Effectiveness of a lumbar belt in subacute low back pain: an open, multicentric, and randomized clinical study

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2009 Feb 1;34(3):215-20. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e31819577dc.


Study design: Multicentric, randomized, and controlled study of clinical evaluation of medical device in subacute low back pain.

Objective: To evaluate the effects of an elastic lumbar belt on functional capacity, pain intensity in low back pain treatment, and the benefice on medical cost.

Summary of background data: There is limited evidence of efficiency of lumbar supports for treatment of low back pain. There is also a lack of the methodology in the studies reported on the efficiency of this device.

Methods: This study is randomized, multicentric, and controlled with 2 groups: a patient group treated with a lumbar belt (BWG) and a control group (CG). The main criteria of clinical evaluation were the physical restoration assessed with the EIFEL scale, the pain assessed by a visual analogic scale, the main economical criteria was the overall cost of associated medical treatments.

Results: One hundred ninety-seven patients have participated. The results show a higher decrease in EIFEL score in BWG than CG between days 0 and 90 (7.6 +/- 4.4 vs. de 6.1 +/- 4.7;P = 0.023). Respectively significant reduction in visual analogic scale was also noticed (41.5 +/- 21.4 vs. 32.0 +/- 20; P = 0.002). Pharmacologic consumption decreased at D90 (the proportion of patients who did not take any medication in BWG is 60.8% vs. 40% in CG;P = 0.029).

Conclusion: Lumbar belt wearing is consequent in subacute low back pain to improve significantly the functional status, the pain level, and the pharmacologic consumption. This study may be useful to underline the interest of lumbar support as a complementary and nonpharmacologic treatment beside the classic medication use in low back pain treatment.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Analgesics / therapeutic use
  • Braces* / economics
  • Braces* / standards
  • Braces* / statistics & numerical data
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / economics
  • Low Back Pain / physiopathology
  • Low Back Pain / rehabilitation*
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / physiopathology*
  • Lumbosacral Region / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / methods
  • Pain Measurement
  • Recovery of Function / physiology
  • Self-Assessment
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Analgesics