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The Best Back Braces for Back Pain Relief (Buyer’s Guide)

I’ve had a first-hand experience of chronic back pain. It was the most discomforting period of my life, mainly because the pain was biting hard irrespective of whether I was sitting or lying on the bed.

That was a long time ago, but the experience makes me understand what it feels like to be in severe pain. Apart from doctor’s treatment, the major thing that contributed to my recovery was a back brace.

Back braces are useful and are undoubtedly the best friend of any sufferer of back pain. Whether you had a fall, muscle strain, wrong body posture, or is suffering from arthritis or any related disease, there is always a back brace for you.

In this article, I’ll help you streamline the long list of options to the nine best back braces.

Among the 9 best back braces, we’ve singled out these three as our top picks:

PRODUCT

PRODUCT DETAILS

OUR BEST CHOICE

Mueller 225 Lumbar Support Back Braces with Removable Pad

  • Features a removable lumbar pad
  • Offers relief for muscle weakness, lifting activities, arthritis, and other causes of back pains.
  • Made with breathable fabric for all-day comfort.

TOP PERFORMANCE

Back Braces with Ice Packs by Old Bones Therapy

  • Has an adjustable belt and dual elastic pull bands.
  • Lumbar back brace ensures insulation, breathability, and comfort.
  • Features gel packs for storing ice or heat.

CAN'T COUNT IT OUT

Lower Back Brace Belt by AidBrace

  • Back brace belt with curved sides.
  • Removable cushioned lumbar pad decreases the pressure around the abdomen
  • Helps increase core stability

Best Back Braces

1. Best Choice: Mueller 225 Lumbar Support Back Braces with Removable Pad

Our first choice on our list is the Mueller 225 Lumbar Support Back Braces with Removable Pad. This high-quality back brace has a removable lumbar pad created for strong lower back support. Its stretchy feature is designed for all the different ranges of measurements to ensure you’re covered regardless of your size.

For people who work their back often, this back brace provides the right adjustable amount of compression needed to give the lower back and abdomen some extra support. 

FEATURES

  • Removable lumbar pad
  • Adjustable back brace
  • Available in two sizes
  • Supportive steel springs
  • Double-layer design
  • Internal molded plastic component

PROS

  • Offers relief for muscle weakness, lifting activities, arthritis, etc.
  • Internal model plastic components eliminate bunching and brace rolling
  • Breathable fabric for all-day comfort
  • Increases circulation of blood

CONS

  • It cannot be easily hidden under clothes

2. Top Performance: Back Braces with Ice Packs by Old Bones Therapy

The Old Bones Therapy Back Brace is created to provide ultimate support, compression, and comfort for the lower back and abdomen. Its elastic stability stays, plus its adjustable straps aid spinal alignment and further increases core stability.

The Old Bones Therapy back brace has a unique gel pack feature that can be used to store ice or heat and can reduce swelling while soothing the muscles and joints. This back brace is ultimately ideal for reducing back pain. 

FEATURES

  • Adjustable belt
  • Perforated Neoprene
  • Dual elastic pull bands
  • 4 flexible stability stays
  • Non-slip silicone lining
  • Universal fit
  • Ergonomic design

PROS

  • Can be worn conspicuously under clothes
  • Lumbar back brace ensures insulation, breathability, and comfort
  • Gel packs for storing ice or heat
  • Helps prevent more injuries

CONS

  • The velcro is not very durable

3. Can't Count It Out: Lower Back Brace Belt by AidBrace

Lower Back Brace Belt by AidBrace is designed to reduce pressure in the abdominal areas. It has specially curved sides that aid in providing round the clock comfort.

With this back brace, you are assured of maximum support to your hip and abdomen. It also gives quick relief to lower back pain. It is designed both to relieve pain and improve body posture and confidence.

