Supports and Braces
– When you're faced with chronic pain due to a medical condition or temporary discomfort due to surgery or an injury, your doctor may advise you to take steps to protect your body and improve your comfort. Your doctor may recommend braces or supports to help ensure that you get the proper care at home. At drugstore.com we offer a wide range of braces and support products to help you adhere to your doctor's guidelines.
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Supports vs. Braces
Both supports and braces are home health care products that are designed to fit around a certain area of the body, such as the neck or low back, but they have very different functions.
- Supports are made to help you maintain an ideal alignment of your muscles or bones to reduce stress on a painful or injured area in order to reduce discomfort. When you're using a support, you can still freely move the affected area.
- Braces are therapeutic devices that reduce the mobility of a particular part of the body. You may be told to wear a brace to prevent movement in order to allow an injury to heal or to reduce your range of motion to help you avoid re-injuring or further injuring yourself.
Maternity Belts and Cradles
Shapewear is a type of support that is designed to be worn underneath your clothes. One of the most commonly used types of support shapewear is the maternity belt or cradle. These supports consist of a sling that is worn beneath the belly during pregnancy or a sling attached to a chest harness. The purpose of maternity belts and cradles is to support the added weight of the tummy during pregnancy. This can help to correct poor posture and ease the lower back pain that often occurs during the second and third trimesters. Postpartum shapewear is also available to help compress the abdominal area and give the illusion of a flatter stomach. Be sure to consult a doctor before wearing any of these garments.
How Do Compression Socks Work?
Support and compression hosiery are stockings and socks that are used to improve circulation to the lower extremities. Often, doctors recommend support and compression hosiery to alleviate discomfort and swelling in the feet and legs related to conditions that result in poor blood flow to the lower extremities. Among these conditions are diabetes, congestive heart failure and peripheral cardiovascular disease. After surgery, your doctor may suggest that you wear compression or support hosiery to decrease your chances of developing a blood clot in your legs. This type of hosiery is also frequently used for minimizing varicose veins. Only use these products as recommended by your health care provider.
Tips for Using Supports and Braces Correctly
Supports, braces, medical shapewear and support hosiery should only be used if recommended by your doctor. Do not try to self-treat with any type of support or brace. Your physician will help you determine which type of support or brace is the right choice for your needs. Follow your physician's advice about which brace or support to purchase and how to use it correctly for best results. Make sure that you pay careful attention to the size of the product that you're purchasing, as many types of braces and support hosiery require a proper fit to be effective. back to top »