Wearing and Caring are two different words, but they’re codependent in some cases. For instance, if you WEAR a back brace correctly but forget to provide the necessary CARE, the device will be of no use.
Since Googling things like “Wearing a Brace” or “Caring for My Brace” took you here (obviously). Hence, I’ll assume you’ve recently bought your belt but have no idea how to do any of those.
OR…. you might want to do everything PERFECTLY. I’m okay in both cases.
In this comprehensive article, I’ll try to guide you on how to wear and maintain a back brace at the same time.
All the bits and pieces you’ll see here are solely based on my research and personal experience (as I have used back support previously).
Just to be clear: you won’t turn into a brace encyclopedia after reading this article. But you won’t have any questions left, no matter which one you are.
I’ll start with the wearing part and then slide you into caring for or maintaining your brace. Let’s get started!
- How to Properly Wear a Back Support
- Care for Your Back Brace in the Right Way
- People Also Ask About Wearing and Caring for a Back Brace
- Finishing it Up
How to Properly Wear a Back Support
Wearing back support or a posture corrector is easy. It’s not rocket science. With the on-point instructions and INSTRUCTOR, anyone can. Today, I’ll be your the-right-words guy.
Quick Disclaimer: This isn’t a place to look for answers on medical braces. Medical braces depend on your condition, treatment type, and intensity. People will discard the braces within 4 – 6 weeks (in most cases). They don’t need that much caring, to begin with.
I’d depend on my physician for caring instructions if I were you.
This article is about day-to-day braces that you can easily find on Amazon or Walmart. However, I’d suggest you consult with your chiropractor first before putting the device on.
If it’s all okay and you’re allowed to have one, let’s go to the instructions part you’ve been waiting for.
Know Your Brace
You don’t want to wear something if you don’t know the basic build. I am not asking you to know everything about a brace rigorously. All I am saying is that you should look up and down your product.
Understanding your brace is the key. You simply can’t treat each belt similarly. For example, the one with pull tabs needs a different handling system than the one with upper body straps.
Don’t Wear It Too Low
Imagine this: You have lower back pain, so you’ve decided to put your brace a little low. Thinking this would solve all of your problems.
This is the part where you’re wrong.
Generally, wearing the device too low creates new problems rather than solving the previous ones.
For example, it will put pressure on your hips. On the other hand, this will take stress off your spine. It will lose support.
Extra pressure on the hips and none on the spine is enough to increase your back pain. Hence, wearing your back brace too low is never a good idea.
Don’t Wear It Over Bulky Attire
When your clothes move, your brace moves as well. Wearing thick outfits such as hoodies and jackets can result in more movement. It’s bad news.
You see, our backs require constant support. Doesn’t matter if it is for 15 minutes or one hour. Consistency matters here. Rapid movement can cause a no-improvement-at-all scenario.
Thus, the best practice would be to avoid bulky attire. For example, you can wear your brace directly against your skin or over a t-shirt or tank top.
The Right Way of Doing It
You know what? I should teach what I preach. Okay, let me break things down step-by-step for you to follow.
First, wear a thin t-shirt and try to place your back brace in the correct position. It should be between the top of your hip and just below the lower rib. It’s the sweet spot for me.
Make sure you place your support perfectly in the center of your body. After that, lean over a wall for additional support and grab the Velcro from one side to another.
Okay, this part is pretty basic. I get that. I do have a detailed article on what to do when you have to wear a back brace. Let’s get to it.
Care for Your Back Brace in the Right Way
As I said earlier, caring and wearing serve the same purpose. If you don’t care for your brace, it’ll lose efficiency. Wearing one won’t make any difference.
Hence, you must do things the right way. I’ll give you some tips and help. I hope that following these will increase your product’s lifespan.
Clean Yourself before Cleaning Your Brace
You must put a brace over a clean body. If your body isn’t clean, dirt will inhibit the brace as well. So remember to clean yourself (or at least the part of your body you’re wearing braces on) before and after wearing these things.
This way, you’ll stop all sorts of dirt from building up, and the piece will remain germ-free.
Washing the lower or upper back with alcohol is always recommended. I used to do so when I wore one. It helped my skin to remain fresh, toughening up, and free from roughness.
Last but not least, avoid using lotion or oil before putting on back support. Don’t get me wrong. Oil and balm are great. I’ve seen some people use it to dull the pain to a degree. Do it if it suits you.
But it is crucial to know that this could lead to irritation. So if you’ve any skin-related diseases, it is better to keep your hands out of these.
