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Jonathan Cluett, M.D.

Do Back Belts Prevent Spine Injury?

By March 2, 2010

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Recent research has investigated the question of whether or not wearing a back brace, also called a lumbar support, will help to prevent workplace lifting injuries. Several recent studies have very clearly shown that back braces do not lower the incidence of working having back problems.

These studies have found no difference in either the number of back injuries, nor in the number of workers who complained of back pain as a result of their lifting in the workplace.

Should back braces be worn?

There is evidence to show that back braces can help maintian a proper lifting posture, and therefore some workers choose to use a back brace. It should just be understood that this has not been shown to reduce the number of injuries. Wearing a back brace has not been shown to be harmful, and therefore it should be seen as an option, but not a necessity.

Related: How to Lift | Lumbar Muscle Strain

Image © Pali Rao

March 17, 2010 at 7:06 am
(1) Jeffrey says:

I have also studied the issue of back braces. The problem is that workers who wear the back brace keep it cinched up all the time instead of at the time of the lift. By keeping it cinched up all the time the back muscles become weaker from the support. Then the worker lifts something at home without the back brace and suffers an injury. Of course, if they can, they wait until returning to work to report the injury to qualify for workers’ compensation.

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