Back support belts, also known as back supporters, are used to reduce the risk of back injury. They may also have benefits for alleviating back pain.
In this roundup, we’ll go over the potential benefits of back supporters and provide our picks for some of the best ones available.
Back pain can result from a wide variety of causes, including:
- ruptured or herniated disc
- sports injuries
- work-related injuries
- incorrectly lifting heavy objects
- poor posture
Back support belts are a type of lumbar support device. They’re thought to work by providing compression for the torso and extra support for the spine. This may alleviate pain and reduce the potential for injury. Since they make the wearer conscious of their spine, back supporters may also be beneficial for improving posture.
Back supporters won’t cure the underlying condition causing back pain, but they may help provide short-term pain relief. They may also help protect your back from injury.
The benefits of back support belts have
Some back support belts are designed specifically for pregnant people. The belts work by providing support for the abdomen and lower back.
If you’re looking for a place to start, we found a few options that we think are good picks. Here are the criteria we used to select the best back supporters:
- Pricing. We chose products that provide a good value for the cost.
- User reviews. All of our picks made a good impression on customers and have very positive reviews.
- Company transparency. We tried to steer clear of products from manufacturers who make far-fetched health claims.
- Customer service. We looked for products that get more positive reviews for customer service than complaints across multiple sales sites.
Back supporters are reasonably priced for most budgets, with prices ranging from about $12 to $40. For this review, we’ve indicated price as:
- $ = under $25
- $$ = over $25
- Price: $$
This support belt is made from a breathable, flexible mesh fabric. It contains firm vertical support stays that prevent the belt from rolling up.
It also has a removable lumbar pad that adds extra compression to the lower back when worn. Some users mention that the pad feels supportive, while others prefer to leave it off.
Online reviews mention excellent customer service and ease of returns for issues, such as breakage, and on exchanges for sizing.
- Price: $
This maternity support belt is designed to provide stability and support to the pelvic region and abdomen. It’s made from an adjustable, mesh material.
The manufacturer says the belt can help improve posture while sitting and relieves lower back pain.
Users say it provides lumbar stability and reduces pain in the back, abdomen, and joints. Many recommend using it starting in the fifth month of pregnancy.
- Price: $$
This support belt is made from a flexible, knit fabric and is designed to provide gentle, all-over compression. You can use the adjustable, elastic cross-straps to increase pressure on your middle or lower back.
The stays are malleable, so you can comfortably mold them to your frame. This can help promote good posture and spinal stability.
The belt comes with a removable lumbar pad that you can use for additional compression or support.
- Price: $
This back supporter is made from an elasticized material. It’s designed to prevent back injury during heavy lifting, not for back pain relief. It can be used for recreational weightlifting or by people who need lower back support while working.
It’s primarily kept in place with adjustable suspenders. The suspenders are detachable and can be removed if you prefer.
Power panels built into the belt let you tighten or loosen the fit as needed.
It comes in a very wide range of sizes, from extra small to 4XL.
If you’re not having a back supporter custom-made for your frame, pay close attention to sizing and fabric. An ill-fitting back supporter can exacerbate pain by putting too much pressure on your spine or internal organs.
Be sure to only buy a back supporter made from a flexible fabric and in a size that fits your widest body measurement. For some people, this is their hips, while for others, it may be their chest or waist.
When measuring your frame, don’t pull in your stomach, as this may result in getting the wrong size.
If you’re purchasing a back supporter for use during pregnancy, only buy a belt that’s designed for this purpose. Belly band-type back supporters sit on the body differently than standard back support belts.
Many back supporters are sold by manufacturers that cite curative benefits in their marketing jargon. Unless clinical studies are cited, please take these claims with a grain of salt, as they may or may not be true.
Back supporters can be beneficial and have value, especially for short-term pain relief. However, they won’t cure an existing condition, and they don’t take the place of a doctor or physical therapist’s care.
Back supporters are best used for short-term relief or for short periods. If you find that you need a back supporter to perform daily activities, including walking and sitting every day, talk with a healthcare professional.
Avoid prolonged compression of your internal organs. Don’t wear a back supporter that’s too tight, or really any back supporter, for many hours at a time. This may cause acid reflux and gastric distress.
It’s also important to avoid wearing a back supporter that chafes your skin. This is particularly true if you have diabetes and are at high risk for skin infections.
Many people use back supporters to protect their lower backs while lifting heavy objects. No back supporter will do that job unless you follow safe lifting best practices.
The following steps should always be taken when lifting heavy objects:
- Plan your lift by determining how heavy the object is.
- If you don’t think you can lift the object, ask for help instead of trying it on your own.
- Stabilize your body by firmly placing one foot in front of the other. Keep both feet flat on the ground.
- Bend your knees.
- Tighten your abdominal muscles.
- Avoid twisting your body, as this can hurt your back, neck, or knees.
- Lift with your legs, not with your back.
- Hold the object close to your body to eliminate additional strain on your back.
Back supporters are one type of lumbar support garment.
Some back supporters are meant to be worn while lifting heavy objects, while others are meant for pregnant people. In addition, others can be worn in the short term during everyday activities.
There’s mixed evidence on the value of back supporters. However, some studies point toward their ability to provide short-term pain relief, prevent injuries, and add stability.
Note that back supporters don’t take the place of prescribed back braces for a serious injury.