Best Back Brace On The Market – The Comprehensive Buying Guide (2019 Edition)
Are you suffering from an old sports injury or the poor posture causes you back pain? You are not alone.
As a matter of fact, lower back pain is the fifth reason for all physician visits.
Fortunately, even the worst back pain can be alleviated with the best back brace.
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- Comparison Table
- What causes back pain?
- The benefits of using back brace
- How to choose the back brace on the market
- The Best Back Braces for Lower Back Pain & Posture in 2020: Comparison and Reviews
- 1. Back Brace by Sparthos – Spartan performance for active people
- 2. BraceUP Stabilizing Lumbar Lower Back Brace – A great support for heavy lifters
- 3. Posture corrector for men and women by Exemplify – A brace made for offices
- 4. Flexguard Support Back Brace Posture Corrector – A flawed hidden gem
- 5. King of Kings Lower Back Brace – The undisputed ruler
- FAQs when buying & using a back brace
For the impatient ones, here’s the short table that describes the pros and cons of our picks, before we proceed to more detailed reviews.
|Our Top Picks|
|Spartan performance for active people|
| A great support for heavy lifters|
|A brace made for offices|
|A flawed hidden gem|
|The undisputed ruler|
What causes back pain?
But, first things first. In order to root out the problem we first need to find its cause.
Although some of the lower back issues are caused by injuries, skeletal irregularities and the conditions like arthritis, the vast majority of reported lower back problems are the result of our physical behavior, most notably prolonged strenuous postures.
You have probably heard the phrase “sitting is the new smoking.” Well, it’s true.
The benefits of using back brace
Generally speaking, back braces are orthotic devices aimed at alleviating the resulting pain.
Although they can’t single-handedly solve more serious health problems, they are an incredibly important part of the therapy and offer some great benefits:
- Back braces immobilize the injured area after surgery helping recovery.
- They improve posture, elongate the spine and thus reduce the causing pain.
- If you are a heavy lifter or have a labor-intensive job back brace can provide strong support to your spine.
- During the episodes of strong back pain, braces are making transitional movements like sitting much more comfortable.
- In the case of some medical conditions like sciatica, the temperature produced by brace can dilate blood vessels and relieve pain.
How to choose the back brace on the market
Of course, not all back braces are made the same. The level of help you can get out of them can be drastically affected by some of their features. So, let’s take a look at some of the most important ones.
The type of the back brace
The back braces that support the entire back are very rare. Instead, manufacturers usually produce unites designed to target and support isolated areas of your body.
Keeping that in mind, we can divide such back braces into two major groups:
Shoulder and upper back braces – Covering the shoulders and mid chest, upper back braces are made to train your shoulder muscles to stay straight, which makes them ideal for people with desk jobs.
Lower back braces – This type of braces is mostly used by the people suffering from chronic lower back pain or recovering from injuries.
It is in your best interest to find the brace made out of the best available materials. Some of the things you should keep in mind are:
Quality construction – All the stitches need to look strong and reliable.
Durability – Due to its nature, your back brace should be able to withstand a lot of wear and tear.
Maintenance – Braces inherently cause a lot of sweat, so they should be cleaned on a daily basis. Choose materials like nylon, polyester, and rubber that make the maintenance much easier.
Shape and size
If you are going to use a brace only during the surgery recovery period you can get away with a bulkier unit. Otherwise, your brace should be able to blend underneath your clothes.
Also, look for the braces that are sorted by the size. The adjustable, “one size fits all” units can fit different body types, but only to an extent.
Once again, it all boils down to the reason why you are wearing a brace. If you are recovering from surgery you will need a more supportive and stiffer unit.
Units that are used in the gym to provide additional lumbar support or the ones aimed at improving posture are meant to be worn over extended periods of time and allow you an undisrupted range of motions so they need to be reasonably flexible.
The same can be said about therapeutic braces aimed at relieving pain.
Since they are designed to keep your back in straight position, braces ought to cause a certain level of discomfort. Good padding should be able to address this problem, without making the brace too bulky.
Usually, hard inserts made out of the materials like metal or plastic are built into the brace to make them firmer. However, some braces feature warm or cold inserts interwoven in the fabric so they may offer a better relief, depending on your condition.
