Effect of gel seat cushion on chronic low back pain in occupational drivers: A double-blind randomized controlled trial

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Background:Low back pain (LBP) is an exceedingly common medical condition that results in significant medical and social burden. Sitting for a long period is a common aggravating factor for LBP. Although seat cushion is known to promote comfort, relieve pressure, and correct posture, its effect on chronic LBP has not yet been investigated. This study aimed to evaluate the clinical effect of gel seat cushion on chronic LBP in occupational drivers.Methods:Occupational drivers with chronic LBP lasting for >6 months were recruited. Subjects were double-blinded, randomly assigned to 2 groups (gel and foam cushion groups), and instructed to use the provided cushions while driving. Pain threshold and tissue hardness were measured at tender points using a digital algometer. Numeric pain intensity scale (NPIS), Roland–Morris Disability Questionnaire (RMDQ), and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) were used to analyze the primary endpoint, whereas the Beck Depression Inventory and Short Form-6D were used for the secondary endpoint.Results:Of 80 enrolled subjects, 75 (gel cushion group, 40; foam cushion group, 35) were included for analysis. Both groups showed significant improvement in NPIS and ODI scores following cushion use. Results for Beck Depression Inventory and Short Form-6D scores indicated that gel cushion use was significantly helpful. Change in NPIS score was significantly greater in the gel cushion group than in the foam cushion group.Conclusion:Gel cushion use may be effective in relieving LBP in occupational drivers seated for a long period compared with foam cushion use.

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