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The spine is composed of spinal bones called vertebrae, intervertebral discs, connective tissue, and muscles. All of these structures provide support, stability, and mobility to the upper body. The spine also protects the delicate spinal cord. Injury or disease to any of these structures can cause pain.

If you are diagnosed with a spinal problem, your doctor may recommend a neck or back brace for you. Braces offer an effective, non-invasive method to relieve pain and promote healing.

Types of Braces

Neck Braces

  • Cervical collar: A cervical collar is a brace worn around the neck to immobilize and support your neck.
  • Sterno-Occipital Mandibular Immobilizer (SOMI) - A SOMI is a brace that holds your neck in an upright position and prevents the movements of the head. This restriction of movement aids the healing of the damaged tissues.

Back Braces

  • Lumbar braces: Lumbar braces are often used for individuals with lower back pain and instability of the lumbar spine.
  • Lumbar corset: A lumbar corset or brace compresses the abdominal cavity which can relieve the vertebral column of some pressure, offering some pain relief.
  • Rigid braces: This type of brace is used to relieve pain, prevent any further damage, compensate for muscle weakness, and allow healing.

Irrespective of the type of braces, the basic function of any brace is to support the spine and to hasten the healing process. Braces may benefit patients with chronic back or neck pain.

  • Hao-Hua Wu, M.D.

    101 The City Drive South
    Pavilion 3 Building 29A
    Orange, CA 92868

  • UCI Health — Tustin

    1451 Irvine Blvd.
    Tustin, CA 92780

  • UCI Health — Newport Beach

    2161 San Joaquin Hills Road
    Newport Beach, CA 92660

  • UCI Health — Yorba Linda

    18637 Yorba Linda Blvd.
    Yorba Linda, CA 92886

Useful Links

  • Massachusetts General Hospital
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Pennsylvania Logo
  • University of California San Francisco Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Harvard Medical School
  • Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • AOSpine
  • North American Spine Society
  • Global Spine Research Initiative