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.
Brace “D” features adequate Velcro fastening and its stitching is on par with Braces “A”, “B” and “F” which makes sense since we believe they all come from the same manufacturer in China. We like the longer air hose Brace “D” has making it easier for patients to access it when it comes time to pump the brace up. We also like the integrated pocket into which the extended air hose can tuck. The other model we tested that had the longer air hose left the wearer no option but to leave it dangling. We do not like the plastic bases that house the air hose, we feel they can be easily damaged
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.
As with the four other braces with a foot style pump, our concern is with the stability and ease of use for aging patients and/or patients with limited and painful movement. We also don’t care for the way the pump hose and the brace hose attach. While all other braces in our test group use a spring loaded clamp that works rather well, Brace “D” requires the patient to manually screw the two parts together, another difficult task for those with limited manual dexterity. Additional, the only way to release air from the brace is to use the tethered air release key, hopefully the key that is attached to the tether never gets lose.
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 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.
The panels for Brace “D” are the typical contoured hard plastic with slits on either side of the posterior panel. The anterior panel lacks any method whatsoever of attaching it to the brace leaving us to wonder how it is to stay in place as the patient moves about.
Again, like all of the other braces in our test group other than the DDS, Brace “D” lacks any sort of lumbar curvature designed into the brace. Though this feature may not be necessary to get “some” traction effect, it is necessary to get maximum traction effect, promote proper lordodic curvature etc.
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.
This brace in our opinion is one of the four braces that we believe come from the same manufacturer in China with just a different label on it. Of the 6 bracing companies with decompression braces in our test, none has done a better job at marketing its brand to the retail crowd than Brace “D”. We can’t even begin to tell you how many times we have been asked about how Brace “D” compares to the DDS 500. Is its popularity good enough to give Brace “D” top scores in our test? No, but there is one thing that we did like about this brace and that is the extra flange into which the air receiver hose can tuck into, however we don’t really care for the automobile-tire-like air nozzle this brace uses, more on that later.
Years on the Market: ?
Warrenty: 1 YEAR
Satisgaction Guarantee: ?