The 7 Best Back Braces of 2021

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First Look

Best Overall: Flexguard Support Back Brace at Amazon

"Covers your upper and lower back."

Best Budget: Mueller Lumbar Support Back Brace at Amazon

"This brace reduces your body’s load on your spine’s lower discs."

Best for Lower Back Pain: Back Brace Lumbar Support Belt at Amazon

"The fit is easy to customize."

Best for Sciatica: Lower Back Pain Relief with Pulley System at Amazon

"Protects your lower back and sciatic nerve by limiting waist movement."

Best for Herniated Discs: Sparthos Breathable Back Brace at Amazon

"Stabilizes your back to prevent excessive rolling of your muscles."

Best for Scoliosis: Neo G Dorsolumbar Support Brace at Amazon

"Developed by orthopedists to flexibly stay in place."

Best for Pregnancy: NeoTech Care Pregnancy Support Band at Amazon

"Grows with your belly throughout your pregnancy."

Back pain can be debilitating, so preventing it is key to staying active and healthy. While some conditions, including osteoporosis, scoliosis, and some cancers, can't be treated or prevented by a back brace, a brace may be able to help relieve some of the pressure on the spine for those with mild back pain. Not to mention, they're great for anyone who occasionally participates in activities that involve bending over or lifting heavy items. Studies show that when used for short periods of time, they can help support the spine and distribute some of the pressure to help prevent further back injuries.

Here are the best back braces on the market today.

Best Overall: Flexguard Support Back Brace

Flexguard Support Back Brace

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Brace is fully adjustable

  • Trains upper back muscles

Cons
  • Designed for upper back only

  • Can be difficult to put on and take off

People with aching upper and lower backs have it rough—they often need to buy two separate braces which become bulky and expensive. Flexguard’s fully adjustable support brace is a top-notch choice that covers your upper and lower back.

This strong yet comfortable brace improves your posture by training your upper back muscles and spine to return to their natural alignment. Cushioned straps pull your shoulders back for an upright stance, and the waist strap has your lumbar area covered, too.

Material: Neoprene | Part of Back it Targets: Upper back | Machine Washable: No

Best Budget: Mueller Lumbar Support Back Brace

Pros
  • Budget friendly price

  • Reduces pressure on discs in lower spine

  • Offers support for heavy lifting

Cons
  • Bending over is difficult, mobility is limited

  • Velcro can catch and snag fabric easily

Back pain can be costly to deal with—between doctor’s visits, medication, and lost productivity, the dollars you’re spending to fight your back pain add up fast. Mueller’s Lumbar Support brace can reduce back pain for a fraction of the cost of other braces.

This brace reduces your body’s load on your spine’s lower discs, creating a more even distribution of weight for less pain. It also supports your back when you’re lifting heavy objects, and the double-layer design and adjustable compression creates a custom fit.

Material: Plastic secured with velcro | Part of Back it Targets: Lower, lumbar for heavy lifting | Machine Washable: Yes

Best for Lower Back Pain: NMT Back Brace Lumbar Support Belt

Pros
  • Embedded tourmaline magnets to stimulate blood circulation

  • Dual outer elastic tension straps give customized support

Cons
  • Size chart is confusing and difficult to fit properly

  • No returns accepted

Your lumbar area is especially prone to back pain because of the way our bodies are designed—our spines carry more weight in our lower back, and weak muscles or poor posture can add to the problem. A lumbar brace can reduce discomfort, and NMT’S Back Brace with Lumbar Support is perfect for your car, office chair, or for relaxing at home.

NMT’s brace has tourmaline magnets built into the back, which may help stimulate blood circulation in your lower spine. The fit is easy to customize, with dual outer elastic tension straps to find that perfect level of support.

Material: 60% Neoprene, 20% Nylon, 10% Elastic Cotton, 10% Velcro | Part of Back it Targets: Lower/lumbar | Machine Washable: Yes

Braces can help to support the spine and lessen muscle associated pain. However, the routine usage of braces for prolonged periods of time can serve to weaken muscle by deconditioning the muscles. This decondition, paradoxically, can lead to greater injury. —Dr. Rahul Shah, board certified orthopedic spine surgeon, fellowship trained spine surgery, who specializes in complex spine conditions.

