According to the makers of the many back support devices on the market, nearly everyone needs to be wearing them. And while that might certainly be true for a number of people who are having problems or who do certain types of jobs and activities, for the average person, are these supports good or bad? The best person to ask might be your regular doctor.
The human body is a remarkable feat of engineering and while we all follow the same basic design, each body has a different weight to carry, a different set of nerve fibers, different injury histories and different levels of flexibility. Your level of flexibility is not determined by your age or fitness level by the way: for proof, there is a very famous, very tough work out expert who constantly admits that she is not as flexible as she would like to be and not as flexible as people who may be as much as 50 pounds overweight.
The back is made up of muscles that keep your spine erect and little bones that protect your spinal cord. But, how yours feels every day may depend on more than just those muscles. Your abdominal muscles act like a girdle to protect your lower back as well. In fact, one of the things that you do not learn about those devices, is that nearly every injury occurs when you are in the forward position. With the exception of a car accident, you are most likely to hurt by bending over to pick up something.
Help is important for those who are lifting heavy weight on a regular basis. People who are doing repetitive motions might also benefit from these types of devices as well. They should be used to provide additional support, not take the place of proper safe lifting techniques and good posture. The best type of device for these people is the kind worn close to the body, snugly enough to stay out of the way of motion.
Another kind fits in chairs or car seats to give support while in a seated position. For those who are stuck in the same position for long time periods, it might be important to consider a support for the lumbar spine to prevent aches and even leg problems that can occur. While these might not be medically necessary, they can provide relief especially if there is minor ache during the day. If you are sore and stiff, it is important to talk to your doctor to find out if there is a serious medical condition and to help determine if back support devices are right for you.