Back pain is on the rise, especially among younger people. Experts blame this on sedentary lifestyles and a lack of exercise. Whether you’ve got pain from posture problems, weightlifting or you are recovering from surgery, a good back support belt will help you recover and give extra support and stability while your muscles heal and strengthen.
As anyone with back pain knows, you really need to take care of your back, and its not worth skimping out on a cheap back brace or lumbar support. So we’ve put together this review of some of the top back support belts we’ve been able to find in order to help you get through your injury and work your way back to full health.
Types of Back Support Belt
Rigid Brace – These braces are commonly used for people who need extra support and stability, such as those recovering from very serious injury or surgery. They are often quite bulky and cover the whole front and back, like a vest.
Corset Brace – These wrap around the lower back and are usually made of softer materials. They can be used for those recovering from spinal fusion surgery, and many weight lifters use them to ensure they keep healthy posture when working out.
Posture support brace – These braces usually wrap around the upper back and shoulders, and they are designed to pull the shoulders back and straighten the spine, helping to realign bad posture.
Occupational Brace – These braces are for people who work in industries that involve a lot of heavy lifting, such as construction, engineering, landscape gardening or logistics and warehouse positions. They are designed to prevent injury in the workplace.
Copper Compression Back Brace
Get support and relief for conditions like back pain, lower back and lumbar pain, sciatica, Tendonitis, stiff or sore muscles, tendons & joints, and more with this copper-infused back pain belt.
This combines the best of both worlds, as it gives you solid and durable support but it is also made of very comfortable material, and wearing it gives you full range of motion, so you can begin to recover without limiting yourself.
Sparthos Mesh Back Support
Feel comfortable whether you are walking, sitting or lifting with this unique mesh back belt. It has a flexible mesh design which not only helps the brace mold to your bodies natural shape, but it also ensures that its is breathable and comfortable to wear.
We also like this one because it has a removable lumber support pad, so depending on how you are feeling each day, you can take it out if it is not necessary. Overall, this is a nice., light and very breathable back support brace that will be good in the office or the gym. also comes in three sizes.
Mueller Lumber Support with Removable Pad
This belt has a double layered system and lumber support in order to help you adjust it to feel as comfortable as possible to your unique body frame, and it can offer support and pain relief for a number of conditions including muscular weakness, lumbar orthosis, sagittal control, posture problems and osteoarthritis/arthritis.
This corset brace gives extra stability through its steel rods, and its plastic components make sure that the belt doesn’t roll or bunch, so you’ll always feel comfortable when wearing it.
Posture Corrector Back Belt
While this looks almost like some kind of armor or bullet proof-vest, this is actually a back brace that is designed to realign your posture and gently pull your back, spine and shoulders into the correct position.
With more and more people spending all day hunched over computers at their jobs, this breathable and lightweight posture corrector can easily slip under your clothes, and will help kick back against bad posture while providing relief for upper back pain and aching shoulders.
Back Support for Lifting
Whether you’ve got a job in construction that requires heavy lifting or you’re a parent with a big family to feed, this back support will help prevent injury while carrying those heavy loads. It is easy to get into or out of with its velcro straps, and its back panel is made of spandex, so it will comfortably wrap around your lower back and give you the support you need. It also has removable suspenders.
For those who life heavy loads, one of these is essential. This can be used by men and women, and it comes in a number of different sizes.
Old Bones Therapy Back Brace
Old Bones is a company founded by a man who suffers chronic back pain, and he wanted to help others in the same situation as him. This neoprene back support is lightweight, breathable and form, and it uses gentle compression for pain relief and to stimulate blood circulation.
This lumber support also comes with a gel pocket for you to use an ice pack or heat pad on your lower back, although the packs are not included in the package. If you want fast pain relief from conditions like muscle fatigue, Arthritis, Sciatica or Scoliosis, check this out.
ComfyMed Breathable Mesh Back Brace
This back brace is great for both men and women, and it has an innovative design and great mesh material to give you both flexibility, breathability, comfort and support. This girdle is very durable and also washable, so you can wear it to the gym or to work without worrying about it getting all smelly and grimy.
