Workplace

Overview

Belt to Prevent Back Pain at Work | Safety in the Workplace

Another back belt? Didn’t we already go through that scenario and find that they were almost worthless? Yes, we did, but those were lumbar belts, which function under a completely different concept than sacroiliac belts. Please continue reading.

Lumbar Belt
  1. Takes the place of muscles, allowing atrophy.
  2. Increases pressure in the abdominal cavity.
  3. Does not reduce muscle spasm.
  4. Disc injuries occur in small proportion of low back injuries.
  5. The lumbar disc is relatively stable during bending, twisting, and lifting compared to SIJ.
  6. Lumbar belts are bulky, hot, uncomfortable, and restrict movement.
  7. Should be worn only while lifting.
  8. Does not increase muscle strength.

Serola Belt

  1. Takes the place of ligaments, enhancing mobility.
  2. Designed to support and stabilize the Sacroiliac Joint (SIJ).
  3. Reduces muscle spasm.
  4. Research has found the SIJ to be the main cause of pain in the majority of low back injuries.
  5. The SIJ is 20X more susceptible to compression and 2X as susceptible to torsion as lumbar discs.
  6. The Serola Belt is small, comfortable, and allows freedom of movement without restrictions.
  7. Can be worn all day with no adverse effects.
  8. The Serola Belt increases strength throughout the body, especially the trunk, upper legs, and arms.

The major study that promoted lumbar belts was done at a home improvement chain in which thousands of workers wore lumbar belts for an extended period of time.

Home Depot Stores [1]

Reduction of Acute Low Back Injuries by Use of Back Supports

However, Kraus, the lead author of the study, said that mandatory implementation of a back-support-use policy significantly reduces the incidence of acute low back injuries but he did not address the severity of the injuries nor the cost effectiveness of the belts.

Home Depot Stores [2]

Study provides new evidence of back belts’ effectiveness

This study was basically a review of the above study by Kraus, et al. They pointed out that a major new study at Home Depot stores showed a 34% reduction in low back injuries when using a back belt. However, that doesn’t tell the whole story. The key point to note is that while they reported a reduction in the number of injuries, the injuries were more severe and costs were significantly higher. Back belt manufacturers hailed this study as proof that back supports are effective personal protective equipment – a contention at odds with the position of NIOSH. None of the authors in the Kraus study were listed in this study and vice versa. This study was simply a biased review of the original study and was promoted to sell belts.

Tinker Air Force Base [3]

Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of employer-issued back belts in areas of high risk for back injury

Here is the kicker. Data suggest that back belts appear to be minimally effective in preventing injury. However, overall costs of injury while wearing lumbar belts were substantially higher than if injured without belts ($373,250 with vs $235,980 without, per 1000 workers). So, although back belts led to a smaller number of injuries, the injuries of those with belts were more significant and led to greater expense. This study went ignored by the back belt manufacturers.

Journal of Physical Therapy [4]

Use of back belts in occupational settings

This study found that there is potential for increasing the degree of low back injury, and lost work days, with general application of back belts even after the worker stops using the belt.

NIOSH stated that the only benefit of a lumbar belt was that it helped maintain proper posture, and they did not recommend their use. Additionally, lumbar belts limit movement to a narrower range of motion, which may contribute to cumulative trauma injuries [5]. The additional muscular activity needed to overcome the restricted movement should put additional loading on the lumbar disc, potentially overcoming any benefit that may occur with increased internal pressure provided by the belt [6]. Yet, during the rest of the day, the lumbar belts would limit muscular activity and lead to non-use weakness and possible injury [7] [8].

After researching these and many other studies, the Cochrane Collaboration, stated that workers should not wear lumbar supports to prevent back injuries [9].

Unlike a lumbar belt or weight lifting belt which is worn high around the waist over the abdominal muscles, the Serola sacroiliac belt is worn low around the hips to support the ligaments of the SIJ. Correctly placed on the pelvis, the Serola Belt allows free movement throughout the full range of motion. Because of this key difference in placement and function, the Serola Belt does not cause muscle atrophy or weakness like a lumbar belt or weight lifting belt.  This is similar to the way a knee brace supports the ligaments of the knee without causing weakness of the leg muscles.  For this reason, the Serola Belt can be worn as much as needed, even 24/7, without causing muscle atrophy or weakness.

