In many industries, lifting heavy objects is simply part of the job. Unfortunately, lifting improperly can quickly and easily lead to serious injury. In order to prevent injuries and promote the proper techniques for lifting, many work places require that employees wear a back support belt. The benefits of this type of back support are numerous, and they provide adjustability, which allows them to be comfortable as well as functional. The most common type of support belt for this purpose is also known as a corset brace, which provides both support and rigidity for the entire back.
The primary purpose of a back support belt is to provide the spine with support and stability. This can be to prevent injury or protect an already-injured spine. Corset support belts can vary in their widths, largely depending on what condition they are treating or what specific purpose they are meant to fulfill. Shorter or narrower corset braces, for example, are used for lower back pain. Wider or longer back braces are typically prescribed for problems pertaining to the middle or lower thoracic spine. The reason why they are called corset braces is because they are largely adjustable, typically using either laces or Velcro to adjust how tight they are around the body.
When such a back support belt is worn in the workplace, it is typically either to prevent re-injury of a back that has been hurt before, or to prevent initial injury when the person has to lift or move heavy items. Because improperly lifting heavy items can quickly lead to a serious back injury, these support belts are largely designed to promote the right posture and proper lifting technique. Lifting should not involve bending at the waste, something that is largely inhibited by this type of support brace. Instead, lifting should rely heavily on the legs, while the back remains steady and stable.
Modern back support belt options typically extend from the abdomen down past the buttocks. Most have suspenders or shoulder straps, allowing them to be held on properly. They embrace the body tightly, but not so tightly that they sacrifice comfort. They typically have a set of laces on one side of the belt, allowing them to be adjusted as needed. They also typically have metal stays built in, which like boning in historical corsets is designed to provide support and rigidity for protection from and prevention of back injury and back pain.