Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the ability of a pneumatic decompression belt to restore spinal height lost following an acute bout of exercise that induced compression.
Methods: This study implemented a test-retest repeated measures design in which twelve participants (male = 10, female = 2) age, 21.5 ± 1.0 years; height, 179.0 ± 7.70 cm; weight, 84.0 ±11.5 kg; were recruited from a university population and acted as their own control. All participants were healthy with no previous history of disabling back pain, and were frequent weight trainers. A stadiometer was used to measure spinal height at baseline, then following an acute bout of exercise and then again following the intervention (use of a pneumatic decompression belt for 20 minutes) or control (lying supine for 20 minutes). A 2-way repeated measures ANOVA was performed on the change in spinal height in order to evaluate differences between measurement phases and intervention conditions.
Results: The use of the decompression belt increased spinal height gain (4.3 ± 3.0 mm) significantly more than the control condition (1.8 ± 1.2 mm) following an acute bout of weightlifting exercises known to elicit high compressive loads on the lumbar spine.
Conclusion: The pneumatic decompression belt restored spinal height faster than a non-belt wearing condition in young healthy asymptomatic participants.
This abstract is reproduced with the permission of the publisher; full text is available by subscription. Click on the above link and select a publisher from PubMed’s LinkOut feature.