Lumbar support is the process of providing adequate support to the muscles and skeletal structure of the lower back. In many instances, the focus of the support is on providing adequate support for the lower back while the individual is in a seated position. However, there are other devices that may lend support to the back while an individual is standing or walking.
Perhaps the most common device for lumbar support in use today is the computer or office chair. Chairs of this type often feature a back and seat that is structured to conform to the proper alignment of the lower back and relieve stress on the muscles located in the area. These chairs are extremely helpful for people who spend the majority of their work day at a desk or in a cubicle. People who perform most of their tasks on a computer can especially benefit from chairs that provide adequate back support.
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Along with chairs, there are cushions and pillows that help to provide lumbar support. Like the office chairs, these types of devices help to minimize or alleviate stress on the muscles of the lower back and prevent a great deal of pain. One advantage to pillows and cushions providing lumbar support is they are portable. The pillows can be taken along and help with back pain in any situation where the individual will be in a seated position for an extended period of time. The cushions work well for people driving long distances, or passengers on a train or plane. They are even helpful when attending a sporting event where the primary seating is wooden or concrete bleachers.
A third alternative device for achieving lumbar support is the belt. Lumbar belts are usually anywhere from four to eight inches wide. Most designs are constructed to fit easily under the clothing, making it possible to wear the belt in just about any situation. Thicker belts of this type are often employed as a safety measure for warehouse workers, truckers, and others who may be required to lift heavy loads as part of their daily work routine. The belts make it harder to strain the muscles of the lower back while engaged in lifting.
The importance of proper lumbar support cannot be underestimated. Damage to the musculature in the lumbar area can result in excruciating pain. In addition, the damage may ultimately lead to a decreased capacity to walk, even possibly causing paralysis if enough damage is done to the area. For anyone who notices slight twinges of pain in the lower back, taking steps to secure some type of back support could make a substantial impact on the quality of life in future years.