Lumbar back support products are designed to help prevent neck and back pain, which can lead to pain in other parts of the body as well. Many of these products are pillows or cushions that offer additional support when you are seated for long periods of time.
The lumbar region of the spine is usually referred to as the lower back. It is the area just above your tailbone and below the thoracic (middle back) region. The lumbar area includes your spine and all the muscles, ligaments and tendons surrounding your spine. If your ligaments are pulled or torn, you will experience a lumbar sprain or strain, which can lead to muscle spasms and significant pain in your lower back. In addition, this can lead to subluxations (spinal misalignments) which disrupt normal function in your body.
What can cause lumbar sprains, strains & subluxations? Poor posture, poor lifting technique, obesity, and other health-related factors can contribute. In fact, sitting for long periods without lumbar support can itself aggravate lumbar pain. Finally, one of the greatest contributors to back pain is using the wrong type of chair for your body. Surfaces that are too hard or too soft do not encourage proper posture and do not provide adequate support for your back.
As they say, “Sitting to the spine, is just like sugar to the teeth.”
80% of us will experience back pain at some point in our lives. And this can be debilitating. So preventing these problems with a good lumbar support is essential, especially if you spend significant amounts of time sitting down.
The first step to choosing the right lumbar support is to ensure that it fits perfectly in the chair you spend the most time in. Another option is to choose an ergonomically designed chair that includes a built-in lumbar support, or an individual lumbar support that is specifically designed to be used with your chair.
I personally use the “Back Vitalizer” and recommend it to my patients. It is flexible, but still supports the back. It is portable and lightweight and is easily custom-fit to the necessary support level of each individual. And, I like it because it is more of a functional support that allows your muscles to be activated while using it – rather than immobilized.
It’s a good idea to test the any product before you buy it. If you can, sit with the lumbar support for at least 15 minutes to see if it feels good or aggravates back pain. The best lumbar supports are adjustable. Ergonomic chairs with lumbar supports included usually allow you to adjust the height and width of the support. Adjustable separate supports are particularly useful if you use more than one chair throughout the day.
If you have any questions or would like to be fitted for a lumbar support – contact us, we’re here to help!
Dr. Joel Fugleberg