A lumbar support belt is a useful tool to have as it helps you to relax, support, or even treat your spine. The right support belt provides ample support to the lumbar region of the back and enhances the healing process. It is also known as a back brace, back support belt or lumbosacral orthosis. The belt is advised to be worn to ensure good results of treatment and prevention methods from further damage to the back muscles.
Goals Of Using A Lumbar Support Belt
Wearing a lumbar support belt commonly has a few essential goals:
- To lessen the muscle tension in the lumbar region
- To lessen back pain (predominantly in the lumbar spine)
- Improvement of posture by the redistribution of forces in the vertebral column
- It provides a healthy healing environment for the soft tissues of the back
- It enhances the ability to carry out activities that require physical effort with an emphasis of using the lower back muscles.
The above-mentioned goals can be attained by the proper use of a back support brace. The mechanism of action of a support belt differs according to the design of belt but in general, a common mechanism of action of the brace is described below:
Gives Additional Support to the Vertebral Column
A lumbar belt provides stability when the lumbar region of the back is not stable due to weak muscles of the back. It keeps the torso in a protected, supported and normal anatomical posture. It provides a beneficial effect to the muscles of the lumbar region. It gives a healthy and safe environment for the healing of a recent injury and helps avoid further injuries to the vertebral column and the soft tissues of the back (muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves, etc.)
Reduces Pressure from Muscles
A lower back support belt acts to reduce some of the weight which is normally exerted to the lumbar region of the back. By reducing pressure from the intervertebral discs, muscles, tendons, and ligaments, back braces reduce the amount of painful muscle tension, which is a sort of mechanism of protection after an injury.
Decreases The Range of Movements
A lumbar support brace acts to decrease or restrict the range of movements (in a positive way), for example, leaning forward, bending backward or to side and twisting movements. By reducing excessive or over-extended movements, it enables the patient to consciously adjust the positioning of the body for the improvement of the health of back muscles.
Decreases Micro-Motion Between Vertebral Segments
Lumbar support belts also reduce extra micro-motions at specific segmental levels of the spine or at the site of fracture, and thus reduces the amount of lumbar muscle tension, joints irritation or nerve root compression.
Factors For the Success Of Lumbar Support Belt
There are some factors which contribute to the outcome of the use of lumbar supports. Some of them include:
Wearing the Belt as Advised
It is one of the most important factors for the success of the support belt that it must be used as advised by your doctor or medical professional. Although many factors make it difficult to wear the brace, like interference in daily routine tasks or discomfort, the person may become used to wearing it after a few days.
If it is too uncomfortable to be used, your physician may help you adjust the belt. It is recommended that you consult your physician before abandoning the belt entirely.
Considering the Belt as a Positive Aid
According to studies, the spine support belt shows more effective results when it is considered as potentially beneficial and positive thoughts are maintained regarding its effects. If your family members, friends or colleagues encourage and support you about its use, it will enhance your attitudes towards the belt and its beneficial effects.
Do Not Be Dependent Upon Belt for a Long Time
Lumbar belts are commonly suggested for short term use. If you wear a belt more than its recommended time, it will lead to muscle atrophy. Also, there are more chances that you will be dependent upon it, which will result into the weakening of the back, enhance the chances of injury and aggravate the pain.
If your physician does not consider that the lumbar support belt will be beneficial, it is not suggested to wear it.
Conditions That Can Be Improved By The Use Of Lumbar Support Belt
A lumbar support belt enhances healing and relieves pain from many conditions, such as:
A rigid type of back support belt is suggested after surgery on the vertebral column because it reduces pressure from the spine, provides more stability, narrows down the range of movements and prevents micro-movements and gives a healthy environment for the healing of tissues. Lumbar support belts are suggested commonly between the 3 and 8 weeks after surgery, but this duration varies for different patients according to the condition of the patient.
It is evident from studies that if you use a rigid type of lumbar belt for isthmic spondylolisthesis, it will reduce the chances for the slippage of the disc and help in pain reduction. Walking ability is also improved for many patients. It also lessens the potential damage to muscles, joints, nerves, and ligaments.
A semi-rigid or rigid type of brace may be suggested for this condition also because it helps in the reduction of painful micro-motions at the level of displaced vertebrae and enhances the healing process.
You can use rigid or semi-rigid braces for this degenerative disease because it lessens the pressure from the affected facet joint, reduces pain and makes daily routine movements easier for you.
What Kind of Back Belt Should You Consider
Ideally you should aim to wear a belt that is adjustable, for example with the help of an elastic and/or velcro-based fasting mechanism that allows the belt to fit snugly on your back. Additionally, the belt should help provide support and a soothing effect for your lower spine. One belt that provides all these benefits is the Backrack Lumbar Support Belt, which decompresses your spine while you’re wearing it, allowing for your lower back pain to be relieved as you carry on with your day.
Backrack Spinal Decompression Belt
Author: Spinal Backrack