Although the color can’t truly make or break a brace, it can drastically affect your final decision if you need to wear the unit in the line of duty. The people who are working in dirty or dusty areas should definitely stick to the darker models.
Finally, elastic straps produce a pretty solid level of adjustability. However, you should aim a bit higher and opt for the units that utilize straps and buckles which offer a lot more room for you to play with.
And now that we’ve set criteria, let’s go through some of the best back braces currently on market and see how they compare.
The Best Back Braces for Lower Back Pain & Posture in 2020: Comparison and Reviews
1. Back Brace by Sparthos – Spartan performance for active people
The first product of this roundup is the back brace by Sparthos, a manufacturer that doesn’t need too much introduction in the world of orthotic devices. According to Sparthos, their latest product is aimed at relieving lower back pain, sciatica, and scoliosis.
Things I Liked
- The product is made out of breathable, mash that makes very little impact on your daily operations.
- The industrial Velcro is very durable and feels like it can withstand a lot of abuse.
- The lumbar pad located on the back of the brace provides an additional bit of pressure on your lower back region without ever feeling uncomfortable.
- The brace comes in three different sizes, so you’ll have a much easier job fitting it to your body.
- The very belt feels very firm and provides a lot of support.
- The unit is unsuspecting enough to be tucked under the regular clothing.
- The support bars located in the brace are made out plastic rather than metal which makes the unit very light.
Things I Didn’t Like
- Although you have the option of choosing from three different sizes the measures are somewhat off.
- Velcro has never been the easiest material to clean.
- The stitching on some units could use a little bit of DIY reinforcing.
- For a price you are asked to pay, the brace could be more adjustable.
Verdict: A very light and supportive unit that’s light enough to be hidden under the clothes – an excellent choice for people that need to wear the brace during the work.
2. BraceUP Stabilizing Lumbar Lower Back Brace – A great support for heavy lifters
The next entry is the stabilizing lower back brace coming from the BraceUP. This product sets out to do the same mission as the previous – relieve lower back pain – but does enough things differently to end up as a completely distinct unit. Unfortunately, that entails some distinct drawbacks.
Things I Liked
- The breathable mesh out of which the brace is made does an excellent job managing the temperature underneath the belt.
- The eight built-in stays provide strong lower back support.
- The dual adjustment straps offer a great deal of customization when it comes to the back pressure.
- The silicone straps you can find on the inner side of the brace prevent slipping and keep the brace firmly situated on your back while you are moving.
- For the performance it offers, the unit can be considered very affordable.
- The Velcro used for built feels very resilient.
- The level of pain relief is excellent.
Things I Didn’t Like
- Although very light and flexible the unit is far bulkier than the previous model.
- Keeping the brace on for too long may irritate your skin, so there’s another reason to wear it over the shirt.
- The brace allows a pretty solid range of motion but bending forward may feel hard when the straps are fully stretched.
- The small-sized braces are too small for grown-up people.
Verdict: This brace may feel too limiting and bulky for customers who need a slimmer and more streamlined solution, but makes a great option for people enduring hard physical labor and bodybuilders.
3. Posture corrector for men and women by Exemplify – A brace made for offices
And for the first time, we have a full-blown posture corrector that keeps your back straight all the way from the shoulders to the lower back. The Exemplify is a manufacturer with a very solid reputation. Let’s see does this product live up to the expectations.
Things I Liked
- The brace performs very solid both in the upper and the lower region.
- For its size and purpose, the brace is surprisingly light and flexible.
- The lower belt is equipped with high-quality stretch bands and adjustable long clasp strap which allow for a great level of adjustability.
- The upper straps keep shoulders very tight and reduce shoulder pain caused by bad posture.
- The armpit areas of the straps are comfortable enough not to irritate your skin after the extended use.
- The brace does a very good job straightening your back muscles and gradually improving your posture.
- A very good build quality.
- Affordable and available in two sizes.
Things I Didn’t Like
- The unit must be worn over the clothes.
- Although it provides a reasonable lower back pain relief, the lower belt can’t be truly used for post-surgical recovery.