Best for Sciatica: King of Kings Lower Back Pain Relief with Pulley System

Pros
  • Tightens with pulley system for custom support

  • Fabric is removable and washable

  • Corrects misalignment with precision

Cons
  • Limits waist movement and mobility

  • Doesn’t fit properly for those with a shorter torso

Sciatica is leg pain, irritation, and numbness resulting from a pinched sciatic nerve in your spine. The right back brace can take pressure off of the vertebrae that are pinching your sciatic nerve, and King of Kings Lower Back Pain brace uses a unique pulley system to help you find that perfect level of support.

This brace protects your lower back and sciatic nerve by limiting waist movement, which may help to alleviate pain and soreness in the surrounding muscles. It supports both sides of your spine instead of making direct contact with your vertebrae, correcting misalignment without added pressure. The pulley system lets you adjust the brace for the perfect level of support down to the millimeter.

Material: Mesh | Part of Back it Targets: Lower/lumbar | Machine Washable: Yes

Best for Herniated Discs: Sparthos Breathable Back Brace

Pros
  • Helps relieve discomfort from herniated disc

  • Adjustable lumbar pad adds compression in lower back

  • Features breathable mesh material

Cons
  • Metal supports can break through material

  • Sizing can be misleading and difficult

Your spine is made up of bony vertebrae and soft cushions, called discs, that separate and support your vertebrae. Your discs become more rigid with age, and as it loses elasticity it can rupture, causing a painful condition called a herniated disc. The Sparthos Breathable Back Brace can help relieve herniated disc discomfort.

This belt uses an adjustable lumbar pad for extra compression in your lower back. The vertical support is meant to stabilize your back to prevent excessive rolling of your muscles and decrease the pressure on your discs.

Material: Breathable polyester mesh with metal supports | Part of Back it Targets: Lower/lumbar | Machine Washable: Yes

Best for Scoliosis: Neo G Dorsolumbar Support Brace

Pros
  • Breathable and flexible materials

  • Easy to put on and remove

Cons
  • High price

  • No returns accepted

Scoliosis is a sideways curve of the spine that measures greater than 10 degrees with an X-ray. Some people have one curve, or a "C" shape while others have two curves, or an "S" shape. Additionally, some of the bones may be rotated slightly. Neo G’s Dorsolumbar Support Brace encourages correct alignment of the dorsal and lumbar spine to relieve scoliosis pain.

This brace was developed by orthopedists to flexibly stay in place and gently keep your spine properly aligned to relieve pain on your discs and reduce muscle strains and spasms. The breathable design and wide array of sizes make it perfect for children or adults.

Material: Neoprene (Polyamide, Elastane, Cotton, Polyester, Polyurethane, Polypropylene, Aloe Vera); Stays: Carbon Steel | Part of Back it Targets: Lower/mid back | Machine Washable: No

Best for Pregnancy: NeoTech Care Pregnancy Support Band

Pros
  • Redistributes pressure across lumbar area

  • Relieves pressure on hips and pelvis

  • Velcro band is adjustable to grow with belly

Cons
  • Specifically for use during pregnancy

  • Material can feel itchy

Lower back pain is one of the most common issues you’ll run into when you’re expecting. About 50 to 70 percent of pregnant women experience significant lower back pain that interferes with their daily activities, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Treatments like physical therapy during pregnancy can help alleviate discomfort, but for basic support during your daily routine, you’ll want a brace like NeoTech Care’s Pregnancy Support Band.

This belt was made to reduce lower back pain during pregnancy by redistributing pressure across your lumbar area more evenly, reducing pain on your spine as well as your hips, pelvis, and sacroiliac regions. The breathable fabric and soft abdominal pad make this belt easier to wear than other options, and the double-sided velcro band grows with your belly throughout your pregnancy.

