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How do I Choose the Best Posture Back Brace?

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  • Written By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 14 August 2018
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Over 80 percent of the world's population suffers from back pain. A posture back brace can help alleviate pain for some users by assisting in the prevention and correction of spinal and muscular issues. Available in a wide variety of styles, there are many factors that go in to choosing the best posture back brace for you. Among other concerns, you should consider your specific back issues, the material the brace is made of, and how the brace will look when you wear it.

In order to choose the best posture back brace, you need to look for one that addresses your specific back issue. Different braces target different muscle groups, including the shoulders, upper back, mid-back, and lower back. A back brace that supports the shoulders probably won't be of much help if you suffer from lower back pain. Posture back braces come in a variety of styles that are designed to meet different needs.

Shoulder braces fit over the shoulder and across the mid-chest. They focus on the upper back and shoulders by training the shoulder muscles to stay back and straight instead of rounding forward. These are recommended for individuals who sit for extending periods of time, such as working at a computer. Posture tension bands cuff around each bicep and connect via tension bar across the upper-back, over clothing. Like the shoulder brace, these are recommended for individuals who sit for extended periods of time.

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Lower back braces wrap around the abdomen, and stabilize the lower back muscles. These are used primarily for lower back injuries, like sprains and strains; treating muscle spasms; and for those whose work requires repeated heavy lifting. Full back and shoulder braces fit over the shoulder and fasten around the abdomen. They target all muscle groups to strengthen the muscles and align the spinal cord to improve posture.

You may also want to consider the material the posture back brace is made of. Back braces are available in both latex and various fabric materials. Latex braces do not provide ventilation and are rigid, and they should not be worn by individuals with latex allergies. Fabric braces are usually more adjustable and breathable, but may wear out faster.

Tension and sizing should also be considered. For the posture back brace to be effective, it must provide proper tension that holds you in a correct posture. Otherwise, your condition will not improve and may worsen. Pay attention to the measurements, especially in the hip and chest, listed on the brace specifications when ordering. To ensure correct tension and sizing, you may want to consult a health-care professional to verify you are wearing the brace properly.

Cosmetic factors must also be considered. Some people prefer a brace that is worn discreetly underneath clothing, while others don't mind if it is noticeable. Keep in mind that while most braces are advertised as worn under clothing, a light shirt may be needed under the brace to prevent chafing and sores. This is especially important with thin-strapped fabric models.

Before purchasing a brace, it's a good idea to consult a healthcare professional. He or she may be able to recommend a style or brand for your needs. If purchasing from a medical supply store, ask one of the trained professional salespeople for assistance on tension and sizing.

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fBoyle
Post 5

Those with muscle issues like spasms can also benefit from a back brace. Cold and wind can actually cause muscles to contract and spasm. So I use a back brace made of wool in the winter months while working. It keeps my back muscles warm and relaxed. I've not had a back spasm in the past nine months thankfully.

ddljohn
Post 4

@candyquilt-- That's true.

I have a herniated disc in my lower back, as well as a narrow spine, possibly from birth. Back pain has become a norm for me. My doctor said that the hernia is a few years old which means that it must have developed when I was in college. I used to move in and out of dorm rooms all by myself every semester, lifting things like a mini fridge and TV.

Of course, I should have avoided lifting altogether but I do wonder if knowing the correct lifting techniques and wearing a back brace would have prevented my injury.

I do wear a posture back brace often now. It helps considerably and reminds me not to bend down an to use my knees instead.

candyquilt
Post 3

People think that a posture back brace is only used after problems have occurred. A posture back brace can actually prevent injuries and if more people wore them when engaging in strenuous activities, I believe that injuries would be prevented. Those with family members with back issues or spinal problems should definitely wear them when working, bending or lifting heavy objects.

Euroxati
Post 2

@Chmander - I really like how you mentioned there being several reasons for people having problems with their back. While some of us can't help it, others definitely can. This specifically comes into play when picking up heavy things. When working in a warehouse, I used to have this problem where I would throw out my back a lot, due to not bending over properly. However, through correction and proper training, I was able to overcome that issue.

As for your reference to bad posture, that is a very good point as well, and it's certainly something we can control. For example, I had a friend who used to take after his dad's bad posture, and nearly ruined his back

because of it.

However, it was a habit my friend had to break out of, especially growing up and seeing his dad with bad back posture. Sometimes, we tend to take after our parents, and whether that's a good or bad thing really depends. Overall, this is a very interesting article, and your points about the reasons we have posture problems are spot on.

Chmander
Post 1

I know that many people have back issues, but I'm quite surprised that it's eighty percent of the world's population. However, the interesting thing about this is that back problems derive from many different reasons. For some people, it may be because they had bad posture when they were a kid, and due to that, they have trouble sitting up straight when they age.

For other people, they may have injured their back while lifting heavy things, and didn't seek medical help. Lastly, and most unfortunate, some people might be born with back problems, because it was hereditary in their family. Either way, these types of issues are certainly something we need to be careful about, as the effects can be long lasting.

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