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Lumbar Corset/Brace Question

jh236jjh236 Posts: 27
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:44 AM in Lower Back Pain
Sorry for this post if the question has already been answered, I am new here. Does anyone have any experiences with a custom lumbar corset being prescribed as a therapeutic device to avoid surgery? I've only heard of this being something that is ordered for someone who is anticipating surgery. Thank you.


  • mine was ordered for 2 reasons:
    1) if it alleviated enough of the pain, then I could possibly avoid the potentially unavailble surgery.

    2) if I could tolerate being in the brace 24/7 for 3 months and not go crazy, I could tolerate life after possible 4 level fusion.

    In my case, after not finding adequate pain relief, a discogram revieled far too much damage to proceed to surgery. so now I have the corset brace on hand to use as needed--very helpful for longer car rides (especially now during pothole season in MN!) or just those those days that for whatever reason, I am extra sore!

    It would be helpful to know your diagnosis as well.

    hope this helped you,
  • i see this is your first post and i want to welcome you to the forum. :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. i cannot help you with your question, i just wanted to say i hope you are feeling better soon and stop by anytime. Jenny :)
  • Thanks to both of you!!

    I see from many of the posting on the forum that there are a lot people in much worse shape than I am at this point and my thoughts go out to everyone.

    Maybe I'm at the relative beginning of a long journey here but I hope, as many have, to get some support and information from everyone on the site and I will offer the same.


  • I wore a Boston Overlay Brace, referred to as a Bob. It's a hard shell that totally restricts movement. My doc had me wear it for 3 months, hoping 2 fractures on my L5 pars might heal. At first, it was definitely irritating, but I grew accustomed to it. I had a hard time sleeping with it on, so my doc said I could take it off just to sleep. I got so used to it, that even after the 3 months, I would wear it to ski.

    Unfortunately, it was not successful. Good luck Jeff, you should have no problems with the brace.
  • Thanks for the info., sorry to hear it didn't work for you. I think/hope that I am being fitted for a soft brace but I don't know. There's been so much new stuff going on the last week.
  • yea, I have a soft brace that works okay. It's a quick draw brace. it uses velcro and then there are 2 pull strings. It works when my back is hurting to restrict movement.

    good luck.
  • and swear by it. I had to be fitted at an orthotics for it. I have been using it for about 2 years now and it really helps tremendously.

    A few tips: In order to avoid irritation to your skin from the brace rubbing on it wear a ribbed skin tight mens tank style t-shirt underneath it. Just be sure that it is pulled straight and no wrinkles before tightening the laces on the brace.

    It is a soft brace that has metal stays in it to restrict movement. It is definately worth a try.

    BTW- Don't believe what some folks may say about it making back muscles weak. It is not worn 24/7 and I was assured by 3 docs that does not happen.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
  • Hi,

    Not sure of your circumstances, but sorry to hear you need the brace. For what its worth, here is my experience with a brace;

    If you can avoid a brace, do so. I developed a severe lumbar lateral shift 3 weeeks post op, and use a soft brace to get myself mobile through the pain. My physio and consultant were horrified and asked me how I expected my lumbar muscles to work properly and maintain core strength when they were beng restricted. They confiscated it, and told me the only way was to work through the pain. I knew they were right, although I felt they were being harsh at the time.

    They also told me to lower my bed back down, throw away my raised toilet seat, extended shoe horn and grabber. Best decision I have made during my recovery.

    This is all particular to my circumstances, and as I say, yours are undoubtedly different. I feel you need to understand that the downside of wearing a brace long term is that core strength can be compromised, and this is key to back treatment and prevention.

    Hope this comment helps not hinders.
    Good luck to you.


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