The quality of the Velcro fasteners on Brand “A” is good. Same goes for the 8-inch extension piece, good Velcro. Although we don’t care for the plastic bases of the air hose base on the inside of the belt which can possibly irritate the skin when worn over time.
The stitching quality and finish work on the DDS 500 and its Velcro fasteners was the top of the class. We found no rough seams and we are particularly fond of the stretchy auxiliary strap which helps patients adorn the brace correctly. The craftsmanship of the “8-inch” extension piece is identical to the craftsmanship of the DDS 500 brace, well made. The inner lining of the DDS 500 is 100% cotton lending to a comfortable overall wearing experience.
Definitely the best of the pack, the DDS 500’s pump is heavy duty, features a sleek, easy-to-grip design, pumps notably easy and has a clearly marked, easy-to-read pressure gauge so the user can easily tell when to stop pumping. On average it took us about 13 pumps to achieve the desired PSI. The spring-loaded clamp is easy to attach as well. The DDS 500 also comes with a 6 inch extension air hose, simply unscrew the air valve off, screw on the extension air hose in its place and you have as an option a longer air hose to work with, this is ideal for patients who lack manual dexterity and need to get a visual or for patients who require more working room to attach the hand air pump spring loaded clamp, once the patients is done inflating the brace they simply remove the spring loaded clamp and tuck the air hose in between their body and the brace.
Brand “A’s” foot pump is similar to the ones that come with Brace “D” & “F”. Each has a max pressure release valve to prevent over inflation, but no actual gauge so the patient knows when to stop pumping. Additionally, we found the foot pump to be a bit unstable (easily flipped while pumping). Our biggest concern with the foot pump is the difficulty of use for a patient suffering from low back pain or sciatica, depending on the severity of back pain, sometimes just taking that next step is all you can muster up let alone a repetitive pumping action, particularly with older patients who may have limited leg mobility to start with. We do like the long air hose, however we wish it had a pocket to tuck it into to preventing it from dangling.
The DDS Panels are form fitting just as most of the others are. The front panel attaches via a Velcrostrip. The rear panel has two slots on either side through which the brace threads through.
Brand “A’s” rigid panels are made out of a hard plastic with a thread slot on either side of the posterior panel for the brace to slide through and a large oval hole in its center. The anterior panel has a Velcro piece located in its center and secured by rivets on each of the four corners.
Brand “A”, like most other Spinal-Air Decompression braces on the market, lacks any kind of lumbar curve, which enhances the anterior curvature of the lumbar spine, significantly aids in the overall distraction force and ultimately the decompression effect. We see this as a major design flaw in all of the copycat braces.
The lumbar curve is where the DDS 500 simply outshines its competitors. It is the only brace ofthose tested that has any degree of lumbar curve designed into the belt as shown in the photo above.Not only does this design feature enhance the anterior curvature of the lumbar spine promoting proper lordodic curvature increasing the brace’s decompression effectiveness, the primary reason for the lumbar curve or concave design engineered into the DDS 500 brace is that it is designed to target the L5-S1 area of the spine, which is where 86% of all low back disc issues occur.
We found Brand “A” to be extremely similar in craftsmanship, material and design to Brand “B”, “D” & “F”, all of which are manufactured in China, we attempted to find out if they all came from the same factory with the main difference of the braces having just a different brand label on them, however we unable to come to a conclusion on this. As with the other three braces that come from China, the quality of material and durability of the overall brace is lacking. We like the longer air connect hose but there is no way to secure it, so it just hangs there and dangles. Like all the other braces in the test group, Brand “A” lacks the integrated lumbar curve in its design.
Years on the Market: 9
Warranty: 1 YEAR
Sizes: Small - 7XL
Satisfaction Guarantee: 30 DAYS
Years on the Market: ?
Warranty: 1 YEAR
Satisfaction Guarantee: ?
The DDS 500 is the original spinal air decompression lumbar brace and it is without question still the best. Its material and craftsmanship are top notch, its pump is the most user friendly and we found it to be the most comfortable to wear. The most impressive design feature of the DDS 500 is it lumbar curve which allows it to form fit to the natural curve of the human spine promoting proper lordodic curve as well as maximizing the brace’s distractive force, which is the purpose of the brace to begin with.