Bracing for Pain
Low back pain is a continuing health problem many of us will experience at some point in our life. It affects everything throughout our day. It starts with taking hours away from our sleep, interferes with activities within our family, kills our productivity at work, and then there are the long-term effects as to our overall health and wellness. At any point up to 540 million people in the world feel back pain in a single moment. Eighty percent of Americans will experience some sort of back pain in their lifetime. A small percentage of these will also lead to chronic back pain. It is one of the most common reasons for missed work, a leading cause of disability in the world and the third most common reason for a visit to the doctor. Back pain will affect people most between ages 45 to 65 and is more likely in women than men. Nursing professionals are one of the most common industries to experience low back pain.
There are many treatments that are used for low back pain. One of the most beneficial treatments is exercise. This form of treatment requires some work, but it is free and available at any moment you want to start exercising. This is effective in about 30% of low back pain cases. Rest is another great treatment method that will help around 32% of the time. There are also medications, ointments and patches that provide relief to many that suffer low back pain.
I often see a myriad of patients in the office that have suffered from a motor vehicle accident. Their low back pain is sudden, typically moderate to severe and they must fit this low back pain into their daily routine while trying to work. I am often asked if a brace would help them, and I typically follow that question by showing them my own brace. A brace provides immobilization and support. It is a good tool for short-term use and may assist in getting you back to work earlier. They are to be used when you are up, moving and require the brace for support. They should not be used while relaxing in your favorite chair, sitting on the couch or laying down for sleep during the night. This could lead to a worsening of symptoms by weakening your muscles and tissues. A brace is something that is good to have before you need it, and this is the reason I have one. If I am doing moderate work, I use my brace short term to keep from having irritation of the lower back. Moving heavy objects, boxes, landscaping or using a string trimmer are all reasons I use mine.
What type of brace should you wear? I prefer a decompressive type of brace. These are typically labeled as a L0631 style of brace. When these are properly placed on the lower back, they typically provide a substantial amount of support and will allow you some relief from acute low back pain. I have also found benefit in prevention of back pain when used before lifting heavy items or moderate activity where the low back muscles may incur strain.
A lumbar brace should be considered an assistant to getting you back to a normal day. For the best benefit it should be paired with a proper exercise program, physical therapy if necessary and a well-balanced diet. You should follow proper lifting procedures to minimize future flare ups. If your low back pain lasts longer than typical you should consult your doctor for any other serious concerns.
–Aaron Workman, DC
If you or somebody you know has been in a car accident, be sure that you seek medical attention from a car accident doctor or car accident chiropractor to treat your injuries. Visit Chambers Medical Group to receive world-class medical treatment for your injuries.
Chambers Medical Group has car accident medical clinics in the following locations: