Using Technology To Help Chronic Back Pain: A Physical Therapist’s Thoughts on Lumo Lift
I was fortunately gifted a Lumo Lift a few weeks ago. Lumo Lift is a small device that clips onto your shirt and it uses subtle vibrations to remind you to straighten up when you slumping into poor posture. You can also customize your experience—from a 3 second vibration delay to 10 minutes— set goals, and track your physical activity through the Lumo Lift App. I instantly took it out of the box, downloaded the app and followed the simple setup instructions. I wore the Lift all day for three consecutive days and tracked my steps per day and posture. Then I passed off Lumo Lift to one of my patients suffering from chronic low back pain.
Why Exercise Isn’t Always Enough For Back Pain
I often tell my patients that they need to incorporate a systems based approach to stopping their low back pain. Specific exercises are important to gain the flexibility, strength and coordination needed to facilitate proper posture with sitting, standing, bending, sports performance, etc. However, my professional opinion is that exercise alone does very little to keep lower back pain from reoccurring.
Ultimately most chronic back pain cases persist because patients are constantly causing irritation to their lumbar spine without realizing it. Poor posture is the number one cause of back pain. Bone spurs and disc bulges are now largely believed to be predictable responses to the way we distribute forces across our spine. Research tells us that sitting in a chair and slouching puts a lot of pressure on our spines. Not surprisingly, most patients with back pain say that sitting causes more pain than standing.
The Patient’s Result
My patient with low back pain wore the Lumo Lift for five days and very surprised at how often he was falling into poor postures. He believes that the gentle vibration from Lumo Lift has in fact decreased his lower back pain and made him more mindful of his positioning.
I plan on continuing to send patients home with Lumo Lift. I always tell my patients—it only takes one unfortunate episode of slouching or bending over the wrong way to set off an episode of acute back pain.
Lumo Lift seems like an easy, consumer friendly way to help reinforce proper static seated and standing postures.