Chairs were in existence since at least the Early Dynastic Period of Egypt and yet in all that time there has not been a chair that has been designed by a chiropractor with the sole aim of reducing the spinal compression that leads to so many ailments as we age.
The Triton Spinal Support Chair is the brain-child of reknown chiropractor, Dr, Jerome Fryer who has redefined excellence in spinal modelling – www.dynamicdiscdesigns.com
Now Dr. Fryer has envisioned a workplace that is free from lower back pain brought on from spinal compression. To learn more about disc compression, and the spine models he crafts, you can read more HERE.
By imagining a new and healthier way to sit Dr. Jerome has single-handedly reinvented that old office chair your sitting on now and has sought to revolutionize the way we park our behinds.
The Origins – Dating Back
In 2000, Jerome Fryer began researching his clinical hunch. With his careful observations, he would often see his low back pain patients utilizing their upper extremities to offload painful lower back symptoms, naturally. In 2008, he led his team investigating an offloading strategy using the arms as a technique to reduce spinal compression. This lead to two peer-reviewed publications–the building blocks for the Triton Supportive Chair.
Sitting is associated with loss of the lumbar lordosis, intervertebral disc (IVD) compression, and height loss, possibly increasing the risk of lower back pain. With a trend toward more sitting jobs worldwide, practical strategies for preventing lumbar flattening and potentially associated low back pain (LBP) are important.
The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility of using upright magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and stadiometry to measure changes in height and configuration of the lumbar spine before and after normal sitting and a seated unloading exercise intervention.
This is a hospital-based pilot study involving pre-post assessments in a single group.
The sample comprises six asymptomatic hospital employees involved in either general patient care or research writing/data collection.
The outcome measures were lumbar total midsagittal cross-sectional IVD area, vertical height, lordotic angle derived from digitized MRI examinations, and seated body height measured directly with a stadiometer.
Midsagittal MRI scans were performed before sitting, after 15 minutes of relaxed sitting (“postsitting”), immediately after seated unloading exercises, and approximately 7 minutes after exercise. Subsequently, seated stadiometry assessments were performed after 10 minutes of supine recumbency, 15 minutes of relaxed sitting, and every 10 seconds after seated unloading exercises until three consecutive height measurements were identical. Digitized midsagittal images were used to derive MRI-based outcome measures. Measurements at postsitting were compared with the corresponding ones at other time points using multiple paired t-tests. The Bonferroni method was used to adjust for multiple pairwise comparisons.
After 15 minutes of sitting, mean total IVD area, lordotic angle, and vertical height of the lumbar spine decreased 18.6 mm(2), 6.2 degrees , and 12.5 mm, respectively, whereas after seated unloading exercises, these parameters increased by 87.9 mm(2), 5.0 degrees , and 21.9 mm, respectively. Similarly, mean seated height on stadiometry decreased by 6.9 mm after 15 minutes of sitting and subsequently increased by 5.7 mm after unloading exercises.
Seated upright MRI and stadiometry, as performed in this study, appear to be feasible methods for detecting compressive and decompressive spinal changes associated with normal sitting and, alternately, seated unloading exercises. Larger studies are encouraged to determine normative values of our study measurements and to determine if morphological changes induced by seated unloading predict treatment response and/or reductions in the incidence of sitting-related LBP.
Dr. Fryer’s lead authoring role in the above study has been reproducible in the journal of Ergonomics and also cited in the prestigious journal Nature.
Further work in The Journal of Physical Therapy Science and Human Factors support Fryer’s work.
Triton Support Chair
Forward Supporting Design | Investigations Using Upright MRI
Courtesy of The Welcome Back Centre, Kamloops, BC, Canada