Ask a PT: Is the Lo-Bak Trax Worth my Time & Money?

Lo-Bak TraxQuestion: I have some serious low back pain, and I was wondering if this new Lo-Bak Trax advertised on TV is actually helpful in reducing low back pain?

Answer: Because patients of all ages have low back pain of different origins (disc pain versus facet joint pain, versus disc degeneration versus spinal stenosis), it would be a huge ask of any one low back pain device to work, and work well for every possible spine issue. While I have not tried this device myself, I can tell you from the engineering design, that this will stretch your hips in an inferior or downward direction far more than it will influence your low back. It may cause an extension stretch to your lower lumbar and lumbo-sacral levels, but in some people, this will actually increase their pain. Actively using the device will also activate rectus abdominus, which is not something that is a goal of any patient’s spine rehabilitation program, as well as possibly straining the neck muscles to create the force to somehow distract the spine. While it may look promising on TV, we highly recommend you skip this device altogether. If you would like to try an easy and free spine decompression position, check out this pose for 5-10 minutes after your work day. It is a passive, relaxing position, and with some deep breathing (and you can follow this up with icing in a neutral spine position), this probably will decrease your pain nicely, cost nothing, can be done anywhere even when traveling, and has no storage needs.