FEATURES

  • Back brace belt
  • Curved sides
  • Double side strap
  • Breathable, vented mesh design
  • Durable quality material
  • Sizing variation

PROS

  • It decreases the pressure around the abdomen
  • The removable cushioned lumbar pad
  • Tight tension and adjustment
  • Increases core stability

CONS

  • The velcro gets weak with time

The Other Best Back Braces We Reviewed

4. Posture Corrector for Men & Women by Truweo

The Posture Corrector by Truweo is suitable for male and female body types. It is particularly useful for aiding proper body alignment.

With this brace, you can achieve a healthier posture and get rid of shoulder, neck, and back pain. The brace can be worn conspicuously under any garment while giving you a great posture all day long. 

5. Mueller 64179 Adjustable Back Brace with Removable Pad

Mueller 64179 Adjustable Back Brace with Removable Pads is a premium back brace that takes males and females of most sizes into consideration.

Its adjustable back braces and removable pads are designed to tackle back and spinal pain. Additionally, it contains natural rubber latex, which creates the gentle tension people who suffer from sciatica need.

6. Iron Bull Strength Medi-Back Brace with Integrated Thermal Action

If you have joint or muscle pain, the Iron Bull Strength Medi-Back Brace with Integrated Thermal Action is great for you. It is specifically designed to treat the root causes of inflammation and lower back pain.

With its thermal technology, this brace provides a therapeutic heat deep into the tissues and muscles, which alleviate pain immediately.

7. BraceUP Stabilizing Lumbar Lower Back Brace

If you have joint or muscle pain, the Iron Bull Strength Medi-Back Brace with Integrated Thermal Action is great for you. It is specifically designed to treat the root causes of inflammation and lower back pain.

With its thermal technology, this brace provides a therapeutic heat deep into the tissues and muscles, which alleviate pain immediately.

8. Andego Back Posture Corrector for Women & Men

Do you find yourself slouching a little too often? Andego Back Posture Corrector for Women & Men can help you by pulling back your shoulders and straightening your upper back, thereby reducing back pain.

Its unisex one-size-fits-most design allows you to wear and remove it by yourself using its shoulder straps. Getting this brace means getting a great posture. 

If you are interested to learn more about back braces for women, check out our review. 

9. Ergodyne Prolix 1650 Back Support

Sciatica sufferers, no doubt, need consistent extra support for their backs. With Ergodyne ProFlex 1650 Back Support, you can keep your whole upper body in place. It has detachable, adjustable suspenders that successfully allow this.

Its 7.5″ elastic back provides extra firm support for the back, shoulders, and abdomen. This brace enhances the body’s intra-abdominal pressure by moving the stress away from the spinal area, which in turn causes relief from back pain.

Buyer’s Guide for Back Braces

Beyond their physical appearances, there are several things that back braces are concerned with. 

What Are Back Braces?

Back braces are medical devices designed to alleviate spinal conditions by limiting the motion of the spine. It’s also an effective measure for preventing the progression of certain conditions.

Back braces come in different types and are useful for various purposes. Generally, back braces have been found to improve the spinal health of many that are unwilling to undergo surgery. They also hasten recovery for those who might have undergone such.

At times, braces could easily be purchased over the counter, as with non-prescription braces. But it’s always advisable to check with your doctor first if you’re thinking of getting one.

mueller 1

How Does Back Braces Work?

Back braces generally help improve spinal health by providing support to the muscles and bones around the back region. To reduce strain and discomfort around the upper and lower back, back braces typically limit movement of the spine. 

If instructions are adequately followed, you’re sure to notice significant changes in no time. You might be wondering about the magic that goes on when putting on back braces. So in detail, here are the its benefits;

  1. Basically, back braces reduce the strain on your lower torso by holding it up in a supportive and safe posture. By providing support and stability, back braces improve the injured spinal structure.
  2. By helping to hold up the torso, back braces reduce the pressure placed on the lower back. Along with the reduction of pressure on the lower back comes the reduction of pressure on the joints, discs, and muscles that make up the spinal structure. 
  3. Finally, back braces have been found to limit micro-movements in some spinal regions. Putting on a back brace will also limit full range motion, which is a sure way to provide the body with the right environment necessary for restoring spinal health.

