Back Pain/ Orthosis

Clinically relevant

SacroLoc study

From Bauerfeind Life Magazin

Story Check Movement scientists from TU Chemnitz examined pain perception, back stability and balance in SI joint patients using the SacroLoc.

  • The results of the study showed a significant reduction of pain after wearing the aid for six weeks.
  • Test subjects perceived an acute improvement of back stability when putting on the orthosis for the first time.
  • The results of the functional CoP test suggest that the SacroLoc provides for an acute improvement of balance.

In a controlled laboratory study, movement scientists from TU Chemnitz, Germany, succeeded to demonstrate how the pelvic orthosis SacroLoc helps patients suffering from chronic SI joint syndrome in their everyday life: by reducing pain, increasing stability and improving balance.

Sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction is a common cause of chronic pain in the lower back. Non-surgical treatment with orthoses such as the SacroLoc has proven beneficial in this context: the orthosis’ circular compression of the pelvis provides stabilization, offers relief for the SI joint structures and improves sensorimotor control. In previous studies in which the working group from Chemnitz was also involved, it could be shown that the pelvic orthosis SacroLoc provides for significant relief for the ligament structures of the SI joints1. Patients affected by SI joint syndrome exhibited a changed gait with increased cadence and walking speed2. The current studies show that the orthosis can have a positive impact on neuromuscular control circuits that contribute to stabilizing the pelvis. According to the latest theory models, it is assumed that SI joint patients are affected by a dysfunction of sensorimotor control that can lead to impaired balance. Against this background, the study at hand did not only cover subjective pain reduction and stabilization, but also quantifiable and functional tests (CoP test , Y-balance test) regarding balance. The objective of the study was to show the effects of SacroLoc based on these different parameters. There are few analyses to date that focus on biomechanical changes in the pelvis caused by orthoses.

Relief of symptoms

Statement by the intervention group regarding the improvement of chronic symptoms after wearing the SacroLoc for six weeks.

The results of the study show clearly that treatment with SacroLoc is clinically relevant: 19 of 22 subjects felt that their overall SI joint symptoms had improved during the intervention period with the orthosis. After six weeks of wearing the SacroLoc, the perceived back pain reported on the NRS scale during the post-examination was reduced significantly and more strongly than in the control group when compared to the pre-examination (long-term effect). In the group of patients treated with the orthosis, the sense of stability also improved significantly when wearing the aid for the first time (immediate effect), and it remained on a high level through to the end of the study. Meanwhile, the subjects that had not worn an orthosis over the period of six weeks experienced no major changes. However, if the SacroLoc was used selectively, significant pain relief and increased back stability could also be observed in this group. The functional tests support the perceived immediate effects, with subjects showing improved balance when wearing the SacroLoc. For example, the center of pressure distance was reduced in selective use. Following a sudden disruption of balance, the effort required for stabilization is measured using this parameter, providing indications of the degree of postural stability.

Fewer limitations with an orthosis

The conclusions drawn from the subjective assessment by the wearers of the orthosis is that it reduces pain and increases the stability of the back. This clinical relevance also became obvious in another important finding of the study: patients with an orthosis feel significantly less limited in their private and professional everyday life than patients without the orthosis.

1 Sichting, F., et al.; Pelvic Belt Effects on Sacroiliac Joint Ligaments: A Computational Approach to Understand Therapeutic Effects of Pelvic Belts; Pain Physician 2014; 17: 43–51, ISSN 1533-3159.
2 Hammer, N., et al.; Pelvic Belt Effects on Health Outcomes and Functional Parameters of Patients with Sacroiliac Joint Pain; PLoS ONE 10(8): e0136375.doi: 10.1371/journal. pone.0136375; 2015.

Images: TU Chemnitz, Bauerfeind, private

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