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A lumbar brace
is a device used to help support or stabilize your lower back. Lumbar braces limit movement. Metal pieces help keep the brace from bending easily. Some styles can allow for extra pieces to be added to help stabilize your mid to upper spine.
Why you may need a lumbar brace:
Lumbar braces may be used to help treat low back pain, arthritis, sprain, strain, or degenerative disc disease. Hard braces help stabilize the spine after a fracture or surgery. The brace will not allow you to move in certain directions. This will help prevent more injury.
Seek care immediately if:
- You have severe back pain.
- You have numbness or weakness in your legs.
- You have problems urinating or having a bowel movement.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- Your back pain gets worse when you wear your brace.
- Your skin is sore or raw after you wear your brace.
- Your brace is damaged or broken.
- You have questions about your condition or care.
How to safely use a lumbar brace:
- Get your lumbar brace fitted by your healthcare provider. It is very important that your brace is the right size for you and that it fits properly. Your healthcare provider will help you make sure the brace is the right length and style for you. You may need to get a brace that is custom fit for your body.
- Wear your brace as directed. You may need to wear your brace during certain activities or all the time. For example, you may need to wear it during any activity that could injure your back. Your healthcare provider will show you how to put the brace on and adjust it. Check the fit of the brace often. If it does not fit properly or moves out of place, it could cause more injury. Your healthcare provider may recommend that you wear a T-shirt under the brace to protect your skin.
- Care for your brace. Inspect your brace often. Do not wear your brace if it is damaged or broken. Ask your healthcare provider how to care for and clean your brace.
- Start to strengthen your lower back as directed. You may need to work with a physical therapist to strengthen your lower back by doing exercises. Ask how much physical activity is safe for you.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.