It is important to do your research when considering the purchase of a back pain product. A number of products on the market claim to solve all of your back problems; it is necessary to approach these products with a healthy skepticism and willingness to do your research.
One odd-sounding product currently selling as a back pain cure is the Sacro Wedgy. This small, plastic device is curved to cradle the sacrum. Selling for under $30, the Sacro Wedgy claims to relieve most instances of back pain by elevating the sacrum, allowing the hips to drop and muscles to loosen.
Tight or imbalanced hip muscles can cause a variety of lower back pain conditions including sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction, pelvic tilt, sciatica and piriformis syndrome. Tight psoas muscles, stretching from the thigh bone to the lumbar vertebrae, can pull the pelvis downward in front causing what is called anterior pelvic tilt. This changes vertebral angles in the lower back, increasing risk of early disc degeneration. It also creates tension in the compressed lower back muscles. The SI joint forms where the hip bone meets the sacrum at the base of the spine. The joint is supported by a complex web of ligaments and muscles. Tense muscles can tug the joint out of alignment, causing SI joint dysfunction. The piriformis muscle, stretching from the thigh bone to the sacrum, can become tight and impinge the sciatic nerve. All of the above situations can lead to sciatica.
The concept of the Sacro Wedgy – elevating the sacrum to loosen the hips – has validity, then. To use the device, you place it on the floor, carefully position your sacrum over it, then lie back. It is important to use a neck pillow for support. You must relax your body, allowing your buttocks and hips to fall around the device. In this way, the muscles and ligaments of the hips are stretched.
The Sacro Wedgy comes with a cushion pad that is meant to sit underneath it to increase elevation. Beginners may be more comfortable without the pad at first; if your muscles are very tight, gradual stretching will be more manageable. It is also possible to sit on the device; maintaining an upright spine, allow your hips to relax around the elevated sacrum while sitting at home, work or in the car.
Reviews of the Sacro Wedgy are mixed. Amazon.com shows product ratings to be between 3.5 and 4.5 stars. Yet the number of people who gave poor reviews deserves attention; one listing received 17 “Excellent” reviews and 13 “Terrible” reviews. What causes this discrepancy?
Based on the written reviews submitted by customers, a few problems recur with this device. One is sizing. It comes in two sized, one male and one female. The female one is wider and shorter than the male one. If a woman is tall with a slender pelvis, she may be more comfortable on the male version. However, every pelvis is different. Two size options cannot be expected to accommodate every pelvis. If you have especially unique dimensions, this product may not fit your body.
Another concern is that many people reported worsening pain after using the product. The website, found at www.sacrowedgy.com, explains that the product may hurt at first due to issues with positioning or the tightness of the muscles you’re attempting to stretch. However, no contraindications except for coccyx cysts are discussed. The Sacro Wedgy is likely not helpful for every back pain cause, and may even cause further harm with some.
One reviewer notes that the device may be helpful for muscle-related pain but harmful if you have