If you’ve started visiting a doctor for your back pain concerns, you might have been prescribed a back support brace. A back brace can also be prescribed for other conditions, including post-surgical recovery, scoliosis, occupational disorders leading to lower back pain, etc.
Irrespective of the cause, a posture brace aims to improve spinal mobility and minimise back pain and concerns in the future. It has emerged as one of the non-invasive modalities to treat lower back conditions.
If your spine specialist has recommended a back brace for lower back pain, you may be wondering, “How will it affect my life”?
For starters, back braces for lower back pain don’t look like bulky armour anymore. The sleek, discreet design has made it compatible with everywhere wear. You may need some time to get habituated to wearing a back brace, but before you realise, you’ll soon adopt it as a regular part of your lifestyle.
Remember, a posture brace is prescribed or recommended for better, long-term health.
Correctly wearing yours is the key to ensure it works efficiently as intended. Similarly, adequate and correct care increases the longevity of your back brace.
In this article, we’ll discuss various tips for wearing and caring for your posture brace that translate into a desirable outcome.
When Does A Doctor Prescribe Back Support Brace?
A back brace can be recommended for various conditions, including:
- Post-operative recovery: Aid in post-operative healing by supporting your spine and restricting unnecessary impactful movements.
- Poor posture: Improve your posture by strengthening your back and core muscles
- Lower back pain: Reduce lower back pain caused by main conditions including poor posture, arthritis, sciatica, osteoarthritis etc.
- Muscle injury: Reduces the chances of developing muscle strain.
- Vertebral compression fracture
- Spinal stenosis
- Herniated disc
What Should You Look For While Buying Back Braces for Lower Back Pain?
- It should be ergonomically designed with semi-rigid material for contoured fit and maximum support to your spine.
- The material of the posture brace should be hypoallergenic to give you a fresh, comfortable fit while being sweat-resistant.
- It should feature a lightweight design for long-term comfortable wear.
- It should be easy to wear. Most patients abandon the treatment because they simply don’t want to ask for help every time they’re wearing it.
Best Ways To Wear Your Back Support Brace
Wear a Shirt/T-shirt Under Your Posture Brace
Wearing a shirt or t-shirt under your posture brace helps prevent skin irritation. Wear a shirt that’s:
- Has a tight-fitting and won’t slip
- Made with 100% cotton
- Extends the length of your back support brace
- Ensure your shirt/t-shirt doesn’t wrinkle under the back brace and is pulled down snugly.
Always Keep The Skin Under Your Brace Clean
A back support brace is specifically developed to fit tightly. Therefore it is normal if you notice red areas where the posture support brace applies pressure.
However, you need to maintain clean skin to prevent blisters or raw skin under the back brace.
Ensure to wash the skin under the brace regularly to clear out any dirt accumulation. You can baby moisture wipes to clean your after activities or as you follow your specific schedule.
Apply Rubbing Alcohol Until Skin Toughens
The skin covered by your back support brace gets toughened. Applying rubbing alcohol can prevent severe irritation and skin breakdown on the areas where the back brace applies pressure.
It is recommended to apply rubbing alcohol unless the skin toughens. Once you start wearing your brace, it generally takes 2-3 weeks for the skin to get toughened.
Avoid Applying Moisturiser On The Skin Covered By Brace
It’s essential to keep the area under the posture brace as dry as possible. Excessive moisture can lead to irritation and skin sores.
Therefore, avoid using any body lotion, creams, body butter, powders, etc., on the skin underneath the back posture brace.
Follow Instruction While Wearing Your Back Brace
When your healthcare practitioner recommends wearing a brace, they’ll also share certain instructions about how and when to wear it. Additionally, whenever you purchase a back support brace, you’ll receive a manufacturer manual along with the brace.
For optimum results, follow the instructions mentioned both by your doctor and the manufacturer manual.
Wear Loose Fitting Clothes Over Your Back Brace
Modern back brace for lower back pain generally has a sleek, discreet design. You can conceal it under your clothes or wear it anywhere. Even with a back brace, you can confidently maintain your sense of style.
However, for optimum comfort, it is recommended to wear loose clothing over your back brace.
Loose clothes allow adequate air circulation, prevent sweat formation and skin irritation.
Try To Keep Your Body Temperature Cool
Subjecting yourself to scorching heat can cause sweating and skin irritation. Additionally, the pressure applied by the posture brace can increase the heat buildup. Therefore on hot and humid days, keep yourself cool by sitting inside an air-conditioned room, consuming adequate fluid.