Are Backbelts Fact or Crap?

I am frequently asked by patients about the use of backbelts for spinal injury prevention. The short answer is that we’ve know for quite some time that these strappy supports rarely do anything to prevent low back injuries and a recently updated Cochrane review supports this practice.

To top things off (or wrap them up I suppose), the corset-like belts may actually allow back and abdominal muscles to weaken as they become dependent on the additional artificial external support.

We do occasionally recommend a support belt for patients in acute pain as a temporary pain relieving measure or for pregnant patients (a different kind of belt for them). We will also on occasion have patients wear a belt for short periods during tasks that may require additional support but long term, all day use should be avoided.

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