Dr. Ho’s Decompression Belt
The first time I came across one of Dr. Ho’s decompression belts was at an aisle inside CVS about 2 years ago. Given the amount of pain my back was in at the time, I decided to give the belt a try despite its $125 price tag. I knew that if it didn’t work or at-least help comfort my lower back pain in someway, that I could always return it.
Needless to say, the decompression belt by Dr. Ho isn’t all bad as it did provide me some relief and comfort from time to time. But when all is said and done, the belt was by no means a cure for my pain. I bought the decompression belt thinking that maybe a little decompression was all my spine needed in order for me to start feeling better.
But the relief I got was only temporary. In-fact the only time I might have felt a bit relieved was when I was actually wearing the brace. As soon as I removed it, the back pain was back and I was back to my old normal self.
Decompression Doesn’t Work
So if you’re thinking about buying this decompression belt either for support, posture or relief, I would go with another more simpler brace. After having lived with back pain for so long, I came to realize that decompression is not an effective way to relieve back pain.
Whether it’s with an inversion table or brace that you are using, I don’t believe decompression is the answer and I think that it’s being used as nothing more than a marketing ploy here in Dr. Ho’s product.
I’m not even all that surprised that the HoPhysio belt has had some pretty mediocre press over the last year.
Con’s Of Dr. Ho’s Belt:
- Very sturdy and bulky – you can’t move around with it very well and is definitely something you can only use when you’re only sitting around your house.
- Doesn’t do anything to strengthen your back or make you more flexible
- Only gives you relief momentarily – no long-term benefits of using the belt
- Too pricey – I think the main reason for the $125 price tag is because of the material it is made out of. But just because it’s constructed so well, doesn’t mean the product works as intended.
- Reports of the belt actually increasing the pain in some people.
- There are alternative back braces that can achieve the same thing for under $20.
Pro’s Of Dr. Ho’s Belt:
- Its supposedly helped relieve back pain in some cases (but not so much in those who suffer with it regularly)
- Does stabilize the lower back when worn.
- Very well made and constructed (though might some argue that it’s too big & bulky)
- Comes with a DVD by Mr. Ho to show you how to properly use the decompression belt.
- Could eventually help improve your posture.
Why I Brought It Back..
When I first purchased the decompression belt by Dr. Ho, I gave it about 3-weeks before I ended up bringing it back to the store and wore it exactly as instructed for 30-minutes a day. I can’t recall exactly if it made my pain worse, but I know that it definitely did not help.
This was actually very unfortunate for me because when I did wear it, I almost could feel like there was some relief there. But it really turned out to be nothing more than false hope.
The whole decompression ploy made sense to me at the time. I felt that if there was more space between each of my vertebrae in between my spine, than my back would have to hurt less. But turns out, that is in no way the case.
Years later, I soon came to my senses and realized that the absolute best way to get rid of your back pain isn’t through a supplement or brace waiting for it to do its job. The best way is through stretching and exercising. And trust me, I know how difficult that can be when we’re in pain.
A Better Alternative!
But instead of trying a brace, I would recommend giving a foam roller a try. It’s kind of like a deep tissue massage for your back, but much stronger and maybe even a bit more painful.
But I can’t begin to tell you how much foam rolling for 20 minutes a day helped fully relieve me of my back pain. Not only are the benefits endless, but you can even get one for less than $20 (I recommend getting the high density one to get rid of those knots in your back as fast as possible).
Benefits Of Foam Rolling (and why it beats using a decompression belt)
- It re-educates your muscles and perfects your posture, while it works to massage your entire back.
- Helps to stabilize and strengthen your entire core. But more importantly, it allows you to work the hips, which are the most important muscles for your lower back to be in good health.
- Will put your back and spine back into the alignment it should be in.
- It stretches your back in ways you couldn’t do otherwise and relieves muscle tension.
Unlike the decompression belt, foam rolling allows you to gently yet firmly get rid of that muscle tension by massaging and moving your entire back.
Makes more sense, doesn’t it.. Simply sitting around in a brace will ultimately not relieve you of your muscle aches. Whereas with a foam roller you are literally working to get all those kinks and tension out.
You’re re-educating your muscles and spine and reminding them how each muscle should behave with every move. My recommendation is to forget the over-expensive back brace (that won’t do a darn thing) and work with the foam roller for about 20 minutes a day. Use that along with the proper exercises and stretches and you should be back on your feet and painless in no time! 🙂