Lumbar Spinal Bracing

Lumbar braces are external devices used to restrict movement of the lumbar spine and provide support and stability to the lower back region to relieve back pain and promote healing, after surgery or injury. Braces are also called orthotics and are made from different materials such as nylon, rubber, moulded plastic and elastic cotton. The basic function of braces is to:

  • Immobilize the spine, which helps healing
  • Stabilize the injured area
  • Manage pain by limiting the movement

Basically braces are of two types, soft and hard braces. Soft braces provide support to the muscles and allows free movement while the hard braces limit the movement.

Soft lumbar corset

A soft lumbar corset provides support to the affected muscles of the lower back. A lumbar corset is recommended to the patient suffering from conditions such as major arthritis, mild lumbar instability and low back pain. The lumbar corset prevents excessive movement of the lower back and promotes proper body posture. Long-term use of the soft lumbar corset can lead to weakening of the lumbar muscles. Therefore, the braces should only be used for a specified time period, as recommended by the doctor, along with regular muscle strengthening exercises.

Rigid lumbar braces

A rigid brace is recommended for providing additional immobilization, to minimize the risk of further injury, in conditions such as spinal fractures, unstable spine surgery and other related disorders. The rigid brace provides external stability to the affected spinal area for better healing.

The brace specialist is called an orthotist who is trained in different fields such as anatomy, biomechanics, material engineering, physical science and other related fields. In some cases, braces are fitted in consultation with an orthotist, as per the requirements of the treatment and condition of the patient. Your doctor may recommend the specific time-period for wearing the braces, which may range from weeks to months, depending on the condition and the type of disorder. Physical therapy may also be recommended along with braces.

Patients wearing lumbar braces should avoid activities that put undue strain on the affected area such as driving, lifting, etc. Follow the instruction of your doctor for taking baths and performing other activities. If the patient is recommended to take a shower with the brace, then at the end of the shower the braces should be cleaned properly.

  • Ashford and St Peter’s Hospital


    Ashford and St Peter’s
    NHS Foundation Trust
    Guildford Road, Cherstey,
    Surrey, KY16 0PZ.
    Ph: 01932 722 730
  • The BMI Runnymede Hospital


    The BMI
    Runnymede Hospital
    Guildford Road,
    Ottershaw, CHERTSEY,
    KT16 0RQ.
    Ph: 01932 877800
  • Spire St Anthony’s Hospital


    Spire St Anthony’s
    801 London Road,
    SM3 9DW.
    Ph: 020 8337 6691
  • Nuffield Health Woking Hospital


    Nuffield Health
    Woking Hospital
    Shores Road,
    GU21 4BY.
    Ph: 01483 331257
  • Ramsay Health Ashtead Hospital


    Ramsay Health
    Ashtead Hospital
    The Warren,
    Ashtead, Surrey.
    KT21 2SB.
    Ph: 01372 221400