Acute back and/or neck pain be treated with short term bracing. Bracing materials have evolved over the years and now include corset type braces for the lumbar spine or lower back and collars for the neck. The most common types utilize light weight thermoplastics for improved comfort.
Bracing is utilized to stabilize weak muscles and help to control pain by limiting the motion of the spine and the supporting muscles. Typically, bracing is recommended only for a short course of 4-6 weeks for non-operative treatment as it may contribute to the weakening of the muscles that later act to protect a patient from further injury. Dr. Taylor may encourage physical therapy in coordination with bracing for some patients.
There are different ways to classify braces. They are labeled based on the location where the brace is utilized and the flexibility of the brace. Locations include Sacroiliac (SIO), Lumbosacral (LSO), Cervical (CO) to name a few; while the flexibility is categorized as flexible, rigid or semi-rigid. Flexible braces include corset type braces made of cotton or nylon. These corset style braces can be modified by adding rigid inserts. Rigid braces are commonly custom made and provide more support to the patient.