Back Pain Relief Devices – Part 2

by admin on December 20, 2010

As promised, here is the follow up to Part One of Devices for Back Pain Relief, where we review a few more of the available products relevant to spinal stenosis.

The BackJoy Core – What is it?

The BackJoy Core is a cushion-like product that works to correct posture whilst sitting. The idea is that it tilts the pelvis forward causing the spine to fall into a neutral position thus easing pain from abnormal posture.  Improvements in posture can relieve pressure on the back and neck with benefits of improved circulation, easier breathing, better concentration, and relief of back and neck pain.

Does it Work?

The BackJoy Core is likely to be beneficial if a patient’s spinal problems and back pain result from poor posture.  It can be used on any sitting surface, whether a hard dining chair, or soft comfy sofa to correct the posture without any effort on the patient’s part.  The weight-bearing bones are then used to establish a neutral seating position rather than overtaxing the muscles in the back and neck.  This may, eventually lead to correct posture becoming the norm for a patient, even without the BackJoy Core present.

The reduction in spinal compression means that the pressure on the discs and nerves is reduced with benefits for back pain relief, and reduction in the likelihood of bulging discs and herniation which are often present in spinal stenosis.  There may be some issues with finding the ‘comfort spot’ when first using the product (make sure to read the instruction manual), and some initial discomfort can occur as the body becomes used to correct posture after, in most cases, years sitting incorrectly.  It does seem to provide a helpful solution for the majority of people who have used the BackJoy Core, but the cost is a little prohibitive for a seemingly simple device.

Nubax Trio

The Nubax Trio is a relatively new product originating in Australia, which aims to help decompress the spine without having to hang upside down on an inversion table. The manufacturers claim that just six minutes a day can alleviate both chronic and acute back pain in a large number of cases.  It has the advantages of being lightweight compared to the inversion tables available, and, perhaps, slightly easier and safer, to use.  It is also more appropriate for those with diabetes, high blood pressure, and feelings of dizziness who may be unable to use an inversion table.  This is only beneficial for the lower spine, however, and will not make much difference to cervical spinal stenosis.

Does it Work?

The Nubax Trio may have a greater initial impact than an inversion table, so approach the device with caution and gradually build up the level of decompression.  The spine is placed in a neutral position by the device and is square to the shoulders and hips, ensuring no risk of additional injury.  It is also much easier to extract oneself from than an inversion table.  As this is a new product it appears that there are some issues that need rectifying to ensure its usefulness for the majority of users. Those with longer arms may find it uncomfortable to use, and it appears that there are some problems with actually delivering the product with all the requisite parts and the quality of those parts when they do all arrive.  Perhaps this is one to watch in the future once Nubax have ironed out their issues.

TENS Machine – What is it?

Transcutaneous Electronic Nerve Stimulation, or TENS in short, is a therapy that has been around for many years and has been used in myriad conditions including spinal stenosis and back pain.  It works by passing a small electric current between two electrodes at differing intensities and frequencies in an attempt to stimulate the nerves which are responsible for muscle innervation.  The stimulation of these long nerve fibres has the effect of reducing pain signals transmitted by the short nerve fibres, thereby reducing pain.

Does it Work?

Thousands of people over many years have used TENS units, either at home or in the chiropractor’s office.  There are many happy customers who find that the device can allow their muscles to relax and thereby relief tension and pain which may prohibit normal daily activities in conditions such as sciatica, arthritis, and spinal stenosis.  Chronic back pain is the most likely reason that people purchase a TENS unit, although it may provide relief for acute back pain symptoms too.

The units vary in the controls and the number of electrode pads included, with a low cost version around $30, and the top-range models around $100.  The more expensive models tend to have eight pads, and the more economical models four.  Initially the patient is advised to set the TENS unit on a low setting and build up the intensity of the current gradually so as not to get a shock the first time using it.  These units are easy to tailor to individual needs and can be worn all day to provide pain relief.

Other back pain relief devices, such as the SpoonkRider, Inversion Tables, Spine-Worx, and Back Magic are covered in Back Pain Relief Devices Part One.

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