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The Lumbar Roll - Remedy for Back Pain

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Vishwas Virmani 90% (26284 ratings)
Physiotherapist, Noida  •  22 years experience
The Lumbar Roll - Remedy for Back Pain

The Lumbar Roll

  • As few seats of chairs provide adequate support for the lower back, a portable lumbar roll is essential equipment for people with ongoing back problems. When sitting on a seat with a backrest(supported sitting), a lumbar roll will facilitate the maintenance of a correct lordosis and posture.A lumbar roll is a support specially designed for the low back.
  • Without this support,the low back will slouch when ever you are distracted or cease to concentrate on anything other than holding the lordosis actively with your own muscles-for example, when talking, reading, writing, watching television or driving your car. To counteract this slouching you must place a lumbar roll in the small of your back at the level of your belt line whenever you sit in an easy chair ,car or office chair.
  • The lumbar roll should be no more than 4 to 5 inches in diameter before being compressed and should be moderately filled with foam so that under compression its diameter reduces to about 1.5 inches. A cushion does not serve the same purpose as it has the wrong shape and does not provide adequate pressure at the precise level of the low back. A regular cushion should not be relied upon for long-term... use but may be of some assistance in an emergency.
  • The aim is  first to restore the correct posture and then to maintain it. It may take up to a week of practice to master this fully. As a rule, pain of postural origin will decrease as your sitting posture improves, and you will have no pain once you maintain the correct posture. The pain will readily recur in the first few weeks should you allow yourself to slouch while sitting. 
  • Eventually you will remain completely pain free even when you forget your posture; however, never again should you allow yourself to sit slouched for long periods.When first starting these procedures to correct your sitting posture, you will experience some new pains. These are different from your original pain and may be felt in other places. 
  • New pains are the result of performing new exercises and maintaining new positions; they should be expected and will wear off in a few days,provided postural correction is continued on a regular basis. Once you have become used to sitting correctly you will enjoy it and will soon notice the reduction or absence of pain and the improved comfort. From then on you will automatically choose chairs that allow you to sit correctly.
  • Regular Interruption of Prolonged Sitting

          Travelling for long distances by bus, car or airplane, especially when sitting in a cramped seat and without regular breaks which permit you to restore the lordosis, may cause a gradual and progressive attack of low back pain or may aggravate existing problems. Nearly everyone will be aware of some stiffness or discomfort in the low back after an uninterrupted car ride of a few hours. If you already have back problems, such a journey may be a risk situation for you. If you are the driver yourself, the risk is even greater.In order to minimise the risks of prolonged sitting, it is necessary that you interrupt sitting at regular intervals and before pain starts.For example, when undertaking long car journeys, you should stop the car every hour, get out and bend backward five or six times and walk about for a few minutes. This will reduce the pressure within the discs and relieve the stresses on the surrounding tissues. As airlines continue to provide seating calculated to damage the human spine, you should, when flying long distances, regularly stand and walk up and down the aisle of the plane. This is not only important for the sake of your back but is also necessary to assist in the stimulation of the circulation in the legs. These are simple measures you can take that will significantly reduce the risk of another episode of back pain.


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