Posture supports and back braces are used increasingly to help with postural issues, and while there may be very few people who will actually benefit from using one, we’re going to talk today about why you most likely do not need to use it and the damage it can do in the long-term. What do braces do? It restricts mobility, supports the core, and holds the spine nice and tight. Basically everything your core muscles should be doing, which is the fundamental problem with using a brace. As we demonstrate in the video to the right, a brace feels good to wear and because of that people tend to wear them consistently everyday as it gives you correct posture while your own abs do absolutely nothing. It’s certainly one way to achieve good posture with little to no effort, but it will be to your detriment in the long-term.

Your spine is effectively a big stick, supporting the weight of your entire upper body. The muscles that help to support and protect your spine are your back and core muscles. We often find that patients who come to use with back pain, often have quite weak core muscles as well, so restrengthening them is key to helping your back pain recovery.

Braces Replace Core Muscle Function

The trouble is, if you use a back support, they feel nice while you’re using them but your core muscles should be the thing providing this support. When you start using supports like this, you start to become reliant on them, what may just begin as wearing it in the evening when you’re tired and need the support may turn into needing the support all throughout the day. When you wear a posture support, your core muscles slowly start to become less and less active, and when you don’t use muscles they waste and become less responsive. We see this situation time and time again, and it’s a tough situation to rehabilitate because once we’ve helped to alleviate their back pain, they must keep up with the core and back exercises, otherwise those muscles are so vulnerable that they can re-injure themselves very easily.

Core Strength & Stability For Back Pain Recovery

Core strength and stability is one of the fundamental parts of getting a patient better. Although the technologies we have here, like the spinal decompression, the laser therapy, the vibration and the spinal adjusting, will treat the back pain and help your body to start healing its injury again – what will actually help in the long-term will be the rehabilitation. Using back support braces creates a massive problem because the patient’s core is not strong enough to protect them when they’re outside the clinic. So under what circumstances could you use a back support? In order to not compromise your core strength, you’ll need to use it very infrequently. Say for example you have an abnormally long day ahead, or perhaps you’re travelling for a long period of time during the day in order to visit friends or relatives, you might then choose to use a back brace then in order to make sure you make it through that day without aggravating your back further, or just ruining your day in general. If you’re choosing to use the brace, it should be for an activity that is above and beyond your usual activity level or an abnormal circumstance.

When To Use A Brace

Activities such as going to, and from work, or even during your work day, pottering about around the house, walking your dog – if those are normal day-to-day activities you should definitely be refraining from using a support, be very limiting in terms of the amount of time you use these braces for, and make sure that you’re using it properly. Some people use them much too high, some too low – they should be positioned across the midsection, and you’ll be able to see in our video at the top of this page how it should be fitted. If it’s done properly, it should provide you with a good amount of stability but we must stress that you must not become reliant on using this type of support. People that we see who get reliant on using posture supports end up really struggling to get out of back pain, and it can take a considerable amount of time and effort to regain their core strength. If you’re finding yourself to be more and more dependant on a support, you may find it beneficial to complete a core stabilisation program – and be consistent – with these exercises. Results do not happen overnight, in fact our stabilisation programmes begin at 3 months in length so you need to make sure that you put the work in to see results.

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Our Back In Shape Program

If you’d like to find out more about our exercise program, you can visit our Back in Shape page here. As a mobile application it’s an easy-to-follow program you can complete on your phone, tablet or on a computer. We offer programs at two price points depending on the amount of support you’d like from us – including a basic program that provides progressive exercises, and a premium program that is more tailored to you personally, involves a consultation with a clinic practitioner who will be available to you in the app for personal support. Our basic program also offers a 7 day free trial, so you can try it out before you commit.

If your back pain is stopping you from completing exercises, going to work or just from living your life, call The Mayfair Clinic today to see how we can help. Call us on 0203 947 3222 or email us at info@themayfairclinic.com to speak with a member of the team.