Bracing for Lower Back Pain

Orange zone indicates location of lower back pain on a human figure.

Quince Orchard Medical Center is dedicated to bringing our patients the best in conservative treatment for joint and muscle pain. Recently we have become an advocate for introducing bracing into our treatment protocols.

Back braces are particularly helpful for the treatment of lower back pain when combined with chiropractic treatment, physical therapy, and massage.  We’ve been encouraged and impressed by several studies that highlight the effectiveness of including bracing into a comprehensive treatment plan.

A 24 month study conducted by Paul Calmels, PhD, MD, Patrice Queneau, MD, Claude Hamonet, PhD, MD, Claude Le Pen, PhD, Frederique Maurel, Claire Lerouvreur, and Phillippe Thoumine, MD, PhD, in 2006 included 210 patients suffering from low back pain treated by a family practitioner.  Two groups were randomized with 105 patients in each group. One group wearing a lumbar/sacral spine brace, the other group no wearing any back support.

During the study all patients underwent other types of treatment as determined medically necessary by their practitioner.  All patients were followed up with 3 times throughout a 12 month period.

There was a significant difference in change of pain intensity between the two groups, with the group wearing the lumbar/sacral spine brace reporting less pain than the group not wearing a brace. The change in pain intensity was measured with a visual analogical scale (VAS).There was a significant difference in medication consumption between the two groups as well.

The percentage of patients with the lumbar/sacral spine brace who did not take any pain medication was 60.8%, whereas the percentage of patients who did not take any pain medication in the group without a brace was 40.3%

The results of this study show that wearing a lumbar belt for subacute low back pain is beneficial for functional recovery, pain intensity control, and medication consumption.

Working with the providers here at Quince Orchard Medical Center gives you a robust treatment for lower back pain. We strive to educate our patients about the most optimal care without the use of invasive procedures or excessive pain medication. We are happy to talk to your insurance company to determine if you are eligible for a lumbar/sacral spine brace if you experience lower back pain.

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