If you’ve experienced a spinal injury, you may be advised to wear a brace as part of your treatment plan. A brace is a device that uses corrective force to control the position of your spine.
After a spinal injury, the soft tissues that usually stabilize your spine may be unable to keep it in its normal position. Wearing a brace is similar to using a cast on a broken arm. It restricts movement and immobilizes your spine so healing can occur naturally.
Back bracing is most effective when used under the advice and direction of a medical professional. At Regenerative Pain & Spine in Chicago, Illinois, spine fracture specialist Shoeb Mohiuddin, MD, and our team use bracing and other treatments to help patients heal and return to normal activities.
When bracing is appropriate, Dr. Mohiuddin incorporates this therapy into your overall treatment plan. Your progress and the need for treatment modifications are monitored during scheduled check-ups.
While a brace can promote successful healing, it can take time to get used to this type of device if this is the first time you’re wearing one. Here’s what to expect if you’ve been advised to use bracing to treat your spinal injury.
The specific style of back brace you wear is based on the injury you experience. A hard, or clamshell, brace is typically used after a spinal injury.
This device wraps around your chest, back, and stomach area and holds your spine in place. If you need additional support in your lower spine, the brace may also extend to your upper thigh.
Dr. Mohiuddin and the team ensure that your brace fits properly for optimal comfort. They also make sure you understand how to wear it appropriately to minimize discomfort.
The purpose of a back brace is to stabilize your spine and prevent shifting. By restricting movements such as twisting and bending forward, backward, or to the side, your spine remains positioned for natural healing. The brace also prevents you from further damaging your spine by moving suddenly during the healing process.
While you may be able to immobilize your spine with bed rest, bracing allows you to move around without disturbing your spine. Daily movement can help prevent blood clots, pressure sores, and other health problems that can result from remaining immobile over a long period of time.
The length of time you wear a back brace varies based on the type of injury you experience. If you have a spinal fracture, you may have to wear a brace 24 hours a day for a few months to allow your bones to heal.
Depending on your injury, Dr. Mohiuddin advises when and where to use your brace. Bracing is likely one component of a comprehensive treatment plan that may include exercise, physical therapy, and/or medication along with your back brace.
Find out more about the benefits of bracing to treat spinal injuries. To schedule a consultation, call one of our offices in Chicago’s West Ridge area.