Chiropractors and physical therapists recommend lumbar support pillows or cushions to relieve lower back pain when sitting long-term or driving for hours on end. It will help support you with your posture when you tend to slump over at the lower back area when sitting. Most ergonomically designed office chairs simply do not work to support the lumbar area of your back. Use it for your chair, in your recliner, sofa, wheelchair, and vehicles.
Muscle strains are the most common cause of low back pain. Patients may or may not remember the initial event that triggered their muscle spasm, but the good news is that most of back pain from muscle strains resolve completely within a few weeks.
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^ Lee, CS; Hwang, CJ; Lee, DH; Kim, YT; Lee, HS (March 2011). Fusion rates of instrumented lumbar spinal arthrodesis according to surgical approach: a systematic review of randomized trials. Clinics in orthopedic surgery. 3 (1): 39–47. doi:10.4055/cios.2011.3.1.39. PMC 3042168 . PMID 21369477.
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Ibuprofen (Advil, Nuprin, or Motrin), available over the counter, is an excellent medication for the short-term treatment of low back pain. Because of the risk of ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding, talk with your doctor about using this medication for a long time.
Epidural steroid injections are a commonly used short-term option for treating low back pain and sciatica associated with inflammation. Pain relief associated with the injections, however, tends to be temporary and the injections are not advised for long-term use. An NIH-funded randomized controlled trial assessing the benefit of epidural steroid injections for the treatment of chronic low back pain associated with spinal stenosis showed that long-term outcomes were worse among those people who received the injections compared with those who did not.
In addition to back and abdominal supports we also carry men’s and women’s orthotics. These cushions for your feet can sometimes offer immediate relief. Back pain relief tablets may relieve some discomfort as can heat therapy such as heating pads. There are also pain relieving gels, patches and creams.
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Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans are a highly detailed test and are very expensive. The test does not use X-rays but very strong magnets to produce images. Their routine use is discouraged in acute back pain unless a condition is present that may require immediate surgery, such as with cauda equina syndrome or when red flags are present and suggest infection of the spinal canal, bone infection, tumor, or fracture.
While past authors have advocated the quantitative assessment of comfort through CoP shifting , the current study employed a novel method of determining CoP shift  and its potential to represent the full range relationship of comfort to posture remains to be explored.
Exercise. Regular low-impact aerobic activities — those that don’t strain or jolt your back — can increase strength and endurance in your back and allow your muscles to function better. Walking and swimming are good choices. Talk with your doctor about which activities are best for you.
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Blood tests are not routinely used to diagnose the cause of back pain; however in some cases they may be ordered to look for indications of inflammation, infection, and/or the presence of arthritis. Potential tests include complete blood count, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and C-reactive protein. Blood tests may also detect HLA-B27, a genetic marker in the blood that is more common in people with ankylosing spondylitis or reactive arthritis (a form of arthritis that occurs following infection in another part of the body, usually the genitourinary tract).
^ Dagenais, S; Mayer, J; Wooley, J; Haldeman, S (2008). Evidence-informed management of chronic low back pain with medicine-assisted manipulation. The Spine Journal. 8 (1): 142–9. doi:10.1016/j.spinee.2007.09.010. PMID 18164462.
Hot and Cold Therapy: Many people seek immediate relief from severe back pain, by placing a hot water bag on the area. This normally gets rid of the pain within a short while. It has been seen that applying an ice pack on the back can also bring about the same results.
Most back pain is relieved within a few days to a couple of weeks with simple treatment. When back pain persists beyond 2 to 4 weeks — which is chronic, persistent back pain — further medical evaluation is required. This evaluation focuses on a careful assessment of the patient’s medical history and a thorough physical examination to identify, if possible, a precise cause of the pain. In rare cases, cancer or an infection is found. More commonly, the pain is related to the spinal joints, discs, or supporting muscles of the back.
^ a b Chou, R; Shekelle, P (2010). Will this patient develop persistent disabling low back pain?. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association. 303 (13): 1295–302. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.344. PMID 20371789.
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Dr. McGill says, “The first step in any exercise progression is to remove the cause of the pain. For example, flexion-intolerant backs are very common. Eliminating spinal flexion exercises (like sit-ups, crunches, and burpees), particularly in the morning when the disks are swollen after bed rest, has proven very effective with this type of issue.”
