We found the quality of the Velcro fasteners including the stitching to be adequate. Comfort wise, we have two complaints: First is the plastic base for the air-intake nozzle located on the interior of the brace. Though it does have smooth, rounded corners and the relatively shallow in profile, the idea of having a hard protruding piece rubbing up against the skin is of concern. We also didn’t like the coarseness of the backside of the Velcro. Both of these may cause unnecessary skin irritation or discomfort
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.
The pump left us scratching our heads. While it is marked with a sticker on the inside of the pump’s metal slider stating that it self releases at 15 psi (the bladder’s “full” psi), it also states right below that not to over inflate. Confusing. Additionally, without at visual gauge, how does one know when to stop pumping? We got up to 90 strokes before we gave up on guessing. That’s a lot of work and confusion for an aging patient. Connecting the pump to the nozzle was one positive aspect of this brace, we did like the fact that the air nozzle protrudes from its base by an inch and a half making for an easier, less cramp connection..
Brace “B” has fairly comfortable rigid panels. This is due to the interior foam padding, however on the down side, the padding is not durable at all and is easily damaged/scuffed.
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 “B”, like all of the braces in this test group, lacks any kind of lumbar curve. Its design is virtually straight up and down as pictured above. In its user manual, they actually claim a reverse lumbar curve, or a “D” shape as opposed to the spine’s natural “C” shape. They say this is in order to properly fit in with the structure and shape of the back, which does not make much logical sense to us at all.
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.
Brace “B” is one of 4 braces in this report which appear to be made by the same manufacturer in China with Just a different label on it. The overall quality of material and durability of this brace and its components are lacking, including the lack of lumbar curve in its design, however the slightly extended air valve stem did make it easier to attach the air pump hose to the nozzle..
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.
Years on the Market: 3
Warranty: 1 YEAR
Satisfaction Guarantee: ?
Years on the Market: 9
Warranty: 1 YEAR
Sizes: Small - 7XL
Satisfaction Guarantee: 30 DAYS