Choosing Wisely:

Don’t prescribe lumbar supports or braces for the long-term treatment or prevention of low-back pain.

Rationale and Comments: While there may be limited benefit in the short term, the prolonged use of lumbar supports is not supported by the literature for the treatment or prevention of low-back pain. Numerous systematic reviews have found limited to no value for their use in this context. The literature clearly demonstrates that such passive therapies are contrary to the currently accepted central principle of low-back pain care, which is that the patient must engage in an active rehabilitative regimen to achieve the best outcomes.
Sponsoring Organizations:
  • American Chiropractic Association
  • Sources:
  • Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
  • Disciplines:
  • Orthopedic
  • Neurologic
  • References: • Kawchuk GN, Edgecombe TL, Wong AY, Cojocaru A, Prasad N; A non-randomized clinical trial to assess the impact of nonrigid, inelastic corsets on spine function in low back pain participants and asymptomatic controls. Spine J. 2015 Oct 1;15(10):2222-7.
    • Morrisette DC, Cholewicki J, Logan S, Seif G, McGowan S; A randomized clinical trial comparing extensible and inextensible lumbosacral orthoses and standard care alone in the management of lower back pain. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2014 Oct 1;39(21):1733-42.
    • van Duijvenbode I, Jellema P, van Poppel M, van Tulder MW. Lumbar supports for prevention and treatment of low back pain. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD001823.
    • Chou R, Deyo R, Friedly J, et al. Noninvasive Treatments for Low Back Pain. Comparative Effectiveness Review No. 169. [Internet]. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2016 Feb. (Comparative Effectiveness Reviews, No. 169.) [cited 2017 May 4]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK350276/
    • Qaseem A, Wilt TJ, McLean RM, Forciea MA; Clinical Guidelines Committee of the American College of Physicians. Noninvasive Treatments for Acute, Subacute, and Chronic Low Back Pain: A Clinical Practice Guideline From the American College of Physicians. Ann Intern Med. 2017;166(7):514-530.
    • Azadinia F, Ebrahimi E Takamjani, Kamyab M, Parnianpour M, Cholewicki J, Maroufi N. Can lumbosacral orthoses cause trunk muscle weakness? A systematic review of literature. Spine J. 2017,17(4):589-602.

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