Why is sitting painful?
If sitting creates back discomfort you have a highly sensitized back, or tissue damage, or both. Avoiding this pain trigger will reduce the pain sensitivity. Avoidance of the pain triggers is part of the documented strategy to de-sensitize back pain throughout the day as evidenced in Back Mechanic.
Sitting causes the low back to flex which is normally not an issue. But modern life has increased sitting time at work, on the road, and at home. Soon sitting at the computer becomes uncomfortable. We call this the flexion intolerant back. Specific low back tissues become stressed and sensitized, in particular the spine discs and ligaments. Sitting upright to restore the natural curves to the spine relieves this stress. But it “costs” in terms of muscle work resulting in those muscles to tire and allow the spine to slouch. This increases disc and ligament stress. Reducing stresses in the back associated with sitting not only makes sitting more comfortable, but it helps build more capacity for pain-free movement throughout the day.
The objective is make sitting a dynamic activity with frequent posture change and support the natural curve of the low back.
Reduce the pain. Make sitting a dynamic task.
The ideal sitting posture is one that continually changes. The EmbraceAir and LumbAir dynamic sitting supports (shown below) use the latest science to ensure minimal stress on the low back tissues, and to provide for posture change. Using an inflatable bladder the user increases or decreases the lumbar support. This measurably reduces stress. The inflation/deflation pump facilitates easy pressure change to create regular posture change. (Evidence and explanations are in Dr. McGill’s textbooks). Static back rests simply cannot provide these advantages.
Even with the dynamic sitting supports, those who have back pain exacerbated from sitting generally are able to reduce disc annulus stresses with the following exercise (shown in picture, source: Back Mechanic ). Stand up out of the chair, reach for the ceiling, then push for the ceiling with the hands, then fully and deeply inhale. This process should take about half a minute. Gentle and progressive extension of the lumbar spine is achieved dispelling the accumulated stresses.
For use at work, in the car, watching TV...
The LumbAir was designed to be portable for use at work, in the car, and on airplanes. In fact we did a study of airline seats noting the absence of lumbar support, and how the LumbAir measurably reduces spinal disc stress. The EmbraceAir was designed to provide more support for watching TV, and in helping those with shorter thighs to achieve more comfort and support. The pneumatic bladder support is strategically adjusted within the frame to fit all body types.
Dynamic Lumbar Supports
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The EmbraceAirPlus incorporates an air bladder that is easily positioned with a vertical adjustment within the back frame. This optimizes the fit for each person. The inflatable bladder helps people to achieve relieving postures and changes in posture throughout the day, and to enhance back health for those who sit.
The EmbraceAirPlus is made with exclusive fabric that is immune to bacteria, fungus and body odour. It is guaranteed for one year against defects in materials and workmanship. The valves are guaranteed for life. The foam is engineered to last 15 years. These products are flame retardant, exceeding California standards.
Dimensions: 2 inches thick, 20.5 tall, 19.5 wide, weight 3.5 pounds.
This product is available only in black colour.
The LumbAir is a lumbar support that also promotes ideal posture and posture changes. It is easy to carry for use in cars, airplanes, theatres, or for home use.
The LumbAir is made with exclusive fabric that is immune to bacteria, fungus and body odour. It is guaranteed for one year against defects in materials and workmanship. The valves are guaranteed for life. The foam is engineered to last 15 years. These products are flame retardant, exceeding California standards.
Dimensions: 2 x 10.5 x 7 inches, Weight: 0.5 pound
PropAir ~ Increasing back comfort in bed
Recently, this same air bladder technology has been shown to reduce disc stress while sleeping. This resulted in the “PropAir sleeper.”
Lying on the back causes the low back to flatten to the mattress causing spine flexion. Many people have flexion-triggered pain making back sleeping painful. Pain will increase your sensitivity to more pain during the day – eliminating pain while lying will help wind down your pain sensitivity.
Take the test: To assess whether the Propair will help you try this. Place the hands palms down under the low back while lying. If comfort is increased, then the support provided by the PropAir will enhance your sleeping comfort. Some type of back pain will not be helped with the PropAir for example certain conditions of stenosis and spondylolisthesis.
Others will find relief while side lying by placing the PropAir between the ribcage and hip to avoid painful side bending.
The optimal level of support is tuned to any mattress, or spine shape, using the hand activated air pump. The plush velour material against the person and the silk material interface with the bed sheets facilitates easy sliding and turning.