Chohan, Ambreen orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-0544-7832, Payne, Katherine, Selfe, James and Richards, Jim orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-4004-3115 (2013) BIOMECHANICAL TESTING OF A SPINAL ALIGNMENT CUSHION (‘ROPHI™’ CUSHION) IN ADULTS WITH LOWER BACK PAIN. The Bone and Joint Journal, 95B (4(12)). ISSN 2049-4394

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Background: Back pain has become a worldwide problem and excessive, repetitive rotation has been shown to cause tissue damage. A sleeping posture similar to that of the foetal position has been suggested to limit unnecessary rotation of the lumbar spine. The Rophi™ cushion, utilises this theory to provide spinal alignment and improved sleeping posture. This study aims to assess the subjective experience and biomechanical effects of the Rophi™ cushion in participants with simple mechanical lower back pain (LBP).

Methods & Results: Fifteen participants (aged 44 ± 9.7 years) with simple mechanical LBP were recruited using the Red Flags screening form. The kinematics of the pelvis, lower limbs, lumbar and thoracic spine were analysed in six degrees of freedom whilst the participants lay in a semi-foetal position. Visual analogue scales were used to measure participant pain and discomfort levels during sleep pre and post a one week cushion intervention.

Kinematic results show the main significant difference in joint angles occurred at the hip in all three planes, and between the lower lumbar region and the pelvis in the coronal plane. Subjective experience showed a reduction in the number of days with poor sleep quality and a significant reduction in frequency and intensity of lower back pain and stiffness when waking.

Conclusions: Through repositioning of the hips and lower lumbar spine, overall it appears the individual is moved towards a more neutral position when using the Rophi™ cushion and a one week intervention shows a significant improvement in lower back pain on waking.

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