Back Braces

Back braces are a common treatment for a variety of problems including scoliosis, healing fractures, or in postoperative fusions. They work by limiting the motion of the spine and gently pushing the spine into its proper position. Back braces can help expedite the healing process after back surgery and they can usually diminish a patient’s lower back pain or discomfort. Some individuals prefer not to wear back braces because of how they think back braces look. However, most back braces are highly effective and can be worn underneath your clothing. In most cases, the back brace is very difficult, if not impossible, to notice.

Most back braces fall into one of two categories: stiff braces and flexible braces. The stiff braces are called rigid braces and the flexible braces are called corset braces or elastic braces:

  • Rigid Braces – These are usually durable plastic braces that can limit up to about 60% of the spine’s movement. They are most commonly used for bone fractures because, by limiting movement more than corset braces, they can make the healing process faster. Two common rigid braces include Boston Overlap braces and Thoracolumbar Sacral Orthosis (TLSO) braces. Because rigid braces tend to be tight and form-fitting, they are generally only worn when standing up, not laying down.
  • Corset Braces – Also called elastic braces, corset braces are common after a lumbar fusion. These braces do not allow the patient to bend forward, making it easier for the fusion to set. These are also commonly worn by people with jobs that involve lots of heavy lifting because they help keep your back straight while lifting and remind you to lift with your legs.

Both types of braces can, in certain circumstances, be used to treat the underlying cause of chronic back pain. For example, individuals who suffer from scoliosis (the excessive sideways curvature of the spine) sometimes experience back pain. Back braces can help by nudging the spine into its proper position.

If you suffer from chronic back pain and you’d like to look into getting a back brace, you should visit an experienced back pain doctor. At Garden State Pain Control, our board-certified New Jersey back pain physicians can help you find the right treatment for your chronic back pain and recommend the proper back brace. Book an appointment here.