Sacroiliac and lumbosacral belts are back braces that help treat pain in the lumbar spine and sacrum. There are spinal braces (which your doctor may call orthotics or orthoses) for every region of the spine, but this article will focus solely on sacroiliac and lumbosacral belts. To read a comprehensive article about all the different types of spinal braces, please read our spinal bracing overview.
Your doctor may prescribe a sacroiliac belt if you have sacroiliac joint pain. The sacroiliac joints, which are often called SI joints, are located on both sides of your sacrum (the base of your spine). Your SI joints connect the sacrum to the pelvis, and we have a video on the sacroiliac joints to help you learn more.
Like all joints, the sacroiliac joints are encased in strong ligaments. Healthy ligaments prevent the SI joints from moving too much. But if the ligaments become diseased (from osteoarthritis, for instance), injured, or worn down by age, they allow the SI joints to move more than they should. This can cause pain in your pelvis and low back. A condition called sacroiliac joint dysfunction can also cause low back pain.
A sacroiliac belt provides compression around the hip to prevent the SI joints from moving excessively. The belt is wrapped around the pelvis and may be tightened using laces on the side or back of the brace.
Lumbosacral belts are designed to provide pressure on your abdominals, thereby reducing weight and stress on your low back. This type of brace provides lumbar spine stabilization, so it creates an optimal healing environment for a number of lumbar spine conditions, including low back muscle strain.
Made of sturdy cotton, lumbosacral belts are wrapped around your waist and can be easily adjusted using laces on the side or back. Lumbosacral belts are available in a variety of sizes to provide the right amount of support for different low back conditions.
It's essential that you follow your doctor's specific instructions for the wear and care of your spinal brace. Whether you need a lumbosacral belt or sacroiliac belt for your low back pain, you should understand that the brace is most effective when you wear it according to your doctor's orders. You may also consult with your orthotist if you have any questions. He or she specializes in the design and fit of spinal braces, so don't hesitate to contact your orthotist if you're unsure about any aspect of your bracing treatment.