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.
The touch and feel of the materials used on Brace “C” seem nice (better than the four braces manufactured in China which seem “plasticy”). Its “feel” is akin to DDS’s. Perhaps that is because both Brace “C” and the DDS 500 are manufactured in S. Korea. Unfortunately the “feel” is all Brace “C” has in common with the DDS 500. On other fronts such as stitching and seam work, Brace “C” falls short of the mark. It’s not that the craftsmanship is of Cracker Jack box quality, it’s just that comparatively the stitching seems sloppy to the others. We do like the stretchy accessory strap and the fact that there are no interior protruding plastic parts.
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.
The rigid panels provided with Brace “C” are pathetic to say the least. They are not much stiffer than cardboard (ours actually creased down the center during the test) and the stretchy straps used to hold the panels to the brace are cheap and flimsy. The front panel, well we could not figure out how to attach the front panel to the brace, and there was nothing in the instructions about this at all, Not good!
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 looks to be one of the best features of Brace “C”...or at least it could have been. We are sure it was just an anomaly, but the pump that came with the brace broke as we were in the process of inflating the brace. We had to finish the job using the DDS pump. Otherwise we had high hopes for the pump with its feel and functionality, and out of all the other braces it was the only other pump with an air gauge. The clamping of the hand pump air hose to the brace air valve also seemed to be good too. The other thing that did confuse us about this brace as well was how to deflate the brace, other than using your finger nail to push down on the air valve stem to release the air we didn’t seem to find another way.
Brace “C” not only lacks a lumbar curve designed into its posture, it actually has a reverse curve when fully inflated off body. At 8 inches tall, however, the Disk Belt is the tallest of the braces we tested. This may offer increased support or it may be too cumbersome and uncomfortable for patients no taller than 5 feet 4 inches
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.
Years on the Market: 9
Warranty: 1 YEAR
Sizes: Small - 7XL
Satisfaction Guarantee: 30 DAYS
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.
Brace “C” gets only one star rating due to several factors the most pitiful of which is its rigid supportpanels. Like all other braces in our test group with the exception of the DDS 500, the Disk Belt lacks a lumbar curve in its design. The brace itself seems to be of average quality, but we did notice somewhat sloppy stitching and finish workmanship. Its pump looks like one of the nicer ones, on par look and feel wise with the DDS 500’s pump, however we started to use it to inflate the brace to begin our evaluation and the pump broke, we used the DDS 500 pump to complete our evaluation.
Years on the Market: ?
Warranty: 1 YEAR
Satisfaction Guarantee: ?