T Nation

Using Lifting Belt as Back Brace When Not Lifting?

So, I don’t wear a lifting belt at the gym, and I’ve actually never worn one to lift. However, I recently tried one on that someone left at the gym, just for laughs. Although I don’t feel that strongly about wearing a lifting belt one way or the other, I have friends that think they’re terrible. So I tried it on thinking I would send them an annoying selfie, LOL.

Anyway, I have back issues fairly often from working construction and the lifting belt that I tried on INSTANTLY made my back feel better. I guess my question is, do people ever wear lifting belts for back pain or posture correction while they AREN’T lifting? The belt was so much better than the back brace I will occasionally wear to work (almost never cause I hate it). Is this a bad idea for any reason?

I might have picked one up and I might be wearing it while cleaning my house, LOL. I’ve been hunched over repairing and refinishing hardwood floors for a week, and this is the closest my back has felt to normal in days. Hopefully, someone can tell me why this is a great OR a terrible idea.

How old are you?

I am definitely NOT qualfied to answer this question.

Since we don’t have much info on the condition it’s hard to say, but… if it makes it feel better why not wear it for a bit to get some relief and try to address the reason it hurts in the first place.

I am 67 and my core is weak. I also have injured my lower back from 67 years of outdoor activities. I wear a 4" leather lifting belt at the gym 5 days a week. It helps me a lot. If I don’t wear it say I forgot one day my lower back will hurt for the next 3 days. I do take it off to do my core exercises.

I am sure if you are young uninjured and have a good strong core one is never needed. But for an old gimp like me I love them. I also wear it at home mowing or doing any heavy yard work.

So, I am 32.

As far as specific back issues: I have anterior pelvic tilt, which I have a stretch/strengthening routine to fix - seems to be due to tight hips and overactive psoas. I have moderate kyphosis which I suspect is more genetic than acquired.

Finally, I have “back mice” in my lower back just above the glutes/hips. There’s some debate as to WHAT back mice actually are, but if you aren’t familiar, they’re basically lumps/nodes that are chronically irritated, swollen and painful. The theory that seems to describe what I have is fascia tears which the underlying tissue herniates through - then the tears healed and the fat/subcutaneous tissue got stuck on the other side/embedded in the fascia (button stuck through a buttonhole, basically)

I see a chiropractor for the APT and Kyphosis. I looked into having the back mice surgically removed, but was advised that the likelihood that they would go away over time or become less irritating was fairly high, and the likelihood that surgery would leave painful scar tissue which would never fully go away was also fairly high. So I’ve just left then alone and they’ve gradually improved over the last few years.

All of this sounds pretty bad, and occasionally it is, but it’s fairly manageable most of the time. As far as nonspecific problems: I do a lot of work bent over/stooping/in confined spaces, etc. A lot of days, it would be strange if my back DIDN’T hurt. I try to wear a back brace as needed and be as ergonomic as possible, but sometimes I just have to get shit done.