Lumbar supports have often been used in the fight against back pain; now, researchers are taking another look at the effectiveness of the brace. Authors for the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2008; ) searched “randomized controlled trials that reported on any type of lumbar supports as preventive or therapeutic intervention for nonspecific low-back pain.” Their review included seven studies on prevention (14, 437 subjects) and eight studies on treatment (1,361 subjects). Overall, the methodological quality of the studies was low.
The researchers found very little evidence to support the use of lumbar supports for prevention and treatment of low-back pain. In terms of back pain prevention or reduction of sick leave, “there was little or no difference between individuals with low-back pain who used back supports and those who received no treatment or [those who received] education on lifting techniques,” stated the authors.