Lumbar Back Pain: Should You Wear a Support Belt or Not?
Lumbar Back Pain Support
Are you feeling terrible pain while doing your daily activities like walking and moving around? It can be a symptom of lumbar back pain. Such kind of pain can severely affect your life, and you will feel like you are living a life with no meaning. But with some care and treatments, you can live a comfortable life even if you have lumbar pain. However, it is very important to understand what lumbar pain is, its symptoms, causes, etc. Are you using a lumbar support belt? Is it really necessary to wear a belt? This article will clear all your doubts.
What is Lumbar Pain?
The lumbar spine which is also called the lower back, is a unique and well-engineered structure of interconnecting bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, and nerves. All these elements of lumbar spine work together and provide the required support, strength, and flexibility. But sometimes, the complex structure leaves the low back sensitive to injury and pain. Such injuries can lead to lumbar disc herniation.
Lumbar pain is one of the most common causes of seeing your doctor. This problem has affected millions of people across the world. Some people try to avoid the problem of lower back pain, and some people take the wrong treatment. Lumbar back pain can be due to a serious health condition, that should not be ignored. Therefore, knowing the cause and the appropriate treatment is extremely important.
Causes of Lumbar Back Pain
Lumbar pain commonly arises from the strain, tension, or injury. Some of the frequent causes behind the back pain are:
- Strained muscles or injury in ligaments.
- Lumbar muscle spasm.
- Muscle tension.
- Damaged lumbar disks.
- Injuries or fractures in the lumbar spine.
Activities which can lead to strains include:
- Lifting heavy objects improperly.
- Making some abrupt and awkward movements.
There are a different kind of structural issues that may lead to back pain.
Ruptured Lumbar Disks
Each vertebra in the spine is supported by disks. When those disks rupture there will be severe pressure on a nerve, causing lumbar back pain.
Just like ruptured disks, the bulging disk condition can develop more pressure on a nerve following which you will feel pain in your lower back or lumbar area. It can also lead to lumbar spinal stenosis.
A herniated disk when put pressure on a nerve, you will feel sharp pain travels through the buttock and down the back of the leg.
Osteoarthritis causes issues with the joints in the hips and lower back. Sometimes, it can cause pain near the spinal cord narrows which is called spinal stenosis.
Abnormal Structure of Spine
If your spine curves in an unusual way, you may suffer from back pain. For example, scoliosis where the spine curves to the side.
Bones locate in the spine become brittle and porous leading to fractures.
Kidney stones or any kind of kidney infection can develop back pain.
Other Lumbar Back Pain Causes
A tumor on the spine pressing the nerves can cause back pain.
A fever and warm area on the back can be due to the infection of the spine.
People with sleeping disorders frequently feel pain in their back, compared with other people
An infection which affects the nerves can be a reason for back pain, depending on which nerves are affected.
Symptoms of Lumbar Back Pain
Some of the common symptoms of lumbar back pain include:
- Back pain.
- Leg pain.
- Weakness in muscle.
- Muscle spasms.
- Felling stiffness in the back or lower back.
- Pain that moves down the legs and into your feet.
- The decrease in the motion or movement of your back.
- Numbness or tingling.
- Sciatica condition, the pain which starts near the back and travels down the leg to the calf or into the foot.
How Back Pain can be Diagnosed?
When you consult with the doctor, the doctor will do some physical tests to diagnose back pain or lumbar disc herniation. While doing the physical test, the doctor will evaluate your:
- Ability to walk and stand.
- Motion rate of your spine.
- The strength of your leg.
- Whether you can feel sensations in your leg or not.
If all the tests come out positive, the doctor may go for some other tests, such as:
- Blood and urine tests to know about the underlying conditions.
- X-rays of the spine to know the alignment of your bones and check for lumbar spinal stenosis.
- Computed tomography scan or MRI to assess your disks, muscles, ligaments, nerves, etc. located in the lumbar area.
- Scanning of bone to detect any abnormalities in the bone tissue.
- EMG to examine the nerve conduction.
Lumbar Support Belts for Lumbar Pain
People who are suffering from lumbar back pain, may feel a giant electrified pain tearing each nerve in that part of the body. During such a condition you will be not able to do small movements like getting up from a chair, standing, walking, coughing, etc. However, lumbar support belt can provide you short-term relief and comfortable during the back pain.
It is also effective to reduce the pain during the lumbar spinal stenosis. Some researchers have proved that the lumbar support devices dramatically improve the back function and reduce the pain caused by back pain. As per the experts, lumbar support belt provides sufficient compression and support to the lower back which speeds up the recovery process after surgery.
The compression on the abdomen means there will be less pressure on the lower back discs, ligaments, spine, and muscles. The belt fitted around your waist and is fitted with Velcro. They come with a steel or plastic plate attached to the section that will press against your lower back and provide you the required support.
People suffering from mild to moderate lumbar back pain can put on the belt as soon as they feel discomfort in the lower back. Inactivity or immobilization is one of the worst things for your back. If you want to stay active in a painful situation, you must wear a belt.
Advice Your Doctor May Give You Before Getting a Lumbar Support Device
Consult with a doctor
If you have severe back pain or lumbar back pain, you need to consult a doctor or physician quickly. If your back pain is so bad that you can’t even move with comfort, visit a doctor as soon as possible. If you are suffering from severe back pain, a lower back belt may not be very useful for you. It may be helpful when the pain and stiffness come to a tolerable level. Moderate lumbar back pain can last for around five days and more. So, if your discomfort persists, it’s time to see a doctor.
Get a lumbar support belt that fits you perfectly
After the diagnosis, you need to get a lumbar support belt which can match with the natural curvature of your spine. Try a few belts at the store before buying one. However, if you have brought the device online you can you can return the belt if it doesn’t fit. The belt should be snug, but not to tight which can affect your breathing process.
Don’t completely depend on your back belt
There is no doubt that lumbar support belt provides much comfort during your lumbar disc herniation situation. But you shouldn’t wear the lumbar support belt more than for one to two weeks. When you use the belt for a longer time, your muscles will start to adapt and get accustomed to the belt. You may lose strength in your lower back. You will become a brace-dependent.
Understand your capacity
You need to understand your physical limits to prevent back injury when you are using as well as not using the belt. Exceeding your physical boundaries can lead you to suffer from severe back pain. It can even cause a lumbar disc herniation. Your physical limits will change as you exercise and strengthen your backbones and muscles.
What to Do and Not to Do While Using a Lumbar Support Belt?
Things to do
Things not to do
Remember that a lumbar support belt is a piece of medical equipment. Use it if your doctor advises you to. Use it properly and enjoy a comfortable life.