About Neoprene Back Supports
Neoprene back supports are normally worn to provide compression and support to prevent or reduce low back pain. People may use these back supports after an injury from an accident or heavy lifting. Physical therapists and chiropractors often recommend back supports in addition to a specific set of exercises to reduce neck or low back pain. Body builders may use a variation of a neoprene back support for very heavy lifting but this can backfire if they lift beyond their means, as a back support may offer false confidence and become a prelude to injury.
Neoprene back supports are available online, in sporting goods and massage supply stores. They range in price from $28 to $60. Most retail locations will allow you to try on the different back supports to determine which is the best one for you. Many neoprene back supports wrap around the lower back and fasten with a Velcro enclosure. The area of the back known as L-5 (lumbar-5) and S-1 (sacrum-1) is vulnerable to injury as there is a pronounced curve at this point of the low back. Heavy lifting where the lumbar is “loaded” with the weight results in compression and often pain. Wearing a neoprene waist support may prevent injuries from heavy power lifting, but not always.
Neoprene back supports are used to support the low back or lumbar area by gently squeezing it, providing compression that supports weak muscles or unstable sacro-illiac joints that sit on either side of the tailbone. Sitting at a desk or in a car for long periods of time creates a rounded low back and can contribute to low back and neck pain. As we all continue to sit in order to work or drive, using a back brace can provide important low back support to relieve low back pain. A neoprene back support is a soft, pliable sash that is wrapped around the lumbar/waist area to prevent this low back rounding. When wearing a back brace, it is nearly impossible to round the low back–preventing further aggravation of a low back injury or sensitivity.
People with low back pain from car accidents, work accidents or sports injuries can use neoprene low back supports to help them maintain low back compression to support their spines as they heal. Typically a physical therapist will design exercises to strengthen abdominal muscles and to stretch tight hamstrings to help support the low back. However, wearing a neoprene low back support can help relieve low back pain while the patient gets stronger and can help prevent muscle spasms to the low back.
Many people experience chronic low back pain from poor posture or a non-ergonomic work environment that can contribute to low back strain. Using a neoprene back support can help an individual to reduce this low back pain. While wearing a back support is useful, generally the patient will need to also perform exercises or practice yoga to develop the muscular strength and learn proper body mechanics to reduce low back pain significantly.
Low back supports are one way to reduce back pain but they normally do not eliminate the problem. It is recommended to see a doctor for an evaluation. If the nerves are not being impinged, it is probably a spinal alignment and muscular weakness issue. Both can be addressed through physical therapy, movement re-education and targeted strengthening and stretching exercises.