Bending, lifting, and twisting are known movements that can cause or aggravate sacroiliac joint injuries. These movements are essential functions in many workplaces. When the worker twists his or her spine, the ligaments within the spine and sacroiliac joints absorb the force at the end of the motion and help the body decelerate. Although the disc is involved, it is constructed to withstand twisting. On the other hand, the sacroiliac joint is much more vulnerable to the forces encountered in twisting, especially when bending and lifting are involved at the same time. The Serola Belt acts as an external ligament and helps support the SIJ ligaments against excess force, both after injury and as a preventive.

In fact, studies show that many people with low back pain felt relief and improved functionality when using a sacroiliac belt [10-18].

NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF SITTING.

As with any joint, the SIJ is more stable against forces that are perpendicular to its surfaces. The SIJ is almost vertical, so a horizontal force is most stabilizing. When standing, force comes up from the ground, through the legs, bending with the neck of the femur bone, into the pelvic socket (acetabulum) at an angle that is about 45 degrees to the SIJs surface. Then, the actions of the upper leg and pelvic muscles change the force stream to an almost horizontal plane, perpendicular to the SIJ, enhancing stability.  However, when sitting, the legs are removed from the situation and all the upper body weight goes on the ischia (sit bones). Now, the force stream changes to a vertical plane, and becomes destabilizing to the SIJ. Accordingly, sitting can be considered a repetitive motion that places consistent stress on the SIJ ligaments over the course of one’s lifetime. Eventually, micro tears may occur, which trigger an avoidance reaction that may be expressed as tightness and pain. For this reason, wearing the Serola Belt during sitting may help relieve stress on the SIJ ligaments and enhance comfort.

Our Common Goals: Reducing health care costs, increasing productivity, reducing absenteeism, and improving morale; these are the promises of the Serola Sacroiliac Belt.

Types of Pain Relief

Hip Pain Relief
What is Hip Pain

This may seem to have an obvious answer, but quite the contrary is that hip pain can be disguised as many different ailments. The hip and sacroiliac joint are the center holding points for stability in the body. When there is an injury or sprain in the hips or pelvis this can translate to not only pain found directly in the hip but can radiate into the lower back or even as far away as the neck and legs. Hip pain commonly occurs when a ligament or ligaments in the pelvic region have been stressed, strained or even torn. This causes instability in the pelvis and hip, which results in pain, discomfort and limited mobility.

How does the Serola Sacroiliac Belt offer hip pain help?

Hip pain can be extremely distressing and cause issues with quality of life. The Serola Sacroiliac Belt acts as an external ligament holding the joint in normal range of motion. When the joint is placed into the “Normal Range” the muscles that are constantly tightening or turning on are able to relax. With the belt holding the body stable the pain being caused by constant muscle contraction is significantly reduced, if not completely gone. The belt should always be worn during any strenuous activity that involved lifting, bending or twisting. Wearing the Serola Sacroiliac Belt will greatly reduce your chances of being injured or further injuring your body. This will help you avoid having to deal with issues such as hip pain, back pain or sciatic hip pain.

Workplace FAQs

Can the Serola Sacroiliac Belt be worn directly against the skin?

Yes. The Serola Sacroiliac Belt is made from a high quality, patented and hypoallergenic foam that can be used against the skin safely.

Why shouldn't employees use a lumbar belt?

There have been many misleading studies done on Lumbar belts showing positive results.  Please go to Serola Markets: Workplace where we have broken down the arguments and shown evidence indicating that Lumbar supports cause issues, rather than solutions.

Can sitting at my desk too long be bad for the Sacroiliac Joint?

As with any joint, the SIJ is more stable against forces that are perpendicular to its surfaces. The SIJ is almost vertical, so a horizontal force is most stabilizing. When standing, force comes up from the ground, through the legs, bending with the neck of the femur bone, into the pelvic socket (acetabulum) at an angle that is about 45 degrees to the SIJs surface. Then, the actions of the upper leg and pelvic muscles change the force stream to an almost horizontal plane, perpendicular to the SIJ, enhancing stability.  However, when sitting, the legs are removed from the situation and all the upper body weight goes on the ischia (sit bones). Now, the force stream changes to a vertical plane, and becomes destabilizing to the SIJ. Accordingly, sitting can be considered a repetitive motion that places consistent stress on the SIJ ligaments over the course of one’s lifetime. Eventually, micro tears may occur, which trigger an avoidance reaction that may be expressed as tightness and pain. For this reason, wearing the Serola Belt during sitting may help relieve stress on the SIJ ligaments and enhance comfort.

What are the benefits of wearing a Sacroiliac Belt while working?

Reducing health care costs, increasing productivity, reducing absenteeism, and improving morale; these are the promises of the Serola Sacroiliac Belt.

Protect Your Body