Exercising is a healthy habit, and running is perhaps the easiest and most effective freehand exercise that anyone can do. But like any other outdoor activity, running also comes with its own share of hazards. One of the most common hazards of running is… physical injury.
Here is to clarify that running does not explicitly cause injuries. However, we often need to correct our steps since the human body does not function as a machine. Our brain sometimes fails to locate the center of gravity in motion, causing an uneven weight distribution that causes us to hurt ourselves.
Back injuries, especially in the spinal and pelvic areas, are the most common in terms of running injuries. You might not notice it, but the muscles in our back and the spine are most at work when we run.
Thus, injuries occur. Since back injuries are as sensitive as the spine, which holds the spinal cord, this particular type of running injury is our topic of discussion today.
However, that’s not the end of it. I’ll also point you toward some of the best back braces for running. These will help you keep your daily routine alive. Also, I’ll let you in on my research process. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to scout a product that suits your needs.
Oh, I’ll also throw in a tip about avoiding back pain while running.
Which are Some of the Top-Rated Back Brace for Running – My Picks
What can be done to prevent back injuries, you ask? Do we stop running altogether?
Absolutely not. Don’t worry. I’ve got your back. I mean, literally. My dad, currently in his late 50s, had a similar running accident last year, and he hurt his back pretty severely. The doctor advised him to wear a back support belt and keep up with the exercise and active lifestyle he had been trying to adopt.
I’ve been looking up and trying on different kinds of back support braces for him ever since. So, from a personal motif and experience, here is a list of the best back supports for running that I’ve come across.
ComfyBrace Posture Corrector
The product itself is named the ‘comfy’ brace. Hence, it’s pretty evident that comfort is the first priority of the manufacturers of this posture corrector.
Made with premium neoprene material, the ComfyBrace Posture Corrector is the best back support belt for running you can find on the market.
IF you are on a budget.
There are better, fancier ones out there, but honestly, this one is a value for money.
Apart from its durability, the good thing about this elastic material is that it stretches to adjust to your physique and forms a sort of contour protective harness you’ll barely notice.
This is one of the many things I liked about this product. This is how a posture brace is supposed to feel. It shouldn’t make you feel like you’re tied up with ropes, but at the same time, it provides a firm and secure grip around your back and shoulders.
The spandex-like material of this brace, with its unique orthopedically created design, provides just the right amount of feedback to the muscles on your back.
As a result, you can use them the best way possible and move around freely while holding them securely in a good posture. Make a habit of keeping it on for 5-10 minutes per day if this is your first brace, and soon enough, you’ll start noticing positive changes in your back and neck muscles.
Apart from the material, the proprietary design of the brace is fully adjustable and breathable. This ensures a pain-free solution to all your back and neck problems.
Trust me, it is effective for running and regular everyday use. Built for chest sizes 30” to 43”, this back brace can easily become a part of your everyday fashion that you can wear under your clothes for the entire day without discomfort.
Last but not least, when it comes to durability, the brand paid excellent attention to making the brace last. Since neoprene (technically known as polychloroprene) is a material that is produced by the polymerization of chloroprene, it ensures chemical stability.
Yes, even under extreme weather conditions. It maintains its flexibility over a wide range of temperatures. On top of it, the high-end durable stitches on this brace ensure that it lasts a long time without its stitches coming off or the straps getting loose.
Overall, this is an excellent product for its price that I recommend if you’re on the run and on a budget.
Sacroiliac Joint Brace SI Belt
Not just your upper back and shoulders, but your lower back is also at risk of running injuries and thus needs support. That’s why here’s a lower back support belt that you might find handy.
Introducing the new Sacroiliac Joint Brace SI Belt.
A slim yet sturdy belt will have a firm grip over your waist and lower back and keep your lower back and pelvic muscles well-rested and supported even when you’re on the run.
The lower part of the back takes the most weight and pressure in every activity.
That’s why, starting with the materials, the manufacturers of this lower back brace tried to ensure that it is well protected from injuries. One of the fundamental things in fitness activities is body posture. This belt ensures correct posture without forcing too much on your waist.
The belt-like brace is simple and minimalistic. It will not make you feel like you’re wearing something extra around your waist during workout sessions or throughout the day.
Made with cotton and nylon, the Si joint belt provides maximum support to your lower back joints and muscles, which can be a blessing for those suffering from sciatica pain.
The belt has a generous length of 117 cm and a width of 12 cm, thus supporting a wide range of waist sizes from XXS-XXL (hips circumference 30-47 inches). So now you won’t have to shy away from buying this belt, thinking it might not fit your size.
Sacroiliac joints in the back act as our primary essential mediums for transferring and distributing weight between the spine and the lower extremities.
Each joint functions as a shock absorbent for the spine that cushions any rough blow that might hit it and a converter of torque from the lower extremities to the entire body.
The Rassfit sacroiliac brace is engineered to stabilize the sacroiliac joint so that it has to endure less pressure and perform better for a longer time at a stretch without getting stiffened or fatigued.
Not just during outdoor activities, you can wear this belt throughout the day at home or at work and get consistent support and compression on your pelvis, buttocks, legs, and hips.
Trust me, this will relieve the areas of any muscle fatigue or chronic pain caused by sitting or standing in a single position for a long time at a stretch.
When it comes to comfort and durability, the materials used in making this brace play a huge impact. Since it’s just a combination of cotton and nylon, you can have it day and night for full weeks every day and not feel any discomfort on your skin.
The outer texture and the belt’s stitching are covered with soft spandex fabric that is comfortable to the skin and won’t go weary even if you use it for a long time. The cotton also makes it washable. Just buy it once and use it for a lifetime!
Venom Lumbar Back Brace Compression Belt
This lower back brace is a bit different in design and motif from its counterparts because it’s built specifically to target people with a herniated disc.
A herniated disc (also known as a bulged, slipped, or ruptured disc) is a condition that occurs when a fragment of the disc nucleus has been pushed out of the annulus and into the spinal canal, creating a tear or rupture in the annulus.
This causes severe chronic lower back pain to the extent that it gets difficult to move.
The Venom Lumbar Back Brace Compression Belt is designed to provide targeted compression to the lower back, waist, and hips so that the areas affected by the herniated disc get constant compression and guaranteed stress relief.
Made with the best quality elastic nylon, the belt is extremely stretchable and flexible. In addition, the spandex-like material ensures that your back gets all the support it needs without making you feel like it’s suffocating you.
Despite being made with a spandex material, the belt also has additional adjustable double straps to ensure that you get a perfectly comfortable fit, no matter your waist and hip size.
The heavy-duty Velcro on the straps supports the waist and abdomen securely. At the same time, the thin metallic yet flexible rods inside provide a solid spinal reinforcement.
On top of that, the polyester fibre coating on the belt makes sure that it remains comfortable for your skin. So you can have it on for the entire day and not even notice that it’s even there, apart from the fact that you’ll feel less of that back pain and get a better posture throughout the day.
Speaking of posture, many belt manufacturers design their braces without paying much attention to the body’s shape that will go into the belt.
They probably think that since the belt is supposed to fix the posture of the wearer, maybe it’d change the shape of their physique as well. But that’s not at all what posture means.
Despite wearing a lower back brace, you can have a straight, slightly curved, or cone-shaped waistline and continue to have so.
The unique ergonomic design of the Venom Lumbar Back Brace Compression Belt ensures that your posture is corrected while having full respect for your body shape.
The benefits, you say? You’ll have a better-supported back with an improved posture without feeling too uptight. When it comes to shape, there also comes the question of size.
Don’t worry. The makers have got that covered as well. This lower back brace for running is available in sizes S, M, L, and XL (US standard size).
Oh, I almost forgot to tell you how durable this brace is. Since it’s all elastic and polyester, it’d probably last you a lifetime. It’s also very washable. You can throw it in the washer and have it come out clean.
Although I prefer elastic hand-washing things because the parts inside of a washing machine often tend to loosen up the fabric and lose its elasticity. With proper washing and care, this lower back brace for running will last you a long time.
Copper Compression Back Brace
Copper Fit is already a renowned brand that has been around making fitness equipment for some time. Apart from back support braces, they also make sportswear, compression sleeves, and sports therapy devices. These earned them quite some reputation in the market.
This back support belt here added only more to that.
The Copper Compression Back Brace provides targeted support to the lower back, relieving stress from the stiffened muscles.
