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Information for physicians

Back-A-Line offers a behavioral solution for the correction of spinal mechanics.

Back-A-Line Back Support BeltBack-A-Line patented a curved, firm lumbar pad that dynamically stabilizes the lumbar spine and stimulates proprioceptive feedback to correct spinal mechanics. There’s your behavioral solution.

Neutral stabilization

Studies show that Back-A-Line preserves a more neutral lumbar lordosis during reaching and bending tasks (Dainoff, 2013). This effect persists to a certain extent even after the belt is removed. Experts theorize that the underlying physiological and biomechanical systems responsible for the Back-A-Line phenomenon may be related to the simultaneous effects of intra-abdominal pressure, core muscle co-contraction and proprioception. (It is important to note, that contraction of the abdominals without the postural correction, risks shear forces and unbalanced spinal loads.) At the 2019 meeting of the Joint Commission for Sports Medicine and Science (JCSMS), a discussion on the Back-A-Line conceptual framework titled "Neutral Stabilization via Intra-abdominal Pressure and Proprioceptive Cueing" was presented by Dr. Ted Forcum.  

Unlike an elastic belt, Back-A-Line strengthens without risk of muscle atrophy

It is theorized that an elastic belt replaces the elasticity and tension of the core muscles, possibly leading to muscle atrophy over time. Studies on weight-lifting belts demonstrates increased strength with use during training activities over time. The non-stretch belt is thought to provide an isometric moment for training resistance to the abdominal and spinal musculature.

Back-A-Line works differently than common elastic back supports. Back-a-Line's non-stretch compression belt coerces the spine to adjust to the patented “curved-and-firm” pad to normalize lumbar lordosis. Improved spinal alignment facilitates more efficient activation of the core postural muscles, creating dynamic muscle support and proprioceptive feedback for healthy movement patterns. Over time, use of the belt builds core strength and muscle memory so that improvement continues when the belt is no longer being worn. The result? Natural back pain relief.

Lowers risk of re-injury and reduces postural regression between treatments

Many back patients have difficulty maintaining therapeutic gains between therapy treatments. How often do you see, after an effective treatment, the patient walking toward the door while spinning around at the waist to say “Thanks.” You know in that moment he’ll revert to the same dysfunctional postural habits that were a major element in his present condition. ! He returns for his next visit marginally better than when he arrived for his last visit, but much worse than when he left.

Bad postural habits were acquired behaviorally and are best reversed in the same fashion.

Think of Back-A-Line as the bridge between treatments, continuously training muscle memory and building core strength for healthy postural habits. Postural correction reduces risk of re-injury and works to prevent postural regression during the course of treatment. This provides an ideal environment for healing and lasting pain relief. 

Negative effects of postural regression (PDF) >>

How it works

Corrects spinal posture
Firm, anatomically curved lumbar pad works to preserve a neutral lumbar lordosis through abdominal compression and proprioceptive feedback.

Increases core strength
Unlike elastic supports, the resistance provided by our non-stretch belt provides an isometric moment that helps build core muscle strength during everyday activities, sport, and work. 

Builds muscle memory
The belt coerces your spine to conform to the lumbar pad to support good posture and realign abdominal and spinal muscles to correct spinal mechanics.

Shrinks inflammation 
Optional medical magnets shrink inflammation and improve circulation to facilitate healing. (Only available on Back-A-Line RX).

Optional therapeutic magnets

While correcting spinal mechanics will minimize pain going forward, there may remain residual pain effect from prior damage. To address long-standing and chronic pain, Back-A-Line developed its magnetic therapy back support, the Back-A-LIne RX, which adds patented, Niiomed® medical magnets for improved blood circulation and reduction of swelling. Only Niiomed® offers therapeutic concentric circle medical magnets, providing a unique configuration of constant and gradient fields, with alternating polarities, which has been shown to be clinically effective for musculoskeletal pain relief.

Cutaway view of the Back-A-Line back support with orthopedic lumbar pad

Research and Technical Reports

Back-A-Line experience report. 2013

A report of 58 site evaluations with 2,000 individual participants using the Back-A-Line support belt. 71% of subjects reported less back pain on day 21 than at day 1; 75% who began in the "Danger" zone (levels 3-5) dropped to the "Safe" zones (levels 0-1) 
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Postural Evaluation of a New Back Belt Design, Marvin Dainoff,, Technical Report 2000-1, Center for Ergonomic Research, Miami University of Ohio, 2000

The back-belt [Back-A-Line] participants consistently modified reaching postures by limiting extreme ranges of motion during a task that required enhanced stability. The authors suggested that the belt seemed to act to preserve a greater margin of safety -- keeping the user from extreme ranges of motion. 
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A prospective study of back belts for prevention of back pain and injury. Wassell JT,, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Safety Research. JAMA. 2000 Dec 6;284(21):2727-32.

In the largest prospective cohort study of back belt use, neither frequent back belt use nor a store policy that required belt use was associated with reduced incidence of back injury claims or low back pain. Study subjects were Walmart employees. The back belts were elastic.
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Download CDC synopsis of study

A Critical Review of Randomized Controlled Trials of Static Magnets for Pain Relief. Eccles NK. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Volume 11, Number 3, 2005, pp. 495–509

The weight of evidence from published, well-conducted controlled trials suggests that static magnetic fields are able to induce analgesia.
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Low Intensity Permanent Magnets in the Treatment of Chronic Lumbar Radicular Pain. Khoromi S. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, Vol. 34 No. 4 October 2007.

In three of the secondary outcomes, global pain relief, average overall and worst overall pain score hint that overall pain in patients with chronic sciatica may be responsive to treatment with 200 G magnets. Lesser gauss (refrigerator magnets) has little effect.
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Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial of Static Magnets for the Treatment of Osteoarthritis of the Knee: Results of a Pilot Study.Wolsko PM. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine; Mar/Apr 2004; 10, 2; ProQuest Central pg. 36-43.

Despite small sample size, magnets showed statistically significant efficacy compared to placebo after 4 hours under rigorously controlled conditions.
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Effects of Static Magnets on Chronic Knee Pain and Physical Function: A Double-Blind Study

We found that surface application of static magnets over painful knee joints reduced perceptions of pain and functional disability to a significantly greater extent than did the application of placebos. 
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All Back-A-Line products are covered under Medicare reimbursement code #L0641

Additional information

How it works

Testimonials from back care specialists

Size and Fit