Wash Your Brace Daily
Human body sweats. No matter how “Breathable” your lumbar support is, it will have sweat marks.
Sweat equals germs, and germs equal a lot of bad news. To dodge this, regular trips to the laundry is a must. Take your brace with you while you’re at it.
This will keep the device bacteria-free. As a result, your skin will remain germs-free so do your brace.
At this point, I think you understand the necessity of washing the device. Now, the question should be, “Can I do it as I please?”
The appropriate answer is, “NO, YOU CAN’T.” People need to follow a set of rules to avoid damaging the product.
For instance, using harmful chemicals like bleach is a big NO-NO. Soap and water are enough to make your brace shine like new.
How to wash a back brace, you ask? Let’s go through things step-by-step.
You’ll need four simple products: Soap, Water, the brace (well, of course), and a scrubber.
Soak your brace lightly in water. Make sure you don’t overdo it. Simple three to five seconds of soaking is enough.
Next, pull up your belt and scrub back and forth with the scrubber. Do it gently, like you care for it. After scrubbing for 30 seconds, dip into freshwater.
Use soap directly on the product and ensure you’ve covered every nook and cranny. Then, scrub and wash all the soap off with water.
Make sure you dry it under the sun. Using any kind of drying machine is harmful to most braces.
Costly back braces, products from reputed brands, and braces for special cases need particular attention. They come with their own set of maintenance rules. Read the instructions carefully and follow them to a tee.
Use Alcohol Once a Week
In terms of maintaining back braces, soap is a good friend. But there’s another side of the story. Using too much of it can come back to haunt you with something called “Soap Residue.”
Sometimes people end up using too much soap while cleaning braces. It WILL leave residue on your support belt. And with a sane mind, no one would like that. So, what to do?
Don’t worry, I’ve something for you in this case too. Applying “Rubbing” alcohol can be your belt saver.
Soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and use it to wipe your brace. Do it once a week, and your device will remain stain-free.
Since alcohol is a super anti-bacterial product, it will help you maintain hygiene too. However, using too much alcohol can cause damage. So, apply this process once a week, and you will be fine.
Be Delicate with the Pull Tabs
If hearing “Pull Tabs” makes you icky, you can skip this part (It’s clear that your brace doesn’t have it). Otherwise, stick with me.
Generally, back braces come with one or two pull tabs, but I prefer the one with two. It gives you the freedom to tighten the belt according to your comfort.
The pull tabs can’t be repaired. Hence, you need to handle these very carefully. One rough pull is enough to tear the little kids.
Make sure you always pull them out to your sides. Not at the front, to the SIDES. This way, the tabs will remain damage-free until you die (kidding).
People Also Ask About Wearing and Caring for a Back Brace
Can I wear a back brace against my skin?
You can wear a brace against your skin. It’s even the ideal way, some would say. Generally, it is recommended to wear over a t-shirt or thin clothing. But if you want, you can put on naked skin.
However, never try it over thick clothes such as jackets, hoodies, and sweaters. Bulky clothes disrupt its placement. For this reason, it is always best to wear against your skin.
Can I use a balm before putting a brace on?
No, you cannot. I wouldn’t advise this. As you know, the device causes a lot of sweating underneath.
When you use lotion, it mixes with your sweat and causes odor. This could result in irritation and discomfort. For this reason, avoiding any sort of oil and lotion is a must under the back brace.
How often do I have to clean my back brace?
To keep your belt out of sweat, dirt, and smell, you must clean it every day.
Some would say, cleaning once or twice a week is enough. In this case, I would say ignore. Don’t listen to any of this. Instead, clean your brace every day and remain healthy.
Do I need Help Putting a Back Brace?
Most of the time, the answer is, “You don’t.” But in some cases, you might need help putting on a back brace.
If you’re a severe spinal patient, you will need help. On the other hand, if you aren’t, you can do it independently. A great alternative can be a MIRROR.
Finishing it Up
A back brace is a helpful medical device. You can use it for back protection, performance enhancer, and posture corrector. It also has other beneficial sides.
But you must remember that all of its helping factors will not work if you don’t know how to wear or maintain them properly.
If you’ve gone through the whole article, you already know how to do both of them correctly.
As promised earlier, staying with me might not make you a brace encyclopedia. But you will have every bit of knowledge to take care of your brace at the end.
I’ve covered all your basic questions regarding the top and provided you with the necessary tips. Following these tips alone is enough to keep your device healthy. And if your device is healthy, you will remain healthy.
I’ve put all of my research and personal experience into this article. Hope it helps you one way or the other.