Categories of Back Braces

No matter what might have caused the pain or discomfort, there’s always a back brace that’ll match your health requirement.

Back braces vary in specification. This is to provide aid for a range of spinal conditions. Many braces may be similar in some ways, such as the materials used in making them, but they vary in rigidity and their effectiveness in postural alignment.

There are two main types of back braces. [1] But given the wide range of medical conditions for which braces are used to remedy, it’s safe to say that there are other subcategories and types that fall underneath these two broad categories.

1. Soft Braces

mueller 2

Soft braces are made of soft, breathable, and often lightweight material. They are effective for supporting the skeletal structure by compressing the lower back region and relieving pressure from the spine. 

Soft braces usually give room for minimal movement, unlike rigid braces which restricts almost any form of spinal mobility. With soft braces, forward movements of the spine are allowed.

Depending on your health requirement, some soft braces will only provide lightweight support for your day to day activities, while others are designed to provide sturdier support for rigorous physical activities.

Soft braces are of different types, sizes, and shapes. Some are corset-like, going from below the chest and sometimes reaching the hips, while others are similar to very large belts.

Also, most soft braces are easily adjustable and can be fitted to suit your size. This is due to the velcro fasteners present in most of them.

2. Rigid Braces

The other type of back braces is the rigid brace. As its name suggests, these braces are usually form-fitting and greatly restrict movement.

Rigid braces are usually more effective and suited for more serious spinal conditions. They usually come fitted with plastic or metal posts. Unlike with soft braces, rigid braves must be removed when lying down. Also, they can be an inconvenience as they tend to be hot and heavy. 

Medical Conditions That Require Back Braces

Several conditions may require the use of a back brace, but a lot of people are not aware of the causes. You might not necessarily be adequately informed to identify the cause of the problem. This, therefore, makes getting the right information the first step towards prevention. The following are common conditions that require the use of a back brace:

#1 Muscle Strain

Sporting activities with strenuous workouts and heavy lifting eventually lead to strains and spasms. The pain from this can be quite unbearable, making a back brace necessary to get your body back in shape. 

For other sports related protective gear articles, check out our write up on best football ankle brace and football knee brace review.  

#2 Osteoarthritis

A major condition that requires the use of back braces is Osteoarthritis. It causes pain in the lower back region and may lead to spinal stenosis if not spotted in time.

#3 Ruptured discs

Discs are positioned in between bones in the human body. Several factors and occurrences, however, can lead to the bulging out of the discs beyond proportion. This will, in turn, result in a series of unpleasant disc diseases.

Although a captured or bulged disc may not bring pain, it is sure to come if it eventually degenerates into a disease, making a back brace your solution to the pressing quagmire.

#4 Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition where a person’s vertebrae compresses into a fracture as a result of the brittleness and porosity of the bones. [2] A back brace is a good tool that can put the vertebrae back in its proper position.

#5 Scoliosis

Another medical condition that requires the use of a back brace is Scoliosis. In this case, your spine unusually curves to one side of your body. The pain resulting from this is intense, especially as the patient advances in age. A back brace is needed to correct the situation. 

Benefits of Back Braces

Back braces usually have many complementary objectives. Getting a back brace may help improve the following:

Mental Health

As strange as this might sound, back braces actually help improve your mental health. According to a study, people who slouch when walking have a higher tendency to be depressed than those who don’t.[3]

It was also discovered that poor posture configuration could lead to weakness and general lack of drive. Energy levels of participants also dropped as a result. This shows that posture has a direct effect on your happiness. Correcting this issue leads to emotional happiness and far more energy as a result. 

Post-Surgery Healing

Braces may be recommended by doctors after spine related surgeries with the aim of reducing pressure around the spinal or lower back region.

Back braces hastens the healing process by providing support and stability for the torso, reducing micro-motions around spinal structures, and limiting spine movement to the barest minimum.

