Published on December 8th, 2011 | by Ruth0
Giving Back Curves With BackJoy
We received a package in the mail with a single mysterious black plastic piece in it. No box, no note. Our staff loves a mystery, so speculations began at once. “Shield?” suggested someone. “Avant-garde hat?” another parried. We began designing a new sport, where it doubled as a bat and a catching glove. After a few more tries, someone plopped on the floor on top of it and started spinning. It was oddly comfortable. It turns out it’s the newBackJoy, an orthotic designed to combat back pain.
Admittedly, most of us are not the target market for the BackJoy. We do, however, spend many hours sitting at computers, typing our thoughts for you, so we thought we’d give it a whirl. It’s extremely light-weight, with a handle hand-hold for hauling between home, car and office, so minimal effort. In fact, the material might feel familiar- it’s made from Advanced Core Material. The same stuff as in Crocs! The idea is pretty simple- we sit slouching all day, neglecting proper seated muscular support, and ignorant as to what our proper postures should be. The BackJoy is designed to cup your butt muscles and prop you into a non-slouching angle.
For the more anatomically technical among you, the seat assumes that you’re sitting behind your sitz bones with a posterior pelvic tilt (aka, your low back is curving unnaturally outwards while sitting as your pelvis tilts up in the front- a flattening of the natural back curvature). The seat overcomes that tendency, and can help you develop more healthy sitting habits. It also puts you at an angle where core muscular engagement feels more natural. Our quibble with the seat come in here: some of us have back pain from the opposite problem- we have the more common anterior pelvic tilts (pelvis tilts down in the front, hyper-emphasizing the curve in the low back- your butt sticks out- associated with spinal lordosis). The BackJoy did very little to relieve that pain. In fact, we felt it might increase it.
Basically, in our opinion there’s no catch-all fix for back pain, as much as we’d love to stumble upon (or spin upon) that holy grail. The BackJoy, at $40, seems like a great solution for some people. Interesting to note, the product was designed for the founder’s father- posterior pelvic tilts are more common in men than women. For the rest of us, who have pelvic tilts the other way, we have yet to find a miracle product to cure the pain. We can, however, participate in our newly minted sport, “Backatcha,” employing the Backjoy as bat, mitt and bludgeon.