Which back brace is best?
Whether it’s because of an injury, poor posture or just a lumpy mattress, most people experience back pain at some point in their life. If you’re having trouble standing, bending or sitting up due to pain, though, a back brace can help provide the support you need to reduce your discomfort.
A back brace helps stabilize your back to reduce pain without medication or other treatments. It can work well for pain related to a specific injury or to arthritis. It can even help prevent back injuries when you have to lift heavy items. If you’re looking for a highly effective brace for lower back pain, the NeoMedinaTech Natural Arthritis Pain Relief Back Brace is the top option.
What to know before you buy a back brace
Back brace benefits
If you suffer from back pain and haven’t responded to conventional pain management methods like medication or physical therapy, a back brace may provide relief. Some ways that a brace can help with pain management include:
- It limits movement in injured areas to help you recover more quickly.
- It offers stability to help encourage healing after surgery.
- It can help ensure you maintain proper posture.
- It provides warmth and compression to reduce back pain.
- It offers support for your back during everyday activities.
- It can help stabilize arthritic joints.
- It can help you maintain proper form when weight lifting and working out.
- It can help lower your risk of injury due to strains when lifting heavy items.
For more information on the benefit of a brace, take a look at the full back brace buying guide from BestReviews.
Type of back braces
Back braces are available in two main types: rigid back braces and corset/elastic back braces.
Rigid back braces are the most heavy-duty type you can find. They feature a hard, molded shell that immobilizes the spine and surrounding muscles to restrict your movement by up to 50 percent. They also help keep the spine in correct alignment and are often recommended after surgery to help with recovery. They can be used for ongoing treatment for conditions like scoliosis, too.
Corset/elastic back braces are usually made of polyester, nylon and rubber and may feature metal panels or stays to increase their stability. You can find these braces in various lengths and levels of support, compression and warmth. They have a more flexible design, so they allow for a natural range of motion, making them ideal for daily use.
Location of pain
When shopping for a back brace, it’s important to consider where you’re experiencing the pain.
For example, if you suffer from occasional pain in your middle to upper back, that’s likely due to poor posture, and a brace that helps correct posture is probably the best bet. On the other hand, if you have to lift heavy items regularly and struggle with pain in your lower back, a supportive corset back brace is usually the most effective option.
The amount of support that a brace offers is something else to consider when shopping. If you only experience occasional, mild back pain, a soft, flexible back brace that provides warmth and compression should help relieve your discomfort.
However, if you have more severe pain or want to avoid injury, you may need more support. A firmer, more rigid brace offers greater stabilization to help reduce pain and protect you from injury.
What to look for in a quality back brace
In warmer weather, you want a back brace that breathes easily to keep you cool and comfortable. Braces with mesh straps allow for the most breathability, so they’re excellent for use in a warmer climate or while exercising.
If you’re experiencing back pain related to stiff muscles or osteoarthritis, heat can often help soothe the pain. You can find back braces that effectively trap your body heat to keep the surrounding area warm throughout the day and help relieve your pain.
Some back braces feature removable pads to allow you to customize the fit. You can remove the pads if you find that the brace is too bulky, or you can wear them if you need some extra support.
For added stability, some back braces feature metal stays or molded plastic supports. Not only are these braces more supportive, but they’re also more durable.
To ensure that your back brace is as comfortable as possible, it should feature an ergonomic design. That means it follows your body’s natural curves to reduce the chance of rolling or bunching up throughout the day.
How much you can expect to spend on a back brace
Back braces usually cost between $10-$1000. Corset or elastic back braces typically range from $10-$150, but rigid back braces, including custom-fit braces designed for use after surgery, can cost anywhere from $300 to more than $1,000.
Back brace FAQ
Should I wear a back brace daily?
A. It really depends on the severity of your pain and how often you experience it. For pain that’s moderate to severe, you’ll probably need to use a back brace for prolonged periods, which may mean daily use.
However, if you only have mild, sporadic pain or want to avoid injury while performing strenuous activities, you may not need to wear a brace daily. Instead, you can wear the brace only when you’re feeling pain or engaging in activities that pose an injury risk. Consider asking your doctor or physical therapist to determine when and how often you should wear your brace.
Should I continue to wear a back brace if my pain goes away?
A. If your pain isn’t an issue that no longer interferes with your daily activities, it’s usually best to stop wearing your back brace daily. Instead, only wear it when your back pain flares up or you’re engaging in activities that might trigger the pain. Wearing your back brace too often when it’s not necessary can actually cause muscle weakness.
What’s the best back brace to buy?
Top back brace
What you need to know: While you have to be careful to use this brace just right, it’s one of the most supportive, effective braces on the market when worn correctly.
What you’ll love: It features a highly supportive design that can be worn for both long and short periods of time. It works extremely well for lower back pain. It’s easy to adjust and pretty durable.
What you should consider: There’s some skepticism that the built-in magnets actually help with pain relief.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top back brace for the money
What you need to know: This affordable back brace can work well if worn properly, making it an excellent value for the money.
What you’ll love: The brace is extremely comfortable and can help with various back issues. It features a double-layer design to create a custom fit for both men and women. It includes a removable lumbar pad to cushion and compress the lower back.
What you should consider: The brace doesn’t offer a good fit for individuals with large waists. Some buyers also find it to be too heavy.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: With a simple but effective design, this back brace offers comfort and pain relief for anyone who needs moderate support.
What you’ll love: The brace is lightweight and breathable, thanks to the mesh panels. It fits well under clothing and is easy to adjust. It’s designed to allow for a full range of motion.
What you should consider: Some buyers complain about sizing inconsistencies. The brace doesn’t provide enough support for all back issues either.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Jennifer Blair writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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