only while sleeping. What this brace does is it applies a force that “over-corrects” the spine while you are sleeping. This will help the spine to grow straight.
Always consult your doctor first if you are having any back pain. Your doctor may recommend a specific kind of brace.
Sometimes getting a brace through your doctor might not be an option for you. This could be due to the cost and whether you have insurance or not. Braces from your doctor will be much more expensive if there is no insurance to supplement the cost.
Mueller 255 Lumbar Support Back Brace
The Mueller 255 Lumbar Support Back Brace comes with a removable second layer. This second layer has small sewn-in steel springs that have been added within the lining. If you find that the first layer of the brace has not provided you that support you need, you can add in that second layer by attaching the removable lumbar pad. This helps in improving your posture no matter if you are sitting or standing.
There is an eight-inch extra-wide wide design created for this brace for support. You might feel like weightlifting with this brace on but that is one of the main reasons for this brace being so successful. You can loop this around your back, and that will allow you to add as much tension as you need to the front of it.
It’s designed to fit most body types. It does come in two sizes and those are Plus & Regular Size. The range of waist sizes it can fit is 28 inches all the way up to 70 inches. By only wearing the first layer of the brace makes it possible to easily hide it under any loose-fitting type of shirt.
Now keep in mind that the steel springs will add some extra weight. This will not be an issue for you if you are planning on using this back brace for improving your posture. Depending on your size, if you do any walking it could possibly slow you down a bit. Again, by removing the second layer it could make all the difference. When I wore this brace I did not find that using the second layer was that big of a deal. For a guy, I am not that big. I am only 5’9 and 160lbs.
You might see comments where some people report that the edges of the Velcro straps on this brace have caused chafing. I can almost guarantee this is because this put the brace on under their clothes exposing the Velcro straps directly on their skin. Regardless if you are wearing this brace and another one, always wear some type of clothing underneath it. I usually wear a light t-shirt. Something light will usually always work.
Hi, I’m Drew. If you are suffering from back pain be it chronic or intermittent. I would love to hear your story?