The compression also helps improve posture while ensuring optimum movability. If you lead an active life, retaining your range of motion is extremely important. This way, your muscles will continue to work while strengthening themselves.
The brace is made with premium-quality copper, elastic, and polyester, providing a compact yet comfortable fit. In addition, copper is medically proven to have antibacterial and antifungal qualities, making this brace suitable to wear under your clothes with direct contact with your skin.
On top of that, the belt contains moisture-wicking materials that prevent odors caused by sweating. Finally, the elastic and the stitches are covered with a soft fabric. It’s gentle on our skin.
The Copper Compression Back Brace is suitable for running and other outdoor activities, indoor activities, and everyday life.
It fits waist sizes ranging from 28 to 50 inches. In addition, the adjustable straps allow you to control the level of compression it puts on your back.
The Copper Fit compression belt is designed to apply therapeutic compression to areas of your back that are affected by back and lower back pain, lumbar pain, sciatica, tendonitis, stiff or sore muscles, and pain in the tendons and joints.
The antibacterial qualities of the copper infused into the brace also make it suitable for hospital settings by reducing the risk of infections. Whether you’re suffering from a chronic back condition or just trying to fix your posture, the Copper compression belt will help you find the strength to do so.
The brace has four supports that apply compression to four different pressure points of your lower back and waist, stimulating the nerves in those areas and ensuring blood circulation throughout the body.
The design has a sleek and sporty look, making it an ideal accessory you can wear over your clothes or under them, depending on your outfit and fashion preferences.
The build and design give the brace a premium finish despite going easy on your budget. Moreover, in case of durability, copper and elastic materials last a long time without getting worn off.
The only downside I’ve seen is that the stitches tend to loosen up a bit after a few weeks of prolonged use. But, of course, it could be that they really needed to work on their stitches, or just my dad’s everyday activities were too much for it to take.
Overall, it’s worth the money.
ComfyMed Premium Quality Back Brace CM-102M
There’s a reason why I have put this one last on my list of the best lower back braces for running. See, all the other products I reviewed here have a similar kind of straightforward design. This is good, no doubt, but this one here is designed to be more than just a regular belt.
The thing that really makes this brace stand out among its counterparts is its unique design. It’s not just ergonomic but also user-friendly, with some added bits of functionality that most other belts or braces don’t have. To start things off, the brace is a two-part unit with adjustable straps and easy-grip handles. This makes it easy to put on and take off in an instant.
The shape and the design of this back brace are built to cater to the needs of your body’s shape and curves. Although it’s a posture corrector, it won’t hold on to your waist too stiffly, forcing your muscles to lose their original shape.
Rather, the belt’s unique shape and curved side design put less pressure on the abdominal area so that you don’t feel any suffocation or discomfort while bending over.
Speaking of breathability, one of the primary factors I check when buying a lower back brace is its fabric or material.
If the material is not breathable, it will, on the one hand, deprive your skin of the natural oxygen that it gets. But, on the other, it’s held in the sweat and bodily secretions that the skin releases while we exercise.
But you don’t need to worry about that while wearing the ComfyMed back brace. Because it’s got a back made of vented breathable mesh to ensure optimum ventilation to your back while you’re on the run.
The brace comes in two parts: one back brace and a removable cushioned lumbar pad that ensures you’re comfortable and your back is well protected from accidental blow or strain while wearing it.
Even though the brace consists of two separate parts that can be detached and reattached, the brace is pretty easy to put on and take off.
The adjustable double-side straps make the brace easy to operate and user-friendly. In addition, the sturdy back support and compression provide constant support in targeted areas where you need it the most.
When the question of durability appears, the ComfyMed is made with durable industrial quality materials that can withstand extreme weather conditions, strain, and rough usage.
So, you can rest assured that this brace will provide you with years of continuous support.
Things to consider before buying a back brace for running
Whether you’re already suffering from back injuries from running or want that extra support and safety, buying a back brace for running for the first time can be tricky.
For starters, you need to take note of your priorities, as in what type of support and compression you require and what kind of brace designs match the best with your body structure and exercises.
Also, the materials that the back braces are made of play an essential role in their performance.
Here are some essential things to look out for when you’re buying a back brace for running:
Check If it Stays in Place
This is a back brace we’re talking about. The main function of a brace is to hold things in place. So naturally, it’s a must for the brace itself to stay in place.
