Back Braces

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

As many as four out of five people in the United States will experience back pain. Many turn to back braces to help them ease pain or for prevention of back problems. But do they work? Dr. Edward Hill takes a closer look at back braces in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Back pain is one of the most common reasons why people go to the doctor or miss work. While back pain most often occurs from strained muscles and ligaments or from improper or heavy lifting, it also can be caused from structural problems.

For some, turning to the use of a back brace is their treatment of choice. But can wearing a back brace truly help back pain?

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has concluded that there is not enough scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness of back braces to recommend their use.

Furthermore, there is some evidence that workers wearing back braces may attempt to lift more weight than they would normally lift without the brace due to a belief that the brace will protect them, thus increasing their risk of injury.

NIOSH recommends use of ergonomic principles to prevent back injury, including keeping loads close to the body, between shoulder and knuckle height, avoiding twisting and use of equipment to minimize lifting.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.