Patients often ask us the question “when and how often should I use my brace?” How do you know when a brace is necessary to manage pain? Braces, whether they are designed for the back, the knees, or other areas of the body, are given to patients to help stabilize the problematic area and can help reduce pain. Braces are wonderful for keeping areas of the body in proper alignment, which allows the body to function more efficiently.
Unless given specific instructions by your provider, most braces can be treated with the same general rule of thumb. Braces are not meant to be worn constantly. This is because the area they’re stabilizing can become dependent on the brace for support and lose the ability to support itself. You should use your brace when doing activities that tend to exacerbate your pain, such as standing, bending, or walking for long periods of time. Braces are great if you need extra support when doing daily tasks, such as gardening or driving. Again, wear your brace only when you feel it’s needed unless instructed by a provider. Keep your brace on during the duration of the problematic activity, or for about an hour each day depending upon your daily activity levels.
If you have a brace and are unsure how to use it, or if you’d like to make sure it is adjusted properly to fit your body, please bring it in with you to your appointment. We’d be happy to fit your brace and ensure you are given specific instructions on how to use it. If you need a brace, or want to learn more about custom fit braces, either give us a call at 360.433.9580 or come see us at our clinic.