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A lumbar brace
is a device that is used to help support or stabilize your lower back. A lumbar brace may be soft or hard. A soft brace is usually made of fabric and allows some movement. It is closed with straps or laces that go around your lower back and abdomen. Hard braces are made of hard material that keeps your back stable and limits movement.
Reasons you may need a lumbar brace:
Lumbar braces may be used as part of a treatment plan for conditions that affect the lower spine. These may include low back pain, arthritis, sprain, strain, or degenerative disc disease. Hard braces may be used to stabilize the spine after a fracture or surgery. Lumbar braces may also be used to help prevent low back pain.
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. Ask your healthcare provider if you have any questions about how to wear your brace properly.
- 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. Check the fit of the brace often. If it does not fit properly or moves out of place, it could cause further injury. Your healthcare provider may recommend that you use a T-shirt under the brace to protect your skin.
- 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.