Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: December 31, 2020
If you have a bad back, odds are you’ve done a little research to see if there are some ways you can prevent or limit back pain throughout your day. This sentiment is especially true for manual laborers who stress their spine each and every day through a variety of physical activities. Oftentimes these individuals end up hearing about spine support belts that could help them prevent pain during their active job.
But just how helpful are these belts, and is it worth it to invest in one to help protect your spine? We explain how effective these spinal support belts are in today’s blog.
The Benefits Of Spinal Support Belts
As is the case with a number of different topics on this blog, it is best to get an individual assessment and care plan from a physician who can view your spine in person. Below is more generalized advice, which while it can be helpful for a number of individuals, may not be the ideal advice for your specific situation.
With that said, there isn’t much scientifically-backed evidence that suggests a spinal support belt can directly help to prevent or reduce back pain. However, there are a number of theories that suggest they can be both helpful and harmful to your spinal health. Let’s start with the good.
Likely the best way that a spinal support belt helps is by making a person more cognizant of their spinal positioning throughout the day. Oftentimes it’s not an acute injury that leads to back pain, it’s years or wear and tear in the form of bad habits or unhealthy posture. This support belt helps remind us that we should strive to have better back positioning. Instead of bending over and picking up that heavy box like you normally would, the presence of the support belt may remind you to bend at the knees, not and the waist, in turn taking pressure off your back.
The belt also provides a little extra support during everyday movement and acts as a reminder to avoid potentially dangerous twists and turns. Instead of twisting to grab something off the assembly line, the belt will help to restrict unhealthy movements, inherently helping to prevent injuries.
However, a spinal support belt is far from the perfect system. It doesn’t do anything to actively treat a previous back injury, so it’s not going to help you find relief from degenerative disc disease or nerve compression. It also can cause problems by providing a false sense of security, leading people to make some riskier choices with their body. If you perform heavier lifts or think it’s fine to twist awkwardly because your belt is providing extra protection, it can be a recipe for a spinal injury.
At the end of the day, a spinal belt can be a nice compliment to a comprehensive spinal treatment plan that involves more active treatment techniques. Wearing your spinal belt at work can help provide a little extra support and stability, and then you can drive home recovery by performing physical therapy and stretching exercises on your own time. A spinal support belt should not be the only thing you’re doing for your spine, but it can complement a more involved rehabilitative care plan.
For more information about spinal support belts, or for help with your back pain issue, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi’s office today.