This is also very stylish and discreet, and most people at the gym won’t even know it is a back support – they’ll just think it is a cool part of your gym kit. This can help with a number of back pain conditions, such as Sciatica, Scoliosis, Herniated Disc, Degenerative Disc Disease, Osteoporosis and more, or you can use it to get a bit more support during strenuous activities like lifting, gardening, fishing, cleaning or golf.
This comes in unisex sizes of – REG 26″ TO 37″ – LGE 38″ TO 50″ – remember to measure round your belly button and not your waist!
Brace Up Lumber Support
Get your life back on track with this amazing lower back support. This will give you a fully range of movement while providing the additional support and compression you need to get over your injury and get your life back on track. Its dual adjustable straps will help you tighten or loosen it to fit your body well, and its mesh materials allow moisture to evaporate and your skin to breath, so hopefully you won;t sweat too much on this. its sizes S/M fits belly of 28-35 inches, L/XL fits 35-43 inches and XXL fits 43-53 inches.
This will help send you on the road to recovery.
Everyday Medical Back Lumbar Support Brace
Cut out that slouching and improve your posture with this everyday back brace. This figure 8 brace will help you stand up straight and confident again. it is designed to to support all the right areas to align your neck and spine, training your posture to maintain its upright position and prevent the shoulders from slumping forward.
Unlike many cervical kyphosis braces out there that pull the shoulders into an uncomfortable position, this innovate design of posture support naturally corrects posture while maintaining your shoulders and back in a comfortable position. So if slouching is making your life a misery, you might want to see about getting one of these.
Our Top Pick
It really was hard to try to choose a back brace here, as there are so many high quality ones on offer, and the type that you choose will depend a lot on what you are using it for. That said, it we had to pick on, it would be the Mueller Lumber Support. As you may know, this brand is highly recommended for those with back problems, as it combines comfort with durability and strong support in a way that almost feels like magic. The steel rods give it extra support, and you can remove the extra padding if you want a little less. All in all, this is just a fantastic and very versatile brace.
Back Support Belt Do’s and Don’ts
Do – Wear the back belt correctly. Get your spouse or partner to help you put it on, and make sure that it feels comfortable. If it is too tight or loose or it feels uncomfortable, have someone help you adjust it. If you really can’t get a good feeling for it, take it too your doctor or osteopath and get their opinion
Do – Wear it over light clothes. Most back belts are worn over an undershirt, so you should wear something light and breathable in order to cut down on sweat and moisture. A nice cotton undershirt will help keep you dry.
Do – Air your skin out. Unless you are under strict orders from you doctor to keep the brace on 24/7, it might be a good idea to take it off and let your skin have a bit of a break for a few minutes every know and then.
Don’t – Borrow someone else’s back belt. Your back belt will mold to your unique body, so wearing one that belongs to someone else might actually be counter-productive as it will be shaped around their back, not yours.
Don’t – Wear one without consulting a professional first – A lot of people think that a back brace is a quick fix for back pain, but in reality, you should only wear one if advised by a professional. They won’t fix bad posture or bad lifting techniques.
Don’t – Wear one all the time – A back belt is designed to help give you stability while you recover from an injury, or give you extra stability when you lift weights. It helps weakened or damaged muscles but it doesn’t replace them. Your doctor will advise you when to take it off. Studies show that wearing one long term can actually weaken your muscles, as your body begins to depend on the brace.
How to Measure for a Back Support Belt
Many people make the mistake of using their pants/trouser size when selecting a back brace, but back supports are actually measured by going around your belly button, not your waist. The please bare this in mind when choosing the right size for you. If your back brace feels too tight or uncomfortable, you might want to think about changing it for a new one. It should make everything feel supported, solid and in the right place. It shouldn’t dig into you or cause pain.
How Long Should You Wear a Back Brace?
