I got this back brace by ActiveBak witha large discount for a review.
I decided to try the ActiveBak because I’ve suffered from lower back pain ever since my teens. I had weight issues when younger and although fit and healthy now, my back still gives me trouble, especially when I do some heavy exercise or anything that involves bending for long periods of time. I have to admit I was sceptical as to whether this would really help with my back pain but I have been very surprised by the result.
The back brace comes in a clear plastic zip pocket along with a paper of instructions. Putting the brace on is simple enough according to the instructions, however I didn’t realise at first where the second strap was. Basically you first put the brace around your waist, closing the Velcro around the front (photo 1). Then to fit the brace properly around your waist and back you have to pull 2 straps. One strap is the label, and the other strap is on the other side (I’ve shown pictures of these as I daftly didn’t see the second strap when I was first fitting the back brace on).
Now first fitting the brace on takes some practice. Finding the right fit is tough and it’s all too easy to pull the two straps too tight and have something more like a corset on than a back brace. However after a while of adjusting the brace I found the right tightness, enough to feel it against the curve of my spine without squeezing in my stomach too much.
I really urge anyone who finds it uncomfortable at first, or not working at first, to really play around with the tightness and even the height at which you place the brace. At first it didn’t seem to do anything for my back pain and I was very disappointed, but I tried and tried and eventually found the sweet spot of comfort and had an instant relief.
Most of my back pain occurs when I bend and especially when picking up heavy objects which I’ve been doing a lot of lately. But with the back brace on I suddenly found myself able to pick up heavy boxes and things without feeling that sudden sharp pain that I always feel. Having the back brace on also helped with relieving the pain I already had. I didn’t wear it for a very long time yet (all day) but it certainly feels like it is mimicking something I usually do to relieve back pain – to lie flat on my back with an arch support under my back.
I really like using this brace to avoid back pain, but I’m not giving this a whole 5 stars purely due to the fact that although I found the right position for the brace on my waist, I still find that it’s quite long – the brace comes too high up on my rib cage to be extremely comfortable, especially when sitting. Perhaps because I am not so tall unless I am still doing something wrong. However the pros definitely outweigh the con and I would recommend this back brace to anyone who suffers from lower back pain. It takes some adjusting to find the perfect fit but once you have, its easy to wear this for a long time – I have for a few hours, almost forgetting I was wearing it.🙂