An Indication-Based Concept for Stepwise Spinal Orthosis in Low Back Pain According to the Current Literature

Franz Landauer, Klemens Trieb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The current literature is not conclusive for spinal orthosis treatment in low back pain. Therefore, two questions have to be answered: Does the current literature support the indication of spinal orthosis treatment in low back pain? Which treatment concept can be derived from the result? Method: The 30 highest-rated literature citations (PubMed: best match, 30 December 2021) dealing with low back pain and spine orthosis were included in the study. Excluded were all articles related to Kinesio Taping, scoliosis, physical exercise, or dealing with side effects and unrelated to treatment effect. Thus, the literature list refers only to “low back pain and spine orthoses”. These articles were analyzed according to the PRISMA criteria and divided according to “specific diagnosis”, when the cause of pain was explained (group A), or when “specific diagnosis is not given” (group B). The articles were also distinguished by the information about the orthosis. Articles with biomechanical information about the function of the orthoses were called “diagnosis-based orthosis” (group C). All other articles were part of the group “unspecific orthotic treatment” (group D). The results were compared to each other in terms of effectiveness. According to anatomical causes, a concept of orthosis selection depending on diagnosis of low back pain for clinical practice was developed. The risk of bias lies in the choice of the MESH terms. The synthesis of the results was a clinical treatment concept based on findings from the current literature. Results: The literature citations with 1749 patients and 2160 citations of literature were processed; 21 prospective clinical or biomechanical studies and 9 review articles were included. The combination of literature citations according to “specific diagnosis” (group A) and “diagnosis based orthosis” (group C) was very likely to lead to a therapeutic effect (seven articles). No positive effect could be found in four articles, all dealing with postoperative treatment. When “specific diagnosis is not given” (group B) and combined with “unspecific orthotic treatment” (group D), therapy remained without measurable effect (15 articles). An effect was described in four articles (three biomechanical studies and one postoperative study). In review articles, according to specific diagnosis, only one article dealt with fractures and another with stenosis. In all review articles where specific diagnosis was not given, no effect with spine orthoses could be found. Using this knowledge, we created a clinical treatment concept. The structure was based on diagnosis and standardized orthoses. According to pain location and pathology (muscle, intervertebral disc, bone, statics, postoperative) the orthoses were classified to anatomical extent and the mechanical limitation (bandage, bodice, corset, orthosis with shoulder straps and erecting orthosis). Conclusion: The effectiveness of spinal orthoses could not be deduced from the current literature. The most serious limitation was the inconsistency of the complaint and the imprecise designation of the orthoses. Interpretation: Articles with a precise allocation of the complaint and a description of the orthosis showed a positive effect. The treatment concept presented here is intended to provide a basis for answering the question concerning the effectiveness of spinal orthoses as an accompanying treatment option in low back pain.

Original languageEnglish
Article number510
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022


  • Back pain
  • Brace
  • Low back pain
  • Lumbar support
  • Spine orthoses
  • Spine support


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