THE TAKEAWAY: You are not doomed by your MRI. Many people with abnormal results are pain free. According to a 2009 research review published in The Lancet, clinicians should refrain from routine, immediate lumbar imaging in patients with LBP without features suggesting a serious underlying condition. For you, that means asking your doctor about what other diagnostic avenues he or she will use besides an MRI. Especially if you’re hearing about your MRI results and the word “surgery” comes up.
^ French, SD.; Cameron, M.; Walker, BF.; Reggars, JW.; Esterman, AJ. (2006). Superficial heat or cold for low back pain. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (1): CD004750. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD004750.pub2. PMID 16437495.
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Twenty eight male participants (14 healthy individuals and 14 patients with LBP) between the ages of 21–50 were asked to participate in the study. Healthy individuals consisted of those who were free of LBP for the six months previous to the study, whereas patients with LBP had a history of LBP for at least three consecutive days over the last three consecutive weeks prior to testing. Individuals with a known neurological disorder, scoliosis or other deformity, inflammatory or degenerative arthropathy, connective tissue disease, or a history of spinal surgery were excluded from the study. Individuals with current or previous neck pain in the past three weeks were also excluded. Participants were asked to avoid engaging in any type of resistive exercise for the 48 hours prior to testing. All participants signed the informed consent form. The procedures used were in accordance with the institutional research ethics board. The clinical trial was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT00754585). Data were collected in the Biomechanics and Elastography laboratory at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC).
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PELVIC TILT: Many health professionals believe that anterior pelvic tilt and increased lumbar lordosis indicate abdominal weakness and overly strong (or tight) hip flexors. But, according to a 2004 study in the Internet Journal of Allied Health Science and Practice, there is no relationship between lumbar lordosis and isometric strength of the trunk flexors, trunk extensors, and hip flexors and extensors. Several other studies have also had similar findings.
A good lumbar support is quite simple. It should be comfortable, and beneficial to the health of your back. However, as simple as these requirements are, the back itself is a complicated place. There are a wide variety of reasons for people to seek lumbar support, and these reasons stem from complications deriving from lumbar related back problems.
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Although back pain is does not typically cause permanent disability, it is a significant contributor to physician visits and missed work days in the United States, and is the single leading cause of disability worldwide. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons report approximately 12 million visits to doctor’s offices each year are due to back pain. Missed work and disability related to low back pain costs over $50 billion each year in the United States. In the United Kingdom in 1998, approximately £1.6 billion per year was spent on expenses related to disability from back pain.
Similar to previous studies investigating healthy individuals [15,16], the results of this study indicated that a lumbar support pad was better at increasing (or preserving) the natural lumbar lordosis in sitting in both healthy individuals and patients with LBP. However, the reverse was seen in the thoracolumbar spine, whereby the neutral curvature was increased with the support pad compared to the standard chair. This is not surprising given the closed-chain nature of the seated task. Changes in one region of the spine may be compensated for by changes in other regions along the linked kinetic chain . Furthermore, use of the lumbar pillow often did not allow participants to make contact with the upper part of the back rest, which may account for the thoracolumbar change. Measures of comfort were not negatively affected, suggesting that any compensations that were employed may have been acceptable.
When comparing VAS scores between the lumbar support and standard chair conditions, a difference was seen only in the neck region in the LBP group (p = 0.045). The VAS was lower with the lumbar support than with the standard chair. However, due to the potential inflation of Type I error (falsely concluding a significant effect) due to the testing being done at seven different sites for each group, when proper adjustment is made for multiple testing using Holm’s method, the neck region does not achieve statistical significance. The unadjusted means and standard deviations for the VAS scores for level of discomfort are summarized in Tables 3 and and44.
^ Verdu, Bénédicte; Decosterd, Isabelle; Buclin, Thierry; Stiefel, Friedrich; Berney, Alexandre (2008-01-01). Antidepressants for the treatment of chronic pain. Drugs. 68 (18): 2611–2632. doi:10.2165/0003495-200868180-00007. ISSN 0012-6667. PMID 19093703.