The Southeastern Spine Institute

Back pain is one of the most common injuries affecting Americans. If your back is hurting you, go see the spine specialists at the Southeastern Spine Institute (SSI). It may be that your solution is as simple as learning when to wear a back brace.

At SSI, you have access to a full range of medical expertise. The doctors, surgeons, physical therapists and staff consult with each other to make sure you get the very best care possible. Your spine specialist is a trained professional who can determine your physical limitations and decide whether you’d be helped by wearing a brace.

Injuries That Require a Back Brace

When you injure an ankle or arm, for example, you often wear a cast to brace the injured area until it heals. So that’s when to wear a back brace, too. A brace works like a cast for your injured back. It allows your muscles to heal while you strengthen your posture. Some injuries that benefit from a back brace include:

  • Compression fractures. Also referred to as burst fractures, crush fractures or wedge fractures, these types of injuries happen anywhere in your spine, but they’re most common in your T9 through L1 vertebrae in your lower back. Wearing a brace prevents you from bending, which exacerbates your thoracic and lumbar spine if a fracture is present.
  • This condition occurs because of an abnormal lateral curve of your spine. Wearing a brace can’t fix your condition, but it prevents it from getting worse. Your doctor instructs you when to wear a back brace for this condition.
  • Spinal fractures. If you’ve suffered a spinal fracture, your doctor or surgeon recommends a back brace to immobilize the area, which promotes healing.
  • Degeneration in your spinal discs causes this condition. If you suffer from spondylolysis, your doctor may recommend a Williams brace to limit you from bending side to side.
  • This injury damages the cervical portion of your spine. Wearing a brace is the go-to treatment option, followed by progressive range-of-motion exercises once your condition improves.

When to Wear a Back Brace

You shouldn’t purchase a back brace without first consulting with your doctor. Purchasing a brace that doesn’t fit properly may make your condition worse. Another issue to note is how long and when to wear a back brace each day. If you wear it too often, your back may become dependent on it, weakening your back muscles, which is counterproductive to healing.

Whether you have minimal pain or pain that’s unbearable, you have to use your back brace correctly. When hampered by an injury, you may fall into the habit of becoming too reliant on the brace, which can hinder your recovery. To keep your rehabilitation on the right track, follow some common-sense tips, such as:

  • Talk to your doctor
  • Buy the correct size brace
  • Couple wearing the brace with physical therapy, stretching and light exercise
  • Check to see if your insurance covers a portion or the entire cost of your back brace

If you have more questions, the experts at SSI are available to help. Make an appointment today.