Objective: The study purpose was to assess the impact of the ice pack-cooled Spine Buddy LT1 H/C chair support on relieving spine pain and modifying muscle activity patterns during a functional task.
Methods: Thirty-two college students (age 27.8 + 6.4 y, height 1.72 + 0.11 m, body mass 83.2 + 21.0 kg, hours seated that day 5.9 + 1.6 hr: mean + SD) completed a Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire (NMQ) instrument and a Flexion-Relaxation Phenomenon (FRP) test before and after sitting for 12 minutes in a standard office chair outfitted with a Spine Buddy LT1 H/C support containing 2 ice packs. The FRP test was conducted using 2 surface EMG sensors bilaterally to measure the electrical activity of the lower erector spinae muscles. A paired samples t-test was used to measure within-group changes for NMQ for 3 spine regions and FRP for the 4 phases of the test.
Results: Neck-related NMQ scores decreased 0.38 pts (t(31) = 3.00, p = 0.005, d = 0.35) and lower back-related NMQ scores decreased 0.81 pts (t(31) = 4.76, p = 0.000, d = 0.63) after the use of the support pad. In addition, the extension and flexion phases of the FRP post-test demonstrated that participants were approaching a more pain-free lower back muscle activation profile.
Conclusions: Preliminarily, the addition of an ice pack-cooled chair support product to an office chair was associated with decreased neck and low back pain/discomfort, as well as modestly normalized FRP test results short-term.
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