How to Choose a Back Brace
Uh oh!Did you pull your back moving furniture or boxes? You’re not alone; even professional movers sometimes have to look for a little extra support.
Back injuries can be seriously debilitating and incredibly painful for long periods of time. Even minor ones can have serious long-term implications and often, an injury to the back or the neck leaves the sufferer open to future problems. For a whole host of reasons, it’s better to avoid them altogether and look after your spine on moving day.
There is plenty you can do to prevent back injuries. The list starts with remembering not to try and lift heavy loads on your own. Get help and if necessary, wait til someone else becomes available to provide assistance. It might add a few minutes to the total moving time but a back injury will cost a lot more time than that. If a load is too heavy, don’t risk it.
When you do lift a box alone, bend from the knees, not the waist. Keep the spine upright and let your legs to the work. Don’t pick up heavy items or move furniture straight away, especially if you’ve just woken up and aren’t yet as limber as you could be. Do a few gentle stretches, rotate the waist, and let back muscles warm up a little before straining them.
A brace can help protect the spine when moving heavy boxes. Most storage & moving professionals wear them, and they do work. However, like any medical support, you need to choose the right one for the job and fit it correctly if it’s going to be useful. There are many different types of back braces out there, and most of them are intended to correct spinal problems rather than provide extra support for healthy backs.
For protection when moving heavy loads, you’ll want a soft brace that supports rather than confines. It should look after the abdomen as well as the lower back (hernias can also be caused by heavy lifting) and stay in place even when under stress. Some long distance movers wear braces with shoulder straps to keep them from shifting, and these are generally a good idea.
Sizing is vitally important. Too big and the brace will be useless and provide no support at all. Too small and it’ll be uncomfortable and make easy movement impossible. The brace should be snug but not uncomfortably tight. Most large hardware retailers and department stores keep braces in stock, so it shouldn’t be difficult to find one that fits. Try before you buy and read the fitting guidelines. If in any doubt, the staff at your local hardware store or workwear supplier should be able to help you make the right decision.
Sometimes, storage & moving companies also sell back braces. It may be worth giving your movers a call and finding out if they can supply you with a good brace. Their employees will almost certainly wear them, so they’ll know which ones really work and have a supply of them. Even if they won’t sell direct to you, the movers should be able to point you in the right direction.