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Why You Need A Back Brace Instead Of Opioids

nurse applying back brace to woman patient

You feel an ache and pop a pill. That’s just the normal routine, right? But have you ever thought to consider that for your back pain there might be a better way to find long-lasting relief? By using a back brace instead of opioids for chronic pain you may experience a greater reduction in pain.

Use A Back Brace Instead Of Opioids For Chronic Pain

Amidst the opioid crisis in America, many studies are actually finding that opioid medications actually provide little, short-term relief for lower back pain. For example, the JAMA Study, “Opioids No Better Than Nonopioids 9n Improving Pain Related Function, Intensity for Chronic Back Pain, Hip/Knee OA” studied 240 patients to discover that opioid painkillers had little to no effect.

The participants suffering from chronic pain were split into two groups, the first group received opioid medication and the second group received nonopioid medications. After 12 months improvement function and improvement in pain intensity were slightly better in the nonopioid group. The group that received opioids were also at a higher risk for adverse effects.

Why Don’t Opioids Provide More Relief?

The opioid definition states that it’ an opium-like compound that binds to one or more of the three opioid receptors of the body.  They’re mainly used to treat severe pain because once they bind to opioid receptors in the brain, spinal cord and organs they block pain signals and release dopamine. Many users experience a relaxing high as well as serious side effects as well as opioid addiction.

Opioid Side Effects: 

Nausea and vomiting
Physical dependence

As your body builds a tolerance to opioids over time the side effects may increase and the amount of pain users experience over time. Your body also builds a tolerance to opioids making them less effective, requiring a larger dose to remain effective. This increased resistance can cause anxiety and sleep issues, causing your body to become stressed as sleep and relaxation are necessary for physical and mental healing.

How Back Braces Can Help

Instead of taking risks with dangerous opioid medications, you may find relief with back brace support. By wearing a device made of soft, supportive materials you should be able to regain mobility without the use of mind-altering pain pills.

Whether you need a back brace for posture for lower back pain, you’ll be able to find the perfect fit for your individual needs, including back braces for work. In a professional setting, the use of a brace may be safer than opioids that could cause you to become dizzy and unresponsive on the job.

By providing lower back support back braces are able to improve functionality and reduce pain, allowing users to move around. They work by being placed on your waist with velcro straps that attach to your sides to apply compression to the abdomen and lumbar support. As a result, less pressure is placed on your lower back, spine, ligaments, muscles, and discs to allow healing to occur and offer more stabilization.

The reasons for needing a lower back brace may vary, from having a herniated disc from an injury to spinal disc degeneration with age. Whatever the reason, consider getting a brace at the first sign of pain to stay active.

How To Properly Use Your Back Brace:

1. Visit Your Doctor

Go to your doctor for any tweaks and pain to receive a proper diagnosis. With the right tests and procedures, your doctor will be able to determine the cause of the pain, rule out serious conditions, and to create a treatment plan. Your doctor will tell you if a back brace will be an effective option or not.

2. Don’t Rely On Your Brace Alone

Realize that for lower back pain wearing a brace is only one of the steps necessary for strengthening your core muscles to support your spine. Physical therapy, stretching, yoga, and light exercise may provide relief.

3. Get The Correct Size 

Finding a back brace that properly fits is crucial for comfort and support. While most braces are adjustable to contour to a variety of shapes and sizes, make sure yours fits before purchasing it. Refer to sizing charts online or try one on in the store.

4. Get Your Back Brace Through Insurance

Back braces and other medical equipment may be covered through insurance!

5. Don’t Overuse Your Brace

If you wear your back brace for more than a few hours a day or continuously for more than two weeks your back muscles weaken as your back begins to rely on the brace. Strengthening your core muscles is crucial for healing to avoid becoming dependent on your back brace. Follow your doctor’s instructions for use and daily exercise.

6. Take Your Time

Don’t try to speed up your recovery process by biting off more than you can chew. Your brace will not allow you to exceed your physical limitations. Lifting a heavy box or repeated motions such as pulling weeds could re-injure your back if you aren’t strong enough to return to these types of activities. Take your time and work with your physical therapist to determine your strength and limits as you rebuild your core.

Information provided on the Aeroflow Health blog is not intended as a substitute to medical advice or care. Aeroflow Health recommends consulting a doctor if you are experiencing medical issues or concerns.


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