Here in Kailua, a lot of our patients deal with low back pain caused by bad posture, weak muscles, or poor muscle recruitment. No matter how much we try to remember to walk around with better posture, sit up straight, or use the proper muscles there are always those moments when we just want to relax and slouch and not constantly have to think about posture. What if there was a better way to be reminded about your posture, than just attempting to remember?
A study conducted by four PhD researchers utilized a device called The Spineangel which was created by Movement Metrics Ltd in Hamilton, New Zealand. The Spineangel is a device that was developed to monitor trunk posture during daily activities and provide audio feedback to the wearer whenever specific postural positions are exceeded.
The study consisted of 3 different groups: a control group, an intermittent feedback group, and a constant feedback group. The study lasted 6 weeks; one week to get baseline measures, 4 weeks to provide feedback, and one week to measure posture after feedback of 4 weeks. The control group did not receive any audio feedback from the posture device. The intermittent feedback group received postural feedback 1 week on and 1 week off for 4 weeks. The constant feedback group received postural feedback during all 4 weeks whenever their posture exceeded certain thresholds.
The device works by providing audio feedback to the participants when they exceed a certain posture threshold. If thresholds were exceeded the device would beep until the participants corrected their posture. The study’s results showed that participants who received constant feedback had the greatest reduction in a flexed posture compared to the control group and intermittent feedback group.
This development of an extrinsic feedback device like The Spineangel creates a great external way to help remind us to correct our posture that is causing our low back pain. Sometimes it’s hard for us to remember good posture outside of therapy because we don’t have someone watching our posture and reminding us to fix it during every exercise.
With a device like this, the correction of our posture can last outside of therapy and help get us on the path of quicker progress and maintenance or proper low back posture. Being created in New Zealand we will have to wait and see if this lumbopelvic monitor will make its way to the medical world or to the US. At Oahu Spine & Rehab, our physical therapists are dedicated to making you pain-free. Whether The Spineangel could help assist in your treatment plan is up to the experts, but it doesn’t sound like a bad idea to us!
Article information provided by Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy: The Effectiveness of a Lumbopelvic Monitor and Feedback Device to Change Postural Behavior: A Feasibility Randomized Controlled Trial