The Study: Effect of gel seat cushion on chronic low back pain in occupational drivers: A double-blind randomized controlled trial.
a. The authors note that low back pain is a very common condition.
b. Also the act of sitting for extended periods of time is a common aggravating factor.
c. The authors looked at subjects who drove for a living and had suffered from low back pain for more that 6 months.
d. One group was given foam cushions and one was given gel cushions to use while driving.
e. Both groups showed improvement in the Numeric Pain Intensity Scale and the Oswestry Disability Index.
f. But the improvement in the Numeric Pain Intensity Scale was significantly better for the gel cushion group.
g. The authors thought that there might be multiple reasons that the gel cushion showed improvement in the low back pain. First was an improvement in posture. Second was a reduction of vibration. Third the authors thought that the cushion may have contributed to muscle relaxation.
Both cushions resulted in less pain but the gel cushion produced better results.
I thought that it was interesting that the first item as to why the authors felt that there may have been pain reduction was an improvement in posture even though both cushions were flat. Once again structural alignment appears to be an important clinical consideration for many outside of chiropractic. But I would note that it would appear that a cushion that is shaped with the express purpose of improving posture would logically have more postural effect than a flat cushion. Read the article and decide for yourself.
Reviewer: Roger Coleman DC
Editor: Mark R. Payne DC
Reference: Lee JW, Lim YH, Won YH, Kim DH. Effect of gel seat cushion on chronic low back pain in occupational drivers: A double-blind randomized controlled trial. Medicine (Baltimore). 2018 Oct;97(40):e12598. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000012598
Link to Abstract: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30290629