- The brace noticeably limits your range of motion so you can use it at work only if you have a desk job.
- No XL size, which could be a big issue if you’re a bigger person.
Verdict: A very solid and affordable brace that keeps your whole back in place and relieves some pain in the process. Since it’s meant to keep you in the straight position it is mostly aimed at programmers and other people spending a lot of time behind the desk.
Posture corrector by Flexguard Support is a product in a very similar vein to the previous one, but it is very hard to escape the feeling we are talking about a less refined entry. That doesn’t change the fact that in some areas the unit easily rises above the competition.
Things I Liked
- The brace offers excellent performance when it comes to relieving lower back pain so it can be used for the treatment of various lower back conditions.
- You can choose from five different sizes.
- The neoprene mesh used for the build is very durable, flexible and easy to clean.
- Shoulder and belt straps are offering a great deal of adjustability.
- Shoulder straps are nicely padded so you won’t feel any discomfort after prolonged use.
- Although comfortable, the brace keeps your body in a very tight position.
- The overall build is very slim so the brace can be worn under the shirt.
Things I Didn’t Like
- Once again, the sizing is a bit off so you may end up returning your first order.
- The Velcro loop patches located on the belt are somewhat misplaced.
- In some cases, preventing the brace from slipping may require applying too much pressure on the lower back region.
- Neoprene may cause a lot of sweating.
Verdict: This brace has a fair share of quirks, but it also offers one of the best performances on the list. If you are willing to endure a bit of sweat and spend some time playing with the straps to find the right fit, you may discover a hidden gem.
5. King of Kings Lower Back Brace – The undisputed ruler
Things I Liked
- Easily one of the best, if not THE best performance on the market.
- Instead of simply squeezing your back into position the smart system of back straps uses the optimal pressure on the right places to do the same job with much less strain.
- The mesh is breathable and pleasant enough to be worn over extended periods of time.
- The unit can be washed just as simple as regular clothes.
- The level of lumbar support and pain relief you get is truly extraordinary.
- The brace can be also used for the treatment of sore muscles.
- The unit is flexible enough to allow forward bending without major discomfort.
Things I Didn’t Like
- As we mentioned earlier, the excellent performance comes with a hefty price tag.
- The brace comes packed without any instructions.
- Keeping the brace in place may require a bit of playing with the straps.
Verdict: King of Kings has managed to push the product that is suitable for all types of customers ranging from drivers to manual laborers. The amount of money you have to pay may be above the average, but the overall performance more than pays off the investment.
FAQs when buying & using a back brace
1. How often should I wear the brace?
The answer to this situation truly depends on your medical condition but the concise version should be – the more pain you feel the more often you should keep your unit on. However, be sure to consult your physician in regards to any long-term therapy methods.
2. Does Medicare cover the price of the brace?
Yes and no. Although you won’t be able to get the full coverage, you may get an 80% off based on the level of pain and specific medical needs, which is a pretty solid discount.
3. How to properly position a lower back brace?
It all depends on the type, but, generally speaking, the width of the belt should cover the lower back and the tailbone.
4. Can I take my brace to shower??
No. Although the back braces are designed to endure a lot of sweat, damping them in water can only cause skin irritation.
5. How to deal with excessive sweating??
One of the best ways to address this common problem is to wear a layer of clothes below the belt to absorb excessive moisture. The breathable fabrics like cotton should do a nice job here.
6. Can I borrow a brace??
Using others’ back braces is discouraged. Each brace should address a specific problem and be suited to the owner’s body type.
Since we covered two major types of products (lower back braces, and full back posture correctors) in our reviews, the final verdict will be somewhat of a cheat. But, remember what they say about apples and oranges.
So, when it comes to posture correctors, the product made by Flexguard Support has some obvious flaws. However, at the same time, the brace excels in the areas that are the most important. Yes, wearing neoprene may feel uncomfortable in the long run, but these concerns should take a back seat to your overall well being.
When it comes to lower back braces the things are much clearer. The King of Kings has shattered the competition and put out a product with such a strong performance and broad appeal the other contenders (although very solid in their own regard) easily fail in comparison.
The amount of money you are asked to pay may be a bit high for an average consumer, but you can’t put a price on your health.