While checking for this, keep in mind the movements associated with the activities you intend to partake in while wearing the brace.
Some braces are designed to naturally adjust to the shape of your hips and waist. Others tend to inherently ride up based on where the brace lands on the hips. Choosing the correct size is also crucial for getting a good fit.
Check whether It Has a Good Balance, Stability, and Flexibility
Just because the back brace is supposed to hold your back in place does not mean it shouldn’t allow you to move freely. Instead, the more flexible the brace is, the better support your back will get.
Especially those designed for running should be the most flexible and stable to allow you to do a good amount of bending over, moving, and obviously, breathing.
Make sure the brace you buy offers an ample amount of stability and flexibility.
Make sure it’s breathable
Breathable materials are a must for sportswear and gear. But, especially when it comes to running, you must choose a brace made of materials that allow your skin to breathe.
Breathable materials will help you absorb the moisture produced by sweat and other fluids secreted by the body when you run and keep you cool.
On top of that, breathable materials are usually also easy to wash. For example, buy a brace made with cotton, nylon, and/or spandex.
See if the support type meets your requirements
You need to pay attention to the support type of the back brace you’re buying because this will determine the benefits you will get from it.
Depending on where your back pain originates from, and if it’s coming from an injury or bad posture, you’ll need to choose a back brace that provides explicitly targeted support and compression in those areas.
Tips To Prevent Back Pain During Running
There’s no set textbook for this, but most runners tend to follow a handful of tips and tricks to prevent back and other injuries from occurring. Such as:
Wear Suitable Shoes
One of the most common and overlooked inconveniences that runners face is shoes that are unsuitable for running or unsupportive. Shoes that are not supportive enough cause stress in the lower back muscles by overworking them.
That’s why proper shoes should be number one in preparation for running. It’s best if you can get running shoes that are professionally fitted by experts. Also, getting your running shoes replaced after every 300 to 500 miles is good practice.
Ease Up Your Hamstrings
Keeping your hamstrings loose is crucial for running because tight hamstrings stress your lower back muscles, causing them to get sprained. Try stretching your hamstrings after each run to keep them loose. You could also do yoga and use a foam roller to gently massage them for better results.
Do Core-Strengthening Exercises More Often
Working those core muscles by doing planks, crunches, and other exercises can help you build up your abdominal muscles and your oblique and back muscles. When your core muscles are solid and balanced, your back is less likely to get injured.
Do a lot of Cross-Training
Although we’re mostly talking about running here, if all your exercises revolve solely around running, you’ll soon start to get muscle imbalances caused by overusing specific muscles while not using the other enough.
The solution to this is cross-training. Exercises such as biking, swimming, and weight-lifting regularly can help you distribute a balanced amount of strength on every muscle of your body, resulting in a better running experience.
Do an Adequate Warm-Ups and Stretches before Running
When we start off with our regular exercising routine, more often than not, our body muscles and nerves need to be fully prepared to take the added workout. As a result, we end up pulling a nerve or a muscle or hurting ourselves in other ways.
It’s always recommended to do an adequate amount of warmup and stretches before you start to run. Start by walking or slowly jogging for half a mile before picking up your natural pace.
After that, do regular stretches to wake up all the muscles and nerves. This can prevent significant injuries, trust me.
Watch Your Steps
This can be taken both literally and figuratively. Run carefully. Preferably on soft surfaces such as a spongy track, dirt trail, or an asphalt road, surfaces like these are more forgiving to the body than a concrete track.
On the other hand, try to be careful about the first signs of injury. For example, recognize the early signs of an injured back and stop immediately. Back injuries, just like any other injuries, are more responsive to treatment if it’s started from an early stage.
If you’ve come this far, you probably have a somewhat clear idea of why you should buy a back brace for running and the qualities of a perfect back brace.
One thing you should remember about back braces, though, is that the higher you wear them on your torso, the more it will affect your breathing.
So, when going for a run, it’s a good idea to wear it a bit lower than you’re supposed to ensure your breathing is not hampered. Then, when you get back to your usual day-to-day activities, you can change your position again to where you’re supposed to wear the brace.
That’s all I had to fill you in on about back braces. Hope this article helps you to find the best back brace for running.