Most experts recommend that you only wear a back brace for a short period of time. This could be to help recover from and injury or strain, as the brace will hold everything in the correct place to allow your body to heal and also prevent further injury. This could also mean that you wear it temporarily during moments of extreme strain, such as when lifting heavy weights at home or in the gym, to make sure that you are putting the minimum strain on your back. If your occupation involves heavy lifting, such as construction work, you may wear an occupational brace during work hours to help prevent injury.
However, back braces are not to be worn all the time, and they are not a substitute for bad posture or weak muscles. The reason for this is that if you wear one too much, your back ligaments and muscles will get used to the brace being their, and the added support will actually make the muscles weaken over a long period of time. Therefore, you should really only use one under the direction of a doctor or similarly qualified medical professional. If you want a brace to help with posture, we recommend consulting with a doctor, physio therapist or osteopath before buying one. A good brace could be a useful part of a treatment, but it shouldn’t be thought of as a ‘fix all’ solution, as lifestyle changes and exercises and stretching will all be part of the solution.
How Should You properly Sit at a Computer?
For so many of us, our back pain is the result of spending too many hours in front of the computer with bad posture. Which begs the question, how should I sit at a computer? Well, here are some basic tips in order to minimize the damage to your back and help you maintain a health posture as you work, surf or play.
Keep screens at eye level
The first simple yet extremely effective guard against bad posture is keeping all screens are at eye level. Crooking one’s necks down to look at screens is an unhealthy position to hold for a long time, causing damage to the upper spine and surrounding muscles. To combat this, screens must be at eye level. When your children are sitting down, also make sure that their backs are straight, the lower back is supported and their shoulders are not hunched forward, as in the diagram below. Adjustable stands for monitors and laptops are wonderful for this.
Keep Shoulders Back.
Another thing which messes with our backs is if we are hunched over to use the mouse or the keyboard. We must keep our shoulder back in their natural potion, and not bend or lean into the screen. This is were a good office chair comes in. Unfortunately, some chairs seem to push our shoulders closer to our chest, and this is very bad in the long run, so make sure that you have a chair which lets you have your shoulders in their natural position.
If you are going to be spending some time on the computer, you must do so with a chair that gives you some good lumber support. Your chair should be stable and steady at the lumber, giving your lower back the support it needs. Don’t sit in any kind of open backed chair without anything on your lumber for two long. Also, be wary of chairs that are too hard on the lumber, as this can also be damaging over time. Most importantly, make sure that your lower back is straight and firmly supported by the chair. You should not be bending over or leaning in, making your lower back crooked or bent. This is a very damaging pose to hold.
Keyboard and Mouse
Your keyboard and mouse should be at a level where you arms rest naturally at your waist, bent and the shoulders, and your hands meet them comfortably and with stability. You should never be reaching up to get to the keyboard, or reaching across a table and stretching the arms out to get to them. It should feel effortless, and your wrists and shoulders should not hurt. Also, keep the mouse and keyboard firmly in front of you, and don’t have one way of to either side.
Keep your feet flat on the ground
This is good for two reasons. one, if you curl your feet back behind your chair, your putting more tension on your calves and Achilles tendons, and these can start to hurt after a while. Second, keeping your feet flat on the floor will help you keep your hips and knees and good angles and will also discourage you from leaning forwards. IF you are short, you should consider getting a nice little office foot rest, as this will help a lot.
Yup, we know that its hard when you work long hours, especially if you are a graphic designer or have another professional that requires long sittings in front of your computer. OR maybe you’ve been playing that awesome new video game and you keep on having ‘just 5 more minutes’? However, in all seriousness, you should break for 10 minutes every 45 mins-1 hour. and we don’t mean break by checking your Facebook profile. Get up, walk about, go to the bathroom, go outside for 10 minutes,… do whatever, but away from the computer and not sitting down.
It might seem a little too obvious, but a good stretch after a session on the computer will do wonders to relieve tension and cramped-up muscles. It might not seem like much, but cultivating this great habit will go a long way towards helping protect your young ones’ posture. You can find lots of ‘office stretches’ online, and these are brilliant as they specifically target the muscles and joints affected when using computers. Also, your family doctor should be able to give you advice on stretches..