The best back brace
If you suffer from lower back pain, you very well may need a good back brace. A well-designed back brace can offer you the support you need to help your back stay aligned and in a reduced state of stress. We can help you determine the type of back brace that is best and which models are worth spending your precious dollars on.
Read the following buying guide and the accompanying reviews to find out which back braces rate highly. You may be particularly impressed by our top choice, the NeoMedinaTech Natural Arthritis Pain Relief Back Brace. It's a flexible belt you can easily customize to your dimensions, and it has strategically placed magnets to help promote healing.
Considerations when choosing back braces
Source of pain
The most essential step in choosing a back brace is identifying the major source of your strain or pain. As an example, if you have poor posture, you may want to get a posture-correcting brace. If you constantly lift heavy objects, a supportive corset-style brace may be what you need.
Level of support
As a general rule, the more intense your pain is, the more support you will need. Back pain is often the result of vertebrae being strained due to lack of support, leading to a crooked spine or pinched nerves. If your pain is mild, a more pliable brace would likely suffice, but severe cases require more solid support.
Rigid vs. elastic braces
Rigid back braces have hard molded shells. They are intended to limit the movement of your spine, thus reducing the stress on your entire back. Rigid back braces treat severe back issues like scoliosis.
Elastic (or corset) back braces have a number of different designs, but they offer a lower level of support than rigid braces. They are often made of nylon, polyester, and rubber, and they offer compression and support. These braces are less noticeable than rigid ones and are great for everyday use.
Your comfort is a primary reason for getting a back brace. If a brace is designed in a way that doesn't offer the support you need or doesn't fit very well, you won't get what you need. Make sure you get a brace that offers both comfort and support.
A back brace is meant to last a long time. It needs to be strong enough to either restrict your movement or adapt to it. That's why getting a back brace that is durable is imperative. Most braces are made of durable materials, but beware of ones that are cheaply made, as the seams may not be as strong as they should be.
Some back braces use your own body heat to help soothe your back. They trap heat against your body, thereby increasing the temperature of the affected area. This can be helpful in lessening the pain from osteoarthritis and muscles that are just plain stiff.
Mesh straps on a back brace are optimum in warm climates. They allow the brace to breathe so you feel comfortable and your body doesn't collect too much sweat in one area.
Molded plastic and metal stays can go far to give you the added support you need for severe back pain and strain. Furthermore, they are more durable than back braces without any sort of solid support.
If you want to have the freedom to make major adjustments to the shape and feel of your back brace, look into one with removable pads. You can customize your therapeutic experience by removing and rearranging the pads as needed.
Back braces range from $10 for inexpensive elastic supports to over $1,000 for custom-fit models. However, most people should be able to find one that suits their needs for less than $75.
Q. Should I wear a back brace to prevent future pain if I no longer have any?
A. Only on occasion. If you are not currently dealing with major back pain or strain, limit your use of a back brace to times when you will be putting your back under stress. Wearing one all of the time could actually lead to weakened back muscles.
Q. Is it OK for a pregnant woman to wear a back brace?
A. Women should consult a medical professional before changing any routine during pregnancy. In many cases, a back brace can help alleviate pregnancy-related back pain. Look for a special maternity back brace (or belly band) that can relieve pain and offer additional support.
Back braces we recommend
Best of the best: NeoMedinaTech Natural Arthritis Pain Relief Back Brace
Our take: The best back brace on the market if you follow the instructions precisely.
What we like: Highly durable and easy to adjust.
What we dislike: Some complain that the magnets inside are extraneous and not therapeutic.
Best bang for your buck: Mueller Adjustable Lumbar Brace
Our take: Perfect balance between comfort and value.
What we like: The double adjustment feature ensures maximum support.
What we dislike: Brace runs small, so those with larger waist sizes may have fit issues.
Our take: Minimal to moderate support that helps those with mild to moderate back problems.
What we like: Breathable mesh panels make for a comfortable brace. Easy to adjust.
What we dislike: Size inconsistencies have been reported with this model.
Adam Reeder is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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