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Back Braces for Women: How to Choose, Uses, Benefits, and Risks

A back brace is a wearable support that people wear to reduce back pain, prevent injuries and improve their posture and spine alignment. A back brace for women can be custom-fitted or bought off-the-shelf. Despite their usefulness, most women do not require back braces unless a doctor recommends them.

How to Choose Back Brace for Women

It is advisable to follow your physical therapist’s recommendation when choosing a suitable back brace. Here are a few qualities of the best back brace for women:

Material

Often, flexible lower back braces for women are made of canvas, cotton, or neoprene, while the rigid braces are made of leather, metal, or moldable plastic.

Level of Support

Back braces are flexible, rigid, or semi-rigid. The flexible type is made of soft material to provide compression and limit excess motion while offering flexibility.

The rigid back braces give you stability when in severe pain, such as a fracture, or when you have health issues from accidents.

back brace for woman

The semi-rigid braces are both flexible and rigid. They have rigid panels all around the device.

Durability and Maintenance

The most effortless back braces to maintain are machine-washable ones. The stretchy ones may wear out after a while, while the Velcro ones wear faster.

Size and Fit

Most off-the-shelf braces are one size fits all but with adjustable hook eyes, belt wings, and eye locks. If your back brace is custom made, they mold it according to your body's build and shape. 

Benefits of Wearing a Back Brace

Every woman has experienced back pains one time in their life, especially if you are over 30 years. While many causes are disorders and injuries, most are due to bad posture or improper lifting.

The best way to prevent such pain while improving the back posture is by wearing a back brace. A back brace prevents straining your back when standing or sitting. They hold your back in a suitable position.

Do you want to buy a back brace?  The first thing you should be aware of is you should not wear back braces all the time. Therapists warn that excess use of back braces can weaken your core or cause muscle atrophy.

The following are some benefits you’ll experience:

Easy to Wear

Fortunately, back braces are easy to wear as you dress them under your clothes. Again their design is easy to secure and is not easily noticeable when worn. However, there are some practices you need to adhere to when choosing a back brace:

First, choose the right size; you can use our clothes size or measure your back. Ensure the back brace covers your tailbone and lower back. Also, it should not be too snug or loose.

Immobilization

Immobilization is essential for your spine. Unnecessary movements on your back could prevent back pains, especially if you had spinal surgery. In some cases, immobilization is required for your back to heal slowly and correctly.

Back braces aid in immobilization by preventing back movements such as extension, flexion, or rotation. These braces hinder you from entirely using your back, preventing further injuries and back pains.

If you need a back brace to hinder mobility, ensure you get the right fit to offer extra protection against mobility.

Prevents Back Pains

Back pains can affect your life negatively. It can make exercising or working unbearable. The pains can be mild or severe. If you are having mild back pains, the inconvenience is minor. However, if the pains are severe, this is where you get a back brace. 

Whether you are experiencing mild or severe back pains, slight movements and some positions intensify the pain. For your back to heal, you should limit these movements.

back brace for woman

Other than hindering movements, back braces for women also support your spine, vertebrae, and intervertebral discs. This prevents the stress around the back, reducing the pain.

Treatment for Countless Back Conditions

While back braces do not cure conditions, they help manage the symptoms of these conditions. They include:

  • Scoliosis
  • Whiplash
  • Osteoporosis
  • Kyphosis
  • Back muscle sprains
  • Spinal fractures
  • Spinal tumors
  • Spondylolisthesis

However, if you suffer from any of the above conditions, discuss your options with your therapist. If your doctor approves, then settle on a back brace.

Improving Posture

Your spine should be upright, chest up, shoulders back, and the core tucked in when sitting or standing. However, how many women maintain this posture? Most women curve their spine and slouch over when sitting unless you are a model.

This sitting or standing position can cause not only severe back pain but also bad posture. Bad posture can cause deformities or spine weakness, making you prone to injuries. So which is the best way of improving your spine alignment?

Back braces force your spine to straighten. Wear a back brace if you notice some posture issues developing. 

Risks of Wearing a Back Brace for Women

Regardless of the benefits mentioned above, back braces have risks, especially if not used properly. Read on!

Lack of Back Exercises

The best way of gaining back health again is by engaging in exercise to strengthen the lumbar. If the pains are extreme, consult your doctor as a back brace can worsen the damage.

Unsuitable Braces

Choosing the wrong back brace increases the damage. All back braces come in wide varieties. If you need a lower back brace for women, get lumbar braces. If you need to support the buttocks area and lower back, the best is a lumbar-sacral brace. The reason for getting a back brace is essential in choosing the suitable one.

Overuse

Excessive use of back braces weakens the lumbar except under the advice of a medical specialist or in extreme cases. However, a specialist will always recommend task-specific use over continuous use. It means that when working and your back is at risk, wear a brace and remove it once you complete the work.

Does Health Insurance Cover Back Braces for Women?

Yes, insurance companies cover medically recommended back braces under durable medical equipment. To qualify for coverage, women must have a prescription from their physician. The physician must also be pre-approved by the insurance provider.

The back brace must also meet the durable medical equipment criteria of;

  • Durability
  • Medical necessity
  • For using at home
  • Not for individuals who are not injured or sick
  • It can last for at least three years

How to Brace for Success

What are the factors that contribute to the success of bracing?

Adhere to Your Doctor’s Advice

Wearing the brace as advised is a crucial factor for bracing success. Although sometimes the braces are cumbersome and interfere with your daily activities, stick to the recommendation but let the doctor adjust the brace. Please never give up entirely on the brace.

back brace for woman

View the Brace as a Positive Addiction

Even the best back brace for women will only give you better results if you wear it with a positive attitude and as a benefit. Support from family and friends can improve your perspective on braces.

Never Depend on Braces for Long-Term Relief

You should not use back braces for an extended period. In fact, wearing them longer contributes to muscle atrophy which weakens the back and worsens the pain.

Takeaway

Women have soft and sensitive skin, and regular usage of braces can cause lesions or skin rashes. To avoid this, clean the back brace for women and your skin regularly. If you notice any skin irritations, stop using the braces for a few days.

However, it is common to have some red spots after removing the back brace, but they should go away in less than an hour.

Additionally, if your pain increases and even the best back brace for women cannot treat the pain, consult your doctor.


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