Low back belts

A patient recently asked me if he should use a low back belt for his back pain.  It is a good and important question.

What does a low back belt actually do?  It takes over the job of the core muscles in your back. That can be very useful if your back is unstable and injured. If you are in quite a bit of pain and all motions including bending and lifting hurt your back, then a back belt might be a good idea. If you are worried that your back would get much worse because you did a certain motion, then a back belt might be a good idea.

The problem is that if you are using a back belt all the time. As I said, the low back belt functions to take over the job of the core muscles in your back. That means that those core muscles are not being used. A muscle that does not get used will get weaker over time. And we have heard the problems of having weak core muscles. If your core muscles are weak, then it is much easier to injure your back because basic functions such as standing and bending forward may not have the proper strength to do such actions.

So should a person use low back belts?

Only if you are injured and cannot do basic functions.

Once you start to recover from your injury and rehabilitate the back, then it is very important that you phase out using the back belt.  At Blue Quill Chiropractic, we can guide you through that process. We will walk you through the exercises that you need to do and provide the treatment so that your back can heal properly and get back to doing the things that you want to do.

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