This study compared the effects of sitting with portable supports in either a kyphotic or lordotic posture on low-back and referred pain. Two hundred ten patients with low-back and/or referred pain were randomly assigned to either a kyphotic posture or lordotic posture group. The kyphotic and lordotic postures were facilitated by the use of a flat foam cushion or lumbar roll, respectively. Pain location, back pain, and leg pain intensity were assessed over a 24-48-hour period under both standardized clinical settings and general sitting environments. When sitting with a lordotic posture, back and leg pain were significantly reduced and referred pain shifted towards the low back. This study demonstrates that in general sitting environments a lumbar roll results in: 1) reductions in back and leg pain; and 2) centralization of pain. These findings do not apply to patients with stenosis or spondylolisthesis, whose symptoms may be aggravated by use of a lumbar roll.
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