- Health Devices
- Braces & Supports
- Bathroom Safety
- Living Aids
- Physical Therapy
Choosing the best back brace can be a daunting task. That’s why we’ve decided to make life easier by rounding up the best back braces for a variety of common activities and conditions. If you need a back brace for lower back pain or sciatica, or you’d simply like more back support when working out, check out our top picks in each section below. You won’t go wrong by selecting one of the top three overall best back braces for 2018.
When it comes to the best back braces, there are some clear winners. The three back braces listed below are all-rounders in terms of symptom relief, support, comfort, and durability.
Although not everyone needs a back brace, many people can enjoy their benefits. Here are just some of the ways they can improve your life.
Weak muscles in the back need all the help they can get to keep you upright and powering through your day. A back brace is designed to provide effective support to both the spine and the surrounding soft tissues.
By supporting the back, and taking pressure off nerves and fatigued muscles, you can enjoy relief from pain. Some people may notice benefits almost immediately, while others will need to use their back brace for a few days or weeks before they experience relief.
People who have a weak back or a history of back injuries can use a back brace prophylactically to prevent injury. It’s especially important that those prone to back problems use a brace while working out, when sitting at a desk for prolonged periods, or when engaging in intense physical activity.
Stand tall and stay symptom free by working on your poor posture. A back brace can help you achieve and maintain a healthy posture by supporting the muscles, aligning the spine, and keeping the shoulders from rounding.
All of the above factors—extra back support, reduced pain and discomfort, a decreased risk of injury, and improved posture—add up to better performance while exercising, trying yoga, and engaging in everyday tasks.
Some people may need to wear their back brace most of the time, while others require a brace only when recovering from injury or engaging in specific activities.
Because needs vary between individuals, we recommend that you discuss the benefits of using a back brace with your doctor or physical therapist. They can also provide you with a more robust treatment plan that enhances the benefits of your back brace.
Back braces come in all shapes and sizes. Before purchase, do your homework and select the best back brace for your needs. Some of the most common styles of back brace are:
Braces designed for the upper back work by pulling the shoulders and spine into their proper position, with the aim of improving posture. These braces can be worn to address or prevent poor posture associated with desk jobs, or to manage post-injury or post-operative pain.
Depending on the type of brace you choose, you may be able to wear an upper back brace under your clothing for a discreet way to protect and support your back while on-the-go.
Low back braces provide stability during workouts and everyday activities. They also relieve pain and discomfort in the lumbar region. These braces are designed to support the natural inward curvature of the lower spine, an area of the body that can easily become injured while sitting, standing, lifting, or running.
Providing complete support for the upper and lower back, a full back brace wraps around the lower body and features cross-shoulder straps to enhance posture. As this style can be quite restrictive, it is generally only recommended for those who have injured both the upper and lower sections of the back.
When selecting a back brace, it’s helpful to keep the following factors in mind:
Because back braces typically get a lot of wear—and are often worn against bare skin—it’s important to consider their material composition. Neoprene and mesh fabrics are both breathable options that are kind to the skin. Be sure to choose a material that is durable and easy to clean.
Poor posture and chronic back pain often require several months to reverse. Therefore, you’ll be wearing your back brace for quite some time—so select one that is both lightweight and comfortable.
Back braces offer varying levels of support. What’s right for one person may not be the best option for another. When selecting a back brace, consider the level of support that you require.
If you choose a high-support option, be aware that your range of motion may be limited. Conversely, a brace that offers mild support will likely still allow you to engage in most activities with ease, but it may need to be worn for longer periods of time to achieve the desired results in terms of pain relief and posture.
The best back braces are made of high-quality and long-lasting materials. To get even more from your brace you should:
Back braces are one of the best ways to look after the health of your upper and lower back, while also improving posture, preventing injury, and alleviating pain. But wearing a brace isn’t the only thing you can do to mind your back. Here are a few other top tips:
When standing, keep your shoulders back, suck in your tummy, and maintain a neutral head position by keeping your earlobes in line with your shoulders. If you struggle with bad posture, practice these tips in addition to wearing one of the best back braces for posture listed above.
Ensure your workspace meets your needs by adjusting your office chair and desk to a suitable height for your stature. The position of armrests, computer monitors, keyboard, and mouse are also important in order to alleviate strain. Try a wrist support for typing to keep carpal tunnel at bay.
You can find handy guides online to help you optimize your office for back support, and your doctor or physical therapist should be able to provide you with additional information if necessary.
Long car trips and plane journeys can wreak havoc on the health of your back. That’s why we recommend using a seat cushion or lumbar support to alleviate strain on the spine and muscles.
Massage therapy is a great remedy for pain, tension, and stiffness in the back. It’s also the best way to release muscle knots, or trigger points.
To get rapid relief from the symptoms of a bad back, apply either ice or heat. Ice is best used in the first 72 hours following injury, as it reduces pain and swelling. We recommend using one of these ice packs for back pain.
If you’re not seeing results from either heat or ice therapy alone, consider alternating the two—a technique known as contrast therapy. Learn how to alternate hot and cold therapy here.
Any type of exercise can improve back health by increasing blood circulation, enhancing flexibility, and promoting fluid exchange between the disc of the spine. But if your back is stiff, stretching may be one of the best activities for you. Use a stretch strap regularly to loosen out and straighten up.
Back pain can be caused or exacerbated by poor form when working out, or when engaging in daily tasks that require lifting. In fact, simultaneously bending and twisting is one of the worst things you can do for back pain.
When lifting, keep the elbows and knees slightly bent and use your legs (not your back!) for power.
Being overweight or obese contributes to back pain, joint pain, and muscle strain because the body struggles to cope with the excess pounds. Achieve and maintain a healthy body mass index by eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly.
To stay on track, why not log your progress with a digital scale for body fat?
Protecting your back is one of the most important things you can do for your health, and is key to staying active in your golden years. The best back braces support and stabilize the spine and back muscles, as well as relieve pain and prevent injury. Many also improve poor posture, a common cause of chronic back pain.
While the back brace you choose should depend on your lifestyle and the condition you want to treat, you won’t go wrong selecting one of the overall three best back braces we’ve shared above.
Walker hand grips padding are an ideal way for a safer, more comfortable stroll. Supporting your body weight on your hands and arms all day can lead to nerve damage, repetitive strain injuries, arthritis complications, not to mention tired muscles and joints. With walker hand grips, your fingers are protected against blisters and calluses while your joints get a little extra cushioning.
Using compression sleeves for leg circulation will do wonders to keep blood flowing to your legs, reduce pain, and even prevent swelling. Whether you’re an athlete, an office worker, a frequent flier, or someone dealing with circulation problems, using sleeves for compression for legs can be a good way to enhance blood flow throughout your lower body.
Low back pain is quite common and can negatively impact your life on a daily basis. The best lumbar pillows for bed provide you with the extra support and cushioning you need whenever you’re lying down.
If you have a pounding earache, you might find it difficult to think about anything else. But with the right hot water bottle for earaches, you can immediately alleviate pain and help your ear along the healing process. Hot water bottles use heat therapy to relieve tension and soreness in your ears so you can focus on your daily activities.