Lumbar support for the lower back is the routine recommendation of physicians, chiropractors, and physical therapists for relieving back pain while driving. However, one health professional challenging the effectiveness of lumbar support is former Mayo Clinic physical therapist Dennis Zacharkow. First addressing the problems with lumbar support in his 1988 textbook Posture: Sitting, Standing, Chair Design & Exercise, Zacharkow maintains the solution to drivers’ back pain is proper stabilization for the pelvis and rib cage, while leaving the lower back unsupported.
Based on his research on sitting posture, Zacharkow developed a dual back support concept called Sacral-Lower Thoracic Support. One support is positioned just below the lower back against the sacrum. This sacral support stabilizes the pelvis from the constant vibration and road shock of driving, a major cause of low back pain.
A second support is positioned just below the shoulder blades against the lower part of the thoracic spine. By elevating the rib cage, this lower thoracic support corrects the typical slumped driving posture. Lower thoracic support is the key to relieving upper back and neck pain, and reducing the downward pressure on the lower back, he says.
According to Zacharkow, “Lumbar support actually increases stress to the back and neck because it is positioned too low for elevating the rib cage and correcting a slumped driving posture, and it is positioned too high for properly stabilizing the pelvis from the constant vibration and road shock of driving.”
Years of prototype testing by Zacharkow in adapting his concept to maximally benefit drivers resulted in the creation of YogaBack™. YogaBack is a multi-adjustable, dual back support cushion to modify the backrests of cars, trucks, vans, SUVs, and motorhomes. Height and depth adjustability of YogaBack’s two support pads assures a custom fit for the driver, regardless of body type, height, or sex.
However, with his special interest in the overlooked women’s health issues associated with driving, Zacharkow is particularly pleased that the Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy praised YogaBack as, “Finally, an easy to use, effective back support designed for women.”
For more information on YogaBack, healthy driving posture, and the problems with lumbar support, visit www.yogaback.com.
[SOURCE: PR Web, October 2006]