Lumbar Sacral Orthosis (LSO)
How Back Braces Help Back Pain
Back braces in the Middle Ages involved rudimentary metal and leather contraptions but, thankfully, modern lumbar back supports are fashioned using lightweight thermoplastics that can be comfortable, inconspicuous, and breathable. The main idea behind a back brace for back pain is to limit motion and take pressure off the spinal discs, vertebrae, and ligaments in the spine to allow them time to heal without further trauma. A corset for back pain is effective due to compression of the abdomen and transfer of weight-bearing from the back to the core muscles. Stabilizing the spine in this way can help apply a three-point system to correct abnormal posture and degenerative spine disease.
How Back Braces Work
Flexible back braces can help provide relief from back pain from disc conditions, spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease. They are also helpful in cases of trauma to the spine or where postural deformities have developed. The application of pressure to the abdomen takes weight off the spine’s discs, vertebrae, and ligaments and these back corsets can often be made more or less rigid through the use of inserts (stays). Some people use these types of back braces for spinal stenosis as a prompt to control posture or as a way of restricting motion.
Lumbar Spine Relief
Back braces mimic the effects of having stronger abdominal muscles and create a slight lumbar flexion. This subtle change in posture, and postural support, can open up the spaces in the spinal canal and reduce nerve compression and lumbar spinal stenosis pain. Patients with degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis may wish to use the theory behind the effectiveness of back braces to inform their physical therapy. This means that strengthening the abdominal muscles could help prevent excessive lumbar extension and, thereby, reduce symptoms of low back pain.
What are knee braces?
Knee braces are supports that you wear for a painful or injured knee. Some people use them to prevent knee injuries during sports. Braces are made from combinations of metal, foam, plastic, elastic material and straps. They come in many sizes, colors and designs.
What kinds of knee braces are there? What do they do?
There are four main kinds of knee braces:
- Prophylactic (say: “pro-fa-lack-tick”) braces. These are designed to protect knees from injuries during contact sports like football.
- Functional braces. These give support to knees that have already been injured.
- Rehabilitative braces. These limit harmful knee movement while a knee is healing after an injury or surgery.
- Unloader/offloader braces. These are designed to provide relief to people who have arthritis in their knees.
Do knee braces work?
In general, functional braces, rehabilitative braces and unloader braces are the most effective. Braces help some people more than others. In general, most people who wear knee braces feel that they help. Doctors are trying to learn more about how well knee braces really work and when it's best to use them. Remember, the need for a brace should be determined by your doctor.
When are knee braces used?
Different knee problems require different knee braces. Your doctor may suggest one kind of knee brace after knee surgery. Some doctors may choose another kind of knee brace for support instead of surgery for a torn knee ligament. You may also need a knee brace for pain in the front of your knee that isn't getting better with strengthening and flexibility exercises. Braces don't seem to work well to stop knee injuries from happening. Get your doctor's advice if you want to try a knee brace.
Conditions & situations that can benefit from a knee brace:
- MCL Protection
- Post ACL injuries
- Patella (knee cap) instability
- Chondromalacia Patella
- Tendonitis / Tendinosis