• 0

    Your Cart is Empty

    Back Brace for Runners: Does it Really Help?


    DECEMBER 29, 2023   |    3 Mins Read


    Running has been a staple of human culture for centuries. It's not only an excellent form of exercise but it can also help you stay healthy by maintaining your weight and boosting energy levels! But did you know that running regularly could cause problems with the back?

    Yes, that's right! Running can put a lot of strain on the back, which can lead to pain and discomfort. But don't worry, in this blog, we'll be discussing whether or not a back brace can help alleviate this pain. So, let's get started!

    What are the Most Common Running-Related Injuries?

    Before we get into whether or not a back brace can help, it's important to understand what the most common running-related injuries are. This way, you can be on the lookout for any warning signs and take steps to prevent them!

    The most common running-related injuries are:

    • Muscle Strains: These occur when the back muscles stretch too much or tear due to overuse or sudden, awkward movements. Symptoms include pain, muscle spasms, and limited flexibility or range of motion in the back. Running, especially with improper form or sudden increases in intensity or duration, can strain muscles that aren't accustomed to the new level of activity.
    • Lumbar (Lower Back) Pain: This pain in the lower back area is often due to weak core muscles or poor running posture. Symptoms include a dull, aching pain in the lower back, which might worsen after running. Running with a slouched posture or an arched back, or running on hard surfaces without proper footwear, can exacerbate this condition.
    • Sciatica: This condition occurs when the sciatic nerve, which runs down the back of each leg, becomes compressed or irritated. Symptoms include a shooting pain that radiates from the lower back into one or both legs, numbness or tingling in the affected leg(s), and difficulty standing or sitting for extended periods. Running long distances without proper rest and recovery time can aggravate this condition.
    • Muscle contractures: This term refers to tight, stiff muscles caused by overuse or inadequate stretching. Symptoms include a reduced range of motion in the back and pain or stiffness during movement. Running without proper warm-up exercises or cool-down stretches can contribute to muscle contractures.
    • Herniated Discs: A herniated disc occurs when the soft tissue between vertebrae in the spine pushes out or bulges, putting pressure on surrounding nerves. Symptoms include back pain, numbness or tingling in the legs, and muscle weakness. Running with poor form or excessive pounding can increase the risk of a herniated disc due to increased stress on the spine.

    What is a Back Brace?

    A back brace is a device designed to provide support and stabilization to the spine and the muscles surrounding it. Typically, these braces are made from a combination of materials like elastic, metal, plastic, or foam. They come in various designs, each targeting specific areas of the back, such as the lower lumbar region or the entire spine. The primary function of a back brace is to restrict the movement of the spine, which helps in reducing pain and discomfort caused by various conditions like herniated discs, sciatica, or general back strain. They do this by compressing the abdomen, which in turn unloads pressure from the spine, providing relief and improving posture.

    Back braces are often adjustable, allowing users to tighten or loosen them for a comfortable and effective fit. Some are slim and discreet enough to wear under clothing, while others are bulkier, designed for more significant spinal support. They can be used for a range of purposes, from aiding in recovery after back surgery or injury to providing support during activities that strain the back, including lifting heavy objects or, in some cases, sports like running.

    Do Back Brace for Runners Really Help?

    Now that we've gone over what a back brace is and how it can help, you're probably wondering: do back braces for runners really help?

    It actually depends on individual's preference. Many people find that wearing back brace during marathon, half marathon and even during regular training sessions can be beneficial in providing support and reducing pain. While there are others who feel that it doesn't make a significant difference.

    For a more detailed answer, let's look at the pros and cons of using a back brace for runners.

    Pros of Using a Back Brace for Runners

    • Provides support and stability

    As mentioned earlier, a back brace can help stabilize the spine and provide support to the muscles surrounding it. For runners who experience lower back pain or have weak core muscles, this added support can be beneficial in preventing further strain on the back.

    • Reduces pain and discomfort

    Back braces can also help reduce pain and discomfort caused by conditions like sciatica or herniated discs. The compression effect of the brace can help unload pressure from the spine, providing relief and allowing runners to continue their training without aggravating their condition.

    • Improves posture

    Wearing a back brace can also help improve posture while running. This is especially helpful for runners who tend to slouch or arch their backs, which can lead to lower back pain. The brace helps keep the spine in a more neutral position, promoting better posture and reducing strain on the back.

    Cons of Using a Back Brace for Runners

    • Can be uncomfortable or restrictive

    Some runners may find wearing a back brace to be restrictive or uncomfortable, especially if they are used to running without any additional support. It may also limit their range of motion, potentially affecting their performance.

    • Not a long-term solution

    While back braces can provide temporary relief and support, they are not a long-term solution for back pain or injury. It is essential to address the root cause of the issue and work towards strengthening the muscles surrounding the spine for lasting results.

    • May not be necessary for all runners

    As mentioned earlier, not all runners may benefit from wearing a back brace. Those with strong core muscles and good posture may not need the additional support provided by a back brace. It is important to assess individual needs and consult with a medical professional before using a back brace.

    How to Choose the Right Back Brace for Running?

    Choosing the right back brace for running involves careful consideration of several key factors to ensure it provides the necessary support without hindering your performance. Here's a detailed guide on what to look for in each category:


    Getting the right size is crucial. A brace that's too tight can restrict your movement and breathing, while one that's too loose won't provide adequate support. Measure your waist and torso based on the manufacturer’s guidelines. Most brands will have a sizing chart, so compare your measurements with their recommendations. Consider any fluctuations in your body size, especially if you're in a training program that might lead to changes in your physique. Also, look for adjustable braces which allow you to fine-tune the fit as needed.


    The material of the brace should offer both comfort and functionality. Since running involves a lot of movement and sweating, opt for breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics that keep you cool and dry. Materials like neoprene, nylon, or spandex blends are common and effective. They should provide a snug fit but not cause chafing or irritation with movement. The fabric should also be durable enough to withstand regular use and washing, as you’ll likely be wearing the brace frequently.

    Type of Support

    Opt for braces that come with flexible support straps or boning to target specific areas of the back. This can be especially helpful if you have a particular area that needs more support than others, such as the lumbar region.

    Targeted Area

    Determine which part of your back needs support. Lower back pain, which is common among runners, requires a lumbar brace that focuses on the lower back region. If your concern is more about overall posture or upper back issues, a full-back brace might be more appropriate. Some braces also offer additional features like straps or padding that target specific areas for pain relief or support.

    Tips for Using Back Brace for Running

    • Consult with a medical professional before using a back brace, especially if you have an existing injury or condition.
    • Start by wearing the brace for short periods and gradually increase the duration as your body adjusts to it.
    • Avoid relying solely on a back brace and work towards strengthening your core muscles for long-term relief.
    • Choose a back brace that is comfortable and doesn't restrict your movement.
    • Regularly wash and dry the brace to maintain hygiene and prolong its durability.


    Back braces for runners can be beneficial in providing support, reducing pain, and improving posture. Running involves rotation of the spine, which can put strain on the lower back. A back brace can help stabilize the spine and provide added support to prevent injury or discomfort. However, it is essential to choose the right size and type of brace for your specific needs and consult with a medical professional before use. Additionally, working on strengthening core muscles should be prioritized for long-term relief from back pain or


    Claire Evans worked as the content marketing manager at Koprez. Claire combined a background of writing and editing, marketing, and patient education to best serve consumers, fitness enthusiasts, athletes, and anyone who relies on the Koprez brand for helpful information.

    Koprez® Featured Products

    • Bundles
    • Other Products

    Koprez® Related Stories & Highlights

    What Our Customers Think