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If you have a back injury or are recovering from back surgery, you know it can be a debilitating experience. Most people don't know how important their back is until they injure it in some way, and then the simplest chores become painful events.

A back brace can help alleviate symptoms from minor back spasms to major surgical procedures, but it's important to get the back brace that's best suited to your needs and condition.

A back brace can be used as mere support or as a maximum stabilizing device that's meant to hold the entire upper torso in a straight line. Many people recovering from back injuries (caused by sports or auto accidents) wear a full, hard shell back brace that reaches from the sacral area of the lower back up to the underarms. Some also have a neck brace that connects to the entire assembly to provide maximum support for broken necks and backs. For those kinds of injuries, a doctor will most certainly decide which back brace will best suit your needs and offer you maximum mobility. Other conditions that aren't so severe will require less support.

A foam or cloth-type back brace can be used to help relieve symptoms of lower back pain and minor injuries. A doctor will often suggest the use of a back brace for those who suffer from sciatica and other neuromuscular complaints. In these cases, a back brace will help ease the pain of symptoms and offer additional support for movement. These days, a back brace is often made of foam-like material that is soft to the skin and yet provides firm support for mild to moderate lower back pain. The shape of a lower back brace allows for the curvature at the base of the spine and won't "ride up" like most other, "old-fashioned" back brace models and styles. This type of brace will stay in place, providing the required support.

Another popular type of back brace is a medical support back brace that comes with metal reinforcement strips down the back. This brace reaches from the midline buttocks area all the way up to the middle of the shoulder blades and offers maximum support for those suffering from spondylolysis, or disintegration of a vertebra and other spinal conditions. The tightness and pressure of this type of back brace can be worn under clothing and is adjustable. The wearer can stand and sit and the anatomical fit makes it available for both men and women. The best thing about this back brace is that it stays in place like it's supposed to, which makes it almost invisible to the casual observer. People suffering from discopathy, which is any disease that affects the intra vertebral bone structure, and osteoporotic lumbar impression fractures, as well as those recovering from surgery, can also wear this type of back brace.

A back brace doesn't have to be big and bulky to provide both protection and support for wearer. Today, materials used in the creation of a back brace are lightweight and allow for your skin to "breathe." So, when the doctor prescribes a back brace, don't automatically think "immobile." Instead, think of "soft yet firm, adjustable and comfortable."
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