Material: Multilayered laminate with an elastic lining | Part of Back it Targets: Lower back/pregnant belly support | Machine Washable: No

If you're looking for a little extra support for you back as you go about your day, the Flexguard Support Back Brace (view at Amazon) is a great first choice. It gives general support for anyone with general back pain and is sleek enough to fit under clothes. If you want a brace that specifically targets lower back pain, the Back Brace Lumbar Support Belt (view at Amazon) can give you relief and help support your spine during activities that involve bending over or lifting heavy objects.

What to Look for In a Back Brace

Targeted Support

While many back braces offer all-around back support, there are options that can target the area you need specifically. If you only suffer from lower back pain, you may want to invest in a brace that focuses on the lower spine. Pregnant women can also find the support they need with specially designed braces that will cradle their stomach while relieving some of the tension off of their lower back. Pay attention to which part of the spine your brace is targeting before you make your purchase.

Materials

Most back braces use materials like polyester, neoprene, or a mesh fabric to give the user flexibility and breathability while still offering support. These types of materials can often be adjusted to fit the user's specific needs, so keep an eye out for these materials when shopping for a back brace. Many are secured with velcro, which can be itchy and irritating to some. If you're planning on wearing your brace beneath your clothes, it's helpful to know how the brace's materials will feel against your skin.

Maintenance

Wearing a brace under your clothes all day can result in a buildup of sweat and dirt. If you plan to wear your brace often, invest in a brace that is machine washable. Even if you plan on wearing your brace over your clothes, it's always helpful to find an option that you can throw in the washer if necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long should you wear a back brace?

    “In the vast majority of conditions, braces are prescribed for a short term period of weeks to a couple months,” says Dr. Lin. “Adolescent scoliosis is the exception where the brace is meant to be worn most of the day until the patient stops growing.”

    Most doctors recommend wearing a brace for a maximum of a few hours per day. Any long and your muscles may weaken and rely too much on the brace, creating a new problem. You don’t want the brace doing all the work for you all day, every day.

  • Do back braces work for correcting posture?

    Yes, when sized properly and worn correctly back braces do work and correct posture. In fact, research of athletes showed a significant posture improvement after wearing back braces, per the Journal of Athletic Training. There are additional posture awareness benefits that come from wearing a back brace. Posture-correcting braces were effective and made the wearer aware of their slouching and what proper upright posture is, according to  an NIH study.

    Back braces aren’t the only solution for improving posture, either. Adjusting your computer screen to eye level, lining up your keyboard and mouse with your elbows, and sitting with your feet flat on the floor also improves posture, according to research.


  • Should you wear a back brace to bed?

    Most soft braces are made to wear during waking hours. Lower back braces provide support for heavy lifting and other activities. Similarly, posture correctors help improve upper back and shoulder alignment while sitting, standing, and walking. Neither type of back brace helps while sleeping and could cause more discomfort. But, there are some back braces specifically made for relieving back pain at night and feature materials that are comfortable, yet supportive for overnight wear.

    Rigid back braces may be prescribed by your doctor for extended and overnight wear for conditions like scoliosis. The additional time is needed for correcting the curvature of the spine.

Bracing prevents pain by limiting motion and providing stability. A back brace works by stabilizing your spine and limiting motion. Similar to how a cast can help stabilize a forearm fracture or an ankle brace can help with ankle sprains, in certain situations bracing can be effective to decrease back pain or prevent spinal deformity progression. It is important to keep in mind that spinal bracing is not a cure all and not applicable in all settings. —James Lin, M.D., spine surgeon with the Mount Sinai Health System in New York.

Why Trust Verywell Health?

Abby Stassen is a freelance writer who went to the University of Michigan where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English Language & Literature. Abby's writing has been featured in the Orlando Weekly and Windermere Scene magazines.

Additional reporting to this story by Jennifer Nied

As a seasoned health writer, Jennifer Nied understands how vital quality product recommendations are for treating symptoms safely and effectively at home. For over 10 years, she has reviewed products, interviewed experts, scrutinized ingredients, and pored over research studies and claims, to help readers like you understand what works for your specific conditions. Every product in this piece was selected taking into account recommendations from doctors, published research, and real customer reviews.

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Article Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  3. Scoliosis Research Society. Definitions and causes of scoliosis.

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