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Low back pain: Conservative treatment with artificial shock absorbers

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      Abstract

      A new method of conservative treatment for low back pain (LBP) was studied by follow-up investigation of 382 patients during the last five years. The attempt to reduce repetitive impulsive intervertebral impact in the troublesome S1-L5-4 area by significant improvement of the foot's attenuational capacity through artificial viscoelastic shock absorbing was prompted by the authors' work on decreased capability of LBP spines to attenuate axially propagated walking stresses. Viscoelastic shoe inserts were used in addition to light flexible shoes as artificial shock absorbing devices. Maximal amplitudes of bone oscillation during walking were reduced by about 40% by the viscoelastic inserts. Rapid and surpisingly significant improvement of pain syndrome and patient mobility occurred in about 80% of the patients. The accelerographic patterns recorded on a sacrum of patient with LBP were unusual for a healthy subject; they usually disappeared after treatment in LBP cases. Results suggested that poor walking impact attenuation was a true cause for prolonging intervertebral structures overstrain and consequent degeneration. It seemed logical that as spine damage could be explained primarily by prolonged impulsive overstrain, treatment must include viscoelastic inserts which increase foot shock absorbing capacity and help cushion the spine.

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