The spine is a column of bones, discs, connective tissue, and muscles designed to provide support for the head and neck while offering protection to the spinal cord and mobility to the torso. Over time the spine is subjected to stress and minor injuries, which may result in degenerative changes and the potential for chronic pain. Additionally, pain may be experienced due to mechanical strain, compression, or irritation of the spinal nerve roots. Braces are an effective, non-invasive way to relieve pain and assist healing. Neck braces, such as a cervical collar, provide support, maintain alignment, and limit motion. A sterno-occipital-mandibular immobilizer, or SOMI brace, holds the neck in a straight line, preventing the head from moving and allowing damaged tissues to heal. Lumbar braces are often prescribed for low back pain and spinal instability. A lumbar corset is a type of brace that compresses the abdomen, which reduces pressure on the vertebral column and provides relief from the pain. Sometimes a more rigid brace is required to correct the pain, reduce the chance of further injury, and compensate for weak muscles: all while allowing healing to occur. Regardless of the type of brace that is recommended, the goal of brace therapy is to provide support and promote healing of the injured region.
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