All You Need to Know About the Use of a Back Brace for Back Pain Treatment

    

It is estimated that about 80% of adults suffer from back pain and back-related complications. Back pain may stem from accidents, muscle strain caused by heavy lifting or poor mechanics, scoliosis, osteoporosis, arthritis, or other conditions. There are many different treatments available for back pain that health care practitioners such as chiropractic, pain management, physical therapy, and orthopedic/neurological surgeons can perform. Depending on the severity of the issue, a back brace may be ordered for you to help prevent further injury and allow proper healing to occur before more invasive procedures are performed. 

Bracing products help relieve pain from conditions such as:

Bulging Or Herniated Discs

A disc is a rubber-like cushion that rests between the bones that stack up to make the spine. Discs are soft and have a center filled with jelly-like matter known as the nucleus. The tough rubber-like exterior is known as the annulus. A herniation or bulge occurs when the nucleus pushes out through a tear in the annulus.  The herniation can impinge and irritate the surrounding nerves and may cause pain, numbness, and even weakness.

Degenerative Disc Disease

Discs act as shock absorbers between the bones of your spine. With age, discs dry or crack, making it harder for them to absorb the shock. They lose water as you age, making them less padded, leading to friction that can cause a lot of pain. These conditions lead to wear and tear of the discs. Furthermore, daily activities and movement can cause injuries and tears in the annular fibers (the outer casing) of the disks. It makes them bulge which then affects the surrounding spinal nerves.

Spinal Stenosis

As the body ages, it goes through degenerative changes that can constrict the spinal nerves. Signs and symptoms can include pain, numbness, and weakness. Wearing a brace limits the micro-motions in the lower spine and relieves pressure. A back brace can reduce or prevent pain and nerve root irritation. The back brace can stabilize the abdomen, reduce spinal stress, and correct posture.

Spondylolysis

A fracture in the facet joint area of a vertebrae that make up the spine is known as Spondylolysis. This is common in children because their spines are still developing as well as athletes due to the continuous stress and strain exerted on the lower back. These fractures might occur on both sides or one side of the bone. Given the area and small size, these tiny bones are the weakest part of the spine, therefore making them very vulnerable to back injury caused by stress and overuse. Spondylolysis, when left untreated, can lead to spondylolisthesis, which is the “slippage” of one vertebrae on another.

Spondylolisthesis

As previously mentioned, spondylolisthesis is when the upper vertebral body slips from the one below it. This results in fractures of the small bone known as pars interarticular fractures. These bones connect the joints at the back of the spinal area. They fracture due to stress exerted on them after slippage. This slip often occurs during periods of growth, such as the adolescent stage.

The slippage can be either high or low-grade. Low-grade slippage means less than 50% of the fractured vertebrae has slipped forward or out of place from the vertebrae below it. Doctors recommend that persons suffering from high-grade slippage should opt for back surgery to relieve their pain.

How does a Back Brace Help?

  • Back braces shift the weight and pressure exerted on the spine to stabilize and support the abdomen. This stabilization reduces pain, corrects posture, and helps to prevent further injury by limiting harmful movements such as twisting while bending forward. 
  • Back braces provide support and prevent further damage to the muscles, nerves, and joints. The support helps restrict painful micro-motions around the fractured or affected area to reduce further nerve irritation.
  • The stabilization gives the affected person time to heal.

Are you experiencing any back injury-related conditions or complications? Our staff will coordinate closely with your healthcare provider to supply you with the best back brace or pain management solution. We are ready to do the paperwork for you. For more information, contact us today.