How tight should a back brace be

How Tight Should a Back Brace Be? - The Dos and Don'ts

How tight should a back brace be? Most people don’t know the answer to this question, but it’s an important one to ask when you’re shopping for back braces or medical support garments. A properly fitted back brace will provide the best support and give you the most comfort, allowing you to get back to your normal routine as soon as possible! On the other hand, wearing an ill-fitting brace can cause discomfort and even aggravate your condition.

How to choose the right back brace

If you’re not sure what size or style of back brace is best for you, your physical therapist can help you figure it out. But if you're in a pinch, there are certain rules of thumb to keep in mind. If your PT orders one for you during an appointment, try it on before heading home. Make sure to go over these dos and don'ts before actually using it 

Taking care of your back brace

As with all other pieces of medical equipment, you want to treat your back brace well so that it continues to protect you. For example, when cleaning your brace, keep in mind that not all washes are created equal. Try not to use bleach on your back brace unless you’re specifically instructed by your doctor or nurse because chlorine and other chemicals can break down plastic. Instead, opt for warm water mixed with mild soap—just be sure to rinse thoroughly before letting it air dry.

Wearing your back brace

An improperly fitted brace can make your injury worse, so to ensure that your brace is doing what it's supposed to, follow these guidelines. First of all, make sure you're wearing it correctly. There should be no more than 1 inch of space between your body and your brace (if there is more space, you probably need to adjust it). Second, make sure it fits snugly but comfortably. It shouldn't be too tight or too loose—you should only be able to fit one finger in between you and your brace for proper support. If you have questions about how tight a back brace should be, consult with an expert from our office or doctor. Always wear whatever is prescribed by your physician!

If it's too tight

One of the most common mistakes people make when it comes to back braces is putting on one that's too tight. It can easily happen -- when you wear an undergarment every day, it's sometimes hard to know exactly how much pressure it's applying. Just take a moment before donning your brace or corset and hold it up in front of you. If you can fit more than two fingers between your body and the brace, then you need to tighten it some more.

If it's too loose

If your brace feels loose, you'll have trouble getting it to fit right. A good way to make sure that your brace is fitting snugly around your waist is to measure yourself before buying one. Measure at exactly where you would wear it, as tightness differs from person to person. Also, if you're trying on more than one size of brace (as we all do), consider how each size affects how long it takes for you to put on or take off. A hard-to-fit brace can become tedious and defeating if it takes twice as long every day to put on or take off compared with a better-fitting alternative.