As a certified hand specialist in Miami and occupational therapy practice, we help people with various arm and hand problems on a daily basis. Our patients often ask us what we think about the different types of braces, e.g. braces for carpal tunnel, the strap for tennis elbow, and the strap for the shoulder to keep you sitting up straight. Even the ones for the knees and back but we will talk about those later.
Either way…braces all work the same way. They are meant to stop you from moving. Which will maybe “stop” or lessen the pain. They are meant to give support when you need it the most.
We actually think that braces, whether over the counter or ones that are custom-fitted like those we make at our office, are actually needed! There is a time and place for them but, at some point, we must think about getting rid of them.
3 Circumstances When You Should Use Braces
- Right after an acute injury (except with carpal tunnel you can use for numbness and night pain)
- Right after surgery
- When needing additional support to do heavier activities as you wean out of braces.
As we said, there’s a time and place for braces. However, we want to encourage you to think about when you need to get rid of them too. When there is a dependency on using braces for a long period of time, then that can create bigger problems.
We know people who have worn the wrist brace for carpal tunnel for years, and all the while the problem gets worse until they end up needing injections and surgery. Or there is tennis elbow, where people often ask about the strap used to reduce how the muscles are working so that it is less painful. But elbow problems can become hand or shoulder problems.
In our practice of occupational therapy in Miami, we had one patient tell us that he had been pretty much wearing his brace for the past 15 years and over all that time he had developed issues from neck, shoulder, elbow, and wrist problems. He had become reliant on the strap to calm the pain while he was using his arms, and pills at night and days later to calm the irritation. It became a much bigger problem when he wasn’t able to fix things around his house and business without having pain later that night and the next day.
3 Reasons Why Braces Don’t Always Work:
- When you are using it longer than 1-2 months
- When the problem comes and goes and you feel like you have to keep going back to using the brace
- Braces make you stiffer and weaker over time, and when you stop using them, it can cause you to go back in the pain cycle.
If you are someone or know someone who’s been using a brace on and off… and you are seriously ready to find out what you can do to get rid of it for good… then give us a call at Hands-on Therapy Services 786-615-9879. Let us get you clear on what’s wrong, and what you can do to get to the root cause of the problem. Talk to our Miami hand specialist before booking a paid session.
Written by Hoang Tran
About the author
Hoang Tran is an occupational therapist in Miami, the owner of Hands-on Therapy Services and author of the book “The Hands-On Approach”. She loves helping people with hand and arm problems, because she knows how bad and debilitating they can get if not addressed and treated properly (once and for all!).
The aim of her practice is to bring their patients back to full functionality, without pills, injections or surgery. For inquiries call her at 786-615-9879 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit her website at www.handsots.com or schedule an appointment.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.