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5 Best Back Braces for Bulging Discs

by Amanda Ghosh May 15, 2017

Bulging disc therapyIs your bulging disc causing nerve pain, numbness, or weakness? Luckily, you may be able to find relief by finding the best back brace for bulging discs. An ideal brace will provide support, pain relief, and protection while you work & move about your daily routine.  If you haven't consulted with your a physician or physical therapist, it's imperative to ensure wearing a back brace is appropriate for your condition. Here are five terrific options that will keep you on the right track.

1. Double-Pull Neoprene Lumbar Support Belt by Stethoscopes

Secure Double-Pull Neoprene Lumbar Support Belt

Amazon

Since a bulging disc hasn’t yet herniated, a back brace that provides support for the back by taking pressure off of muscles, ligaments, joints and discs is a smart option. This popular brace provides just that. It’s our first pick for a great general lower back support and it is the ideal choice for the person who wants to take some pressure off the discs in the lower back without sacrificing all of their ability to move around.

Pros:
  • Double pull wings make this device very supportive
  • There are no metal pieces which is awesome
  • Helps with prolapsed discs
Cons:
  • Tends to feel rough against skin

Tip:
Runs small, so consider buying a size up. Also, wear a t-shirt or a thin shirt under the brace because it can feel rough on the skin.

2. Universal Back Brace by Vive

Vive Universal Back Brace

Vivehealth

The second pick is the Vive brace. As the name implies, it’s truly universal fitting a wide range of sizes and addressing most back problems associated with lower back pain. This works particularly well for slipped discs (a common term for bulging discs), and thus speaks to the person who wants general lower back support for protection and pain relief and specific support for a bulging disc! Here are some pros for some other great features of this brace.

Pros:
  • The removable support pad really amps up the support which is fantastic
  • Stays nice and snug around the lower back
  • Helps remind you to keep your spine straight and your posture perfect
Cons:
  • May need to be readjusted throughout the day

3. Lumbar Sacral Support by Trademark

Back Pain Relieving Back Brace for Men and Women

Amazon

Trademark Supplies makes this amazing brace. Not only is it specifically designed to address bulging discs, it helps with a lot of posture problems too! Totally awesome considering posture might be one of the contributing factors to your bulging disc. Plus, if that weren’t enough for you, this brace has got a lot of compression and is ventilated making it ideal for summer weather.

Pros:
  • Board feature of this brace offers a particular kind of sought after support
  • You can really tighten this baby as much as is needed
  • Reduces pain and gives that sought after feeling of relief
Cons:
  • Complicated to put on

4. Lumbar Spine Decompression Back Belt by Cybertech Medical

MAC Plus Lumbar Spine Decompression Back Belt & Laminectomy Surgery Recovery Brace

Amazon

A bit similar to our third pick, but with a pulley system to be adored, so it makes the list. If you are worried about a brace being hard to put on, the pulley system that comes with this brace checks that fear at the gate. Just pull the cord and the brace does all the work, achieving the exact amount of support and compression you want. You can tighten it with just one hand.

Pros:
  • Easy to put on and tighten
  • Specifically for a slipped (bulging) disc which can be hard to find although we’ve found a few for you in this article
  • Totally breathable and thin which is great for spring time and summer
Cons:
  • Support may be too stiff for physical activity

5. 255 Lumbar Support Back Brace by Mueller

Mueller 255 Lumbar Support Back Brace

Amazon

Our fifth pick is the Mueller brace. It provides general lower back protection and support. It is ideal for someone who wants relief from back pain caused by vigorous or strenuous activity. And this brace has plus sizing options which is nice.

Pros:
  • It’s easy to take off
  • Lumbar support pad is great at relieving pain (just position it properly if you take it out and put it back in)
  • Gives nice support even when sitting or driving for a long time
Cons:
  • Fit can be off if you are tall or short

How to Stop a Bulged Disc before it Herniates:

A bulging disc seems to be a condition that precedes herniation. If the change in the normal position of the disc is significant enough for the nucleus to push through the disc's shell, a bulging disc (sometimes referred to as a slipped disc or protruding disc) becomes a herniated disc. Given this, it seems like common sense to try to correct a bulging disc before it herniates.

To help, here are some conditions that might be causing your bulging disc. Improving in these areas to the extent possible will help.

  • Poor Posture: The longer you live with bad posture the more damage you do to your body. Sometimes that damage comes in the form of a bulged disc. Here’s an image of what proper posture looks like. Try to be more aware of what your back, shoulders and neck are doing throughout the day. If you can hold correct posture for 5 minutes one day, move to 7 minutes the next. You won’t be perfect, but persistent practice is better than nothing.

Good and bad postureStaying consciously aware of your posture throughout the day can help relieve pain associated with bulging discs and help to prevent herniation ( Image Reference).

Tip:
Stand against a wall (it’s ok to leave your feet shoulder width apart and about a foot away from the wall) and position your body so that your lower back, shoulders and head feel the wall. That’s what proper posture feels like. Go back to this learning position over and over again to remind your body.

  • Trauma to your back: If you were in a car accident or suffered another type of accident in which your back all of a sudden was hit with a strong load, you may have done some damage. In this case, it is best to see a physician and get a diagnosis. There may be some solutions for you like therapy, bracing or surgery.

What to Consider:

There are braces out there for everything. There really isn’t one perfect brace. You will need to decide what conditions you are trying to address. Do you want general support, general support plus support for a bulged disc or specific support for a disc that has herniated? If you have questions, speak with your doctor. Here we picked out some braces for bulged discs and some braces that offer general lower back support and ought to reduce pain associated with a bulged disc by taking some pressure off the back and offering protection and support. For braces specific to herniated discs see this article on the 5 Best Back Braces for Herniated Discs

Choosing the Best Back Brace for Bulging Discs:

Don’t be like my friend and suffer away without doing anything to alleviate your pain or prevent future damage, not when there are options to help you like back braces. The back braces for bulging discs and general back support selected here are great options that will get you some immediate support and protection. So, don’t wait too long. However, as with anything related to your health, take your time, speak to medical professionals, and obtain the information that will lead to the best decisions regarding your health. The information here isn’t a substitute for professional medical advice. Once your doctor has given you some direction on bracing, come back, read these choices and figure out which option will be best for you with their assistance. In the meantime, it’s been a pleasure!

Sources:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/herniated-disk/expert-answers/bulging-disk/faq-20058428

https://www.dukehealth.org/treatments/spine

Amanda Ghosh
Amanda Ghosh

Amanda has a Masters of Science in Nutrition from Syracuse University which equipped her with courses applied to licensure as a dietitian. She also worked as a Program Director for the Wellness and Fitness Department for the YMCA. She is well versed in physical fitness, with a certificate from the National Academy of Sports Medicine in physical fitness training. She has taught numerous fitness classes, including college courses in the Athletic Department, as an adjunct instructor, at the SUNY University at Buffalo. She currently resides with her husband in the NYC area, and loves to put her knowledge of anatomy and physiology to use by being active. Both her and her husband are self-declared "foodies."


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