Back braces can help treat many spine problems. These include:

  • Sprains (ligament injuries)
  • Strains (muscle or tendon injuries)
  • Fractures (broken bones)

For sprains, strains and some fractures, you usually wear an elastic or neoprene brace. The material wraps around your back and fastens with Velcro. The brace keeps your spine stable to help ligaments, muscles or bones heal. The brace also gives you a feeling of increased support.

If you have a specific back injury such as a compression fracture of the spine, you usually wear a rigid brace made with metal or hard plastic that does not bend easily. This type of brace helps keep your spine still. This helps the bones heal and decreases pain.

If you have an unstable spine fracture, your doctor might give you a rigid brace that acts like a cast. This brace minimizes movement so the bone can heal and no nerve damage occurs. If you have spinal fusion surgery, the doctor might prescribe a brace to keep your spine still and allow the fusion to heal.