Back Pain Product Warning

Articles researched and written by Sally Ann Quirke, a fully qualified professional chartered Physiotherapist based in Ireland.

Warning - Read this before considering a back pain product.

Back pain relief products like pillows, braces, mattresses, shoes and chairs should all carry a warning - let me describe to you just what I mean!

There are so many back pain relief products on the market today, and they all promise the sun moon and stars! So many of my clients report having wardrobes full of neck pillows, back supports and braces and have found them of little use. So why is this?

No one back pain relief product will suit all types of back pain. Although I use products on a daily basis in my physiotherapy practice, they must be specific to the type of back problem that you have as well as the person that you are!

Find the cause of your back pain

With all back pain patients the “cause” of the back pain must always, where possible, be removed. If you do not get rid of the cause of your back pain and use back relief products you may just be camouflaging the pain, or in some cases shifting the problem to another area of your body. Ultimately, the end result will be a worsening of your back pain either immediately or some time later.

Never use a back relief product unless you are under the guidance of a physiotherapist or other medical professional with a specific expertise in back pain.

Underlying approximately 90% of my back pain clients is bad posture. If you have back pain and your posture requires attention please do not wait! Postural correction and education is a fundamental aspect of your back pain management. Unfortunately it is often overlooked.

Often, people with back pain use braces and back supports without correcting their posture actively. Eventually, they end up in my clinic and it takes a lot of time and effort to resolve their movement problems as they have been left there for too long. Put simply, if you use a brace and it helps your pain, you often do not attend a physiotherapist. Over time the muscle imbalances become greater and eventually you end up with a more severe problem than you had at the outset. Where possible it is always cheaper and more successful to seek early advice if you have back pain.

The quality of your back pain relief product is another important factor to consider. People often presume that an expensive product must be good. This is not always the case. If it is of poor mechanical make-up or is not suitable for your back pain it will be money down the drain!

Cheap products can be very effective if they are the correct product for your individual back problem always seek a chartered physiotherapists advice as not only will they choose the correct product for you they will probably get it much cheaper than the shops as they do not have vat etc., to pay unless they sell on a large scale.

An example from my clinic recently! A 46 year old gentleman with a 4 year history of low back pain presented to me. He had an Orthopaedic chair moulded for his back 6 months ago. It had no positive effects on his pain or posture. It cost 600 euro!

So why after spending all this money did it not work? Put simply, the company moulded the chair to his bad posture which was the underlying cause of his back pain. I educated him how to sit correctly and I expect within 2 weeks his pain will have reduced considerably.

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While the content and materials contained in the articles on this website have been written & researched by Sally Ann Quirke, a professional, practising & fully qualified Chartered Physiotherapist (Physical Therapist) based in Ireland, they are provided for general information and educational purposes only. They do not constitute medical advice on any particular individual situation. Please see your Chartered Physiotherapist or other medical practitioner for full and individual consultation.

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