What is lumbar support?

Lumbar support is the process of providing adequate support to the muscles and skeletal structure of the lower back. In many cases, the goal of lumbar support is to provide adequate support for the lower back while the individual is sitting. However, there are other devices that can support the back while a person 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 adjust for proper lower back alignment and relieve stress on the muscles located in the area. These chairs are extremely useful for people who spend most of their work day at a desk or in a cubicle. People who do most of their work at a computer can especially benefit from chairs that provide adequate lumbar support.

Along with the chairs, there are cushions and pillows that help provide lumbar support. Like office chairs, these types of devices help minimize or relieve stress on the lower back muscles and prevent a great deal of pain. One advantage of lumbar support pillows and cushions is that they are portable. Pillows can be carried and help with back pain in any situation where the individual will be sitting for an extended period of time. The cushions work well for people driving long distances or for passengers on a train or plane. They even come in handy when attending a sporting event where the main seats are wooden or concrete bleachers.

A third alternative device to achieve lumbar support is the belt. Lumbar belts are generally between four and eight inches wide. Most designs are designed to fit easily under clothing, making it possible to wear the belt in almost any situation. Thicker belts of this type are often used as a safety measure for warehouse workers, truck drivers, and others who may be required to lift heavy loads as part of their daily work routine. Belts make it more difficult to strain your lower back muscles while lifting.

The importance of proper lumbar support cannot be underestimated. Damage to the muscles in the lower back can cause excruciating pain. Additionally, the damage can lead to a decreased ability to walk, possibly even causing paralysis if enough damage is done to the area. For anyone experiencing mild twinges of low back pain, taking steps to ensure some form of lumbar support could have a substantial impact on quality of life for years to come.

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