The LumboTrain back support in preventive occupational health Crisis management for the back
When it comes to back pain, more and more employers rely on Occupational Health Management and increasingly on the expertise of partners such as Bauerfeind. Employees at a large hospital in Hesse, Germany, tested the LumboTrain back support during their daily work – and they were won over quickly.
It keeps us upright. It is the core element, the “bony center” of our bodies. Yet, we don’t always treat it well: our spine. One-sided strain, carrying heavy objects, sitting for long periods – all those things are harmful. During everyday work in particular, protecting the back is quickly forgotten, resulting in back pain, restriction of movement, use of pain medication and an inability to work. According to the 2019 Health Report published by BKK, the German umbrella association of company health insurance funds, nearly one in four sick days (23.8 percent) was caused by musculoskeletal conditions last year. And this not only affects patients, but also their colleagues, companies and employers. After all, sick employees must be covered by someone, and lost days must be compensated for, with an increased risk for dissatisfied employees working under excessive strain. Against this backdrop, Occupational Health Management (OHM) plays an ever increasing role.
Questionnaires and activity diaries provide insights
At the “BGMpro” occupational health management trade fair in Leipzig, Germany, held in last November, Christian Weyer, Bauerfeind’s Director of Health Management, had a conversation with the manager responsible for occupational health at a large hospital in Hesse: as in many companies, hospital staff is provided with various opportunities, such as training on carrying and ergonomics, nutrition advice and yoga. The use of supporting and mobilizing back supports during work, however, had not yet been tested.
“Bauerfeind has been active in the area of Occupational Health Management all over Germany since 2014,” Christian Weyer explains. “We provide orthopedic services for occupational health and safety and actively support occupational prevention research, for example, by conducting observational studies in practice: which restrictions do colleagues suffer from during everyday activities, what do they do about back pain, how high their use of pain medication?” – important aspects, in which the hospital was interested, too, and therefore agreed to implement the project.
At an educational event, more than 30 people volunteered spontaneously. In addition to the support, they received an activity diary for anonymous documentation over the following six weeks. Every week, they were asked to complete a questionnaire about their work load, the condition of their health and their experiences with the support.
Back pain reduced significantly
25 users returned their completed diaries at the end of the test phase – people working in administration as well as cleaners and care staff who spend a lot of time on their feet every day. In general, they found the support comfortable and particularly helpful when working with patients.
The results of the evaluation confirm the positive overall impression: At the beginning of the study, 80 percent of participants suffered from low back pain. At the end, however, the number was reduced to 50 percent. The average number of painful days per week dropped from 4.7 to 3.1. On a scale from 1 to 10, the frequency and intensity of the pain reduced from 8.2 to 4.8.
In Week 3, the testers already started noticing clear effects, with further significant improvements observed from Week 5 onwards. And another long-term success: the average use of pain medication decreased by 80 percent, from 1.4 days to 0.26 days per week.
Based to these positive experiences, some test subjects even continued using the support after work, during sports or when working in the garden, for example.
Helps to straighten the back and
strengthens the muscles
The LumboTrain back support has various effects: its circular compression contributes to a more upright posture and relieves the lumbar spine. The knitted fabric and anatomically contoured lumbar pad, featuring 26 raised nubs, massage the tissue during movement. This releases tension in the area of the lumbar spine and alleviates pain. Wearing the support has also been proven to activate and stimulate the stabilizing torso muscles. This effect supports prevention because strong muscles improve posture in the long term and are able to compensate for harmful movements more effectively. Fit and wearing comfort are constantly being enhanced. Last year, for example, the back support was equipped with a new knitted fabric.
What is more, the compelling results have far reaching effects: another hospital has contacted Bauerfeind and expressed interest in a similar service package including an observational study.
about Occupational health management of Bauerfeind is available at
Images: Bauerfeind, stock.adobe.com/Kzenon
When it comes to back pain, more and more employers rely on Occupational Health Management, and increasingly on the expertise of partners such as Bauerfeind.
- Employees at a large hospital in Hesse, Germany, tested the LumboTrain back support during their daily work.
- The average number of painful days per week dropped from 4.7 to 3.1.
- The average use of pain medication decreased by 80 per cent, from 1.4 days to 0.26 days per week.