Reduce Muscle Tension and Low Back Pain

Back braces always come equipped with supporting pads that cushion off the pain you’re suffering. Additionally, it further distributes the tension on your back to other areas of the body.

Things to Consider When Buying Back Braces

Imagine you visit the brace braces’ section of Amazon or any other reputable online store, how do you decide which back brace to buy? Besides the aesthetics, there are other functional prerequisites a back brace should meet before you add it to your cart. These are the major things to look out for in a befitting back brace.

1. Material

Back braces are made of an array of materials. Some are made with cotton or nylon. Most times, the elastic back brace also includes spandex in minute percentages of about five to ten. The nature of these materials goes a long way in determining the brace’s tenacity and durability.

They are also fitted with plastics to offer the needed support for the spine. Other materials like Velcro and a small metallic bar give a back brace a good architecture.

The nature of these materials goes a long way in determining if the back brace is machine washable. And most certainly, ensure you get one that you can wash easily.

2. Suspenders

If you take a sample of 100 back braces, only about 20 have suspenders. Suspenders give extra fit to back braces and ensure they remain firm to the back. Although anyone can use the suspender variant, it’s best for people whose body shape makes it difficult for the braces to be firm on them.

3. Size

There are “one size fits all” kinds of back braces, but they are not really common. You need to buy a back brace that will fit you perfectly. A lot of users that complain about back braces not giving enough support are actually using the wrong sizes.

4. Brand Reputation

Reputation is another important factor to consider when purchasing back braces. Some brands like Vive are renowned for building high-quality and durable back braces. 

While there are lots of brands making great products, it’s advisable you check customers reviews and track records to ensure they are reliable.

5. Medical Diagnosis

Above all these requirements, what stands out the most is your medical diagnosis. Even if you get the right size and design, if you don’t get the one that corresponds to the particular condition you’re diagnosed with, then it will be of no use to you.

So, the first step is getting a diagnosis and next is getting a doctor’s prescription.

Frequently Asked Questions

No, using back braces does not make the stomach weaker. Using back braces has absolutely no side effects on your stomach.

Yes, over time, side effects on your back would set in. Over-dependence on back braces will make your back perpetually dependent on them.

At other times, the posture it seeks to correct will be tarnished. Besides, excessive use will make your back shrink and will distribute the pain on your back to other parts of your body.

Yes, the majority of back braces come with lumbar pads that offer support to the back.

Wearing back braces under the shirt depends on the back brace you bought. Some of them can be worn under your clothes. Others are too thick to go under without showing a bulge.

No, wearing a back brace around your waist is not a proper way to use them. Back braces are to be worn around the back. There are variants for the lower back, which should be worn slightly above the waist region. There are other types designed for the upper back. But none is meant to be worn around the waist.

Sure, wearing back braces is good for lifting! Back braces are great for various activities that would put pressure on your back, and lifting is one of them. The kind of load you’re lifting doesn’t matter either as back braces will keep your back upright and distribute the pressure to other parts of your body.

Conclusion

Your back has a pivotal role to play in your overall well being. As such, you need to take the issue of back pain and wrong body posture seriously. Having read the benefits of back braces and other important details surround it, it’s advisable you get one for yourself, so you can put an end to the pain.

Mueller 225 Lumbar Support Back Braces with Removable Pad

Our #1 Best Back Brace

  • Offers relief for muscle weakness, lifting activities, arthritis, etc.
  • Internal model plastic components eliminate bunching and brace rolling
  • Breathable fabric for all-day comfort
  • Increases circulation of blood

If you enjoyed this article, check out the following links for reviews on other protective gear.

  • https://gamedayr.com/best-golf-wrist-braces/
  • https://gamedayr.com/best-knee-braces-for-stability/
  • https://gamedayr.com/best-knee-braces-for-hiking/

Resources:

  1. https://www.hortonsoandp.com/services/orthotics/
  2. https://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/osteoporosis/bracing-osteoporosis-treatment-option
  3. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2228003/Sit-cheer-Slouching-making-sad-study-shows.html
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