Can PGAT Help Back Pain?

Could Passive Gravity Assisted Stretching Help Back Pain?

Lower back pain is one of the highest causes of workplace absenteeism. Lower back pain or sciatica, as it is sometimes known will usually entail visit to the GP to help back pain, often resulting in the prescription of chemical painkillers and (until recently) rest. Continued discomfort, and further visits to the GP, may lead to a referral to a physiotherapist or chiropractor.

Each of these back pain treatment will generally provide relief, although the continued prescription of painkillers is being increasingly questioned by more enlightened, health conscious people, concerned about the ‘chemical masking’ of lumbar pain brought about by a physiological condition, and the potentially damaging effects the continued use of pharmaceuticals.

The more enlightened, may turn to alternative forms of treatment for back pain relief such as shiatsu (acupressure) or yoga. These ancient healing philosophies practiced and developed over many centuries, are becoming increasingly accepted after years of dismissiveness brought about by our inability to evaluate it within the framework of ‘conventional’ western medicine.

Both western and eastern methods of back pain relief are effective, but to the ordinary low back pain sufferer, the frequency and cost of continued treatment may be prohibitive, and indeed for many, may lead to despair due to the seemingly impossibility of long term relief in their condition.

Can LumbaCurve Help Back Pain through PGAT?

The philosophy behind LumbaCurve was the development of a previously unheard of lower back pain therapy device that could combine both east and western philosophies, to help back pain. It seeks to create an environment to encourage self repair by removing or reducing facet joint irritation, and stimulating the blood flow, thus reducing the inflammation and promoting flexibility and mobility. The focus area is between the 4th lumbar vertebrae and the sacrum where an estimated 90% of back pain problems occur.

The initial design of LumbaCurve is based on the concept of passive gravity assisted traction (PGAT), combined with the effect of acupressure stimulation. The purpose is to provide vertebral separation, allowing spinal decompression, whilst avoiding direct pressure on the spine and sacrum, which would cause pain in the very area where relief is being sought.

The next element considered is the area adjacent to the channel. The edges are shaped to replicate the thumbing action used by shiatsu practitioners to balance the meridian energy along the inner aspect of the spine and to provide joint mobilisation, a technique employed by physiotherapists as part of their back pain therapy

The curved surfaces area and sloping edges are shaped to encourage a multidirectional stretch in the focus area and emulate a ‘hand palming’ effect along the outer meridian and apply physio massage to the erector spinae muscles.

LumbaCurve back pain therapy East / west concept

LumbaCurve attempts to combine the eastern and western elements of yoga, acupressure, and physiotherapy, designed to help lower back pain. It is engineered into two main areas to compliment the fundamental approach to acupressure of ‘mother and son’ therapy. The working area (‘son’) contains the channel and chamber with protruded acupressure areas. The remaining contoured surface forms the supporting area (‘mother’).

Mother / son law

During an acupressure treatment, the therapist will utilise both hands in a specialised manner. The working hand is used to disperse any meridian blockages whilst the ‘supporting’ hand provides an ‘emotional and comforting link’ between patient and therapist. T.O.M. philosophy regards the working hand as the ‘son’ and the supporting hand as the ‘mother’.


The back pain treatment or therapy begins immediately the weight is taken off the spine, and the supporting area encourages the whole of the back into a classic Yohangi yogic stretch. Due to the configuration of the support area, any bodily contact receives a gentle passive gravity assisted traction (PGAT) stretch, massage, and pressure point stimulation along the outer acupressure meridian. This improves blood flow and tonification of the muscles.

This process continues as the specifically designed acupressure formed edges of the spinous process channel and sacrum chamber articulate into the cavity aspect of the facet joints. The supporting / working relationship is completed with the rocking motions as the joints are actively worked through mobilisation thumbing techniques. These are often deployed by physiotherapists to realign and free stiff joint links, invigorating the blood supply, and inducing repair of the area.

Put simply LumbaCurve gently stretches the lower back, causing the vertebral joints to separate. This in turn, relaxes the discs and frees up the spinal nerves, thus giving back pain relief, as practised by Western physiotherapists, Chiropractors, and Osteopaths. In addition to this LumbaCurve design features provide the combined benefits of shiatsu stimulation, yogic stretch, and acupressure massage, all recognised techniques, employed in Traditional Oriental Medicine, to provide relief for low back pain or sciatic conditions.

David Pegg from Manchester UK is a director with Lumbacurve International, manufacturers of Lumbacurve, a patented back pain relief device, developed in the UK and Netherlands Help Back Pain

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