Back Pain is responsible for more lost working days than any other ailment. So Body & Soul reader Kathy Harris tried out a new product that promises to help alleviate the suffering.
Back pain is on the increase and is slowly but surely becoming the curse of the modern worker's world. And don't think you're safe. Two out of every five adults will experience back pain at some stage in the next 12 months and most adults will suffer from the problem at some stage during their lifetime.
It is also the single greatest reason for time off work with 11.9 million working days [in Britain] lost each year. It is therefore not surprising that David Ponton and Jason Rosser have created the Flexibak; a new back care product from Cheltenham based Flexibak Limited.
The product is made from a number of beech wood sections pivoted on a central aluminium spine and is easy to use. You lie down on it and gently rotate your hips for a minimum of 10 minutes. Doing that every day will be sufficient to relax the muscles and decompress the joints in the lower back.
To see just how good it is, Body & Soul gave back pain sufferer Kathy Harris, 54, the Flexibak to test. Mrs Harris, who lives in Princess Elizabeth Way, Cheltenham with her partner Leonard Griffin has had back problems for the past seven years.
She said, "I've been suffering for quite a while now. The pain affects my lower back and is a sort of throbbing and pulling pain. I work at a laundry and a lot of bending and carrying is involved which I don't think can help my situation. But I did have the pain before I started [working there]. I've been to the doctor a number of times but I've been told it's down to general wear and tear. I have taken tablets and painkillers but they only ever work for a little while. I'm absolutely delighted with the results from Flexibak.
I use it every other day and it has made such a difference. I no longer feel in pain all the time and can work better because I'm not hindered in any way. I'm not so crunched over with pain like I used to be at work. In the past I have taken tablets and they have taken the pain away but it always comes back again after a couple of hours. But when I use this product the pain goes away for at least a day and that's why I'm only using it every other day. It says on the instructions to use it for about 10 minutes at a time but I use it for about half an hour. After 15 minutes I can feel the pain going away and I feel so much more relaxed. It is something I would definitely recommend to anyone".
Flexibak was formed by Mr Ponton, a back specialist, and Mr Rosser, a former osteopath, in October last year and is based in Leckhampton. Both now concentrate on their work for Flexibak although Mr Rosser continues to see a number of patients.
Mr Rosser said: "I've spent years developing and refining Flexibak because I recognised there was such a huge need for a properly designed product which people could use at home to apply the principles of osteopathy".
He also stated that the product was suitable for both long-term sufferers and those with more acute problems. "One pregnant woman found it so comfortable that she carried on using it all the way through a film she was watching" he said. The product is designed to tackle lower back pain.
Because of the success Mrs Harris had with Flexibak, Flexibak presented her with her own one to keep. Mr Ponton said: "We're delighted, but not surprised to hear that Kathy Harris found Flexibak to be so effective in reducing back pain".
Flexibak costs £79.95 and can be ordered on 0800 085 0900.
Gloucestershire Echo , Body and Soul Feature - 19 September 2000