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How to Help Your Doctor Determine if You Need a Back Brace


If you are experiencing back pain, you may decide to visit your doctor. Or you may be referred to a new doctor for further consultation. 

The doctor may talk to you about prescribing a back brace for your back pain. And you as the patient must work with your doctor to determine if a back brace is the right treatment option. To do so, you will need to thoroughly describe your back pain or condition to your doctor. 

Elite Medical Blog (2)-Apr-07-2022-09-07-08-76-AM

Here we share some tips to help you better describe your back pain to your doctor. Each of the following are reasons you may need a back brace followed by tips for describing your pain or symptoms in more detail. For general tips on communicating with your doctor, check out our previous post here


You may need a back brace to reduce pain. 

Do you have pain during certain movements of your spine? Back braces reduce pain by restricting your spine from moving in those painful directions. If you have pain during certain movements, it is important to tell your doctor where and when you are feeling that pain. Simply stating that you have “pain” is not enough. Communicate the painful movement (for example, bending forward), as well as the point in the movement that you feel pain. Let your doctor know if your pain restricts certain activities, like gardening or picking up your grandkids.


You may need a back brace to improve healing following an injury to the back or spine. 

After an injury, back braces are used to restrict movement to prevent you from further injuring your back or spine. When at your appointment, tell your doctor about your injury in detail. Tell them when and how the injury happened. 


Ask yourself these questions and be prepared to share the answers. How long ago was the injury? Has it happened multiple times? 


The more information you provide, the better equipped your doctor will be to prescribe the best treatment plan for you.


You may need a back brace to improve healing after surgery. 

Similar to post-injury, back braces post-surgery help support the back while it is recovering from surgery to prevent you from injuring yourself during recovery. Back braces after surgery are usually prescribed according to the surgeon’s post-operative protocol. Different surgeons have different protocols, so ask your surgeon if they prescribe back braces as part of their protocol. Make sure you understand why they may be prescribing you a back brace and how to use it. 


You may need a back brace to support weak spinal muscles.

As we age, our muscles weaken. This can prevent us from functioning in our daily lives, fulfilling work duties, or doing the things we love. Communicate to your doctor if you feel that your weakness is preventing you from performing your day-to-day activities. This could be anything from basic household chores to exercising. A back brace coupled with a strengthening rehab program may be a great option for you in this scenario.


You may need a back brace to support a deformed spine.

Have you ever been told you have scoliosis or some other deformity in your back or spine? Or do you feel like your spine isn’t straight? If so, tell your doctor. There are tests and assessments for these conditions. Your doctor may not know to assess you if you don’t tell them about your medical history or the symptoms you are experiencing in your spine.



Our knowledgeable staff is available if you would like assistance with planning for your next appointment. We are here to help if you have questions about your options for a back brace

Written by Dr. Jenny Hunnicutt

Dr. Jenny Hunnicutt is a licensed athletic trainer with a PhD in Health and Rehabilitation Science. As the owner of Hunnicutt Writing and Consulting, LLC, she collaborates with global institutions, spearheading innovation and research among professionals and businesses in Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. Learn more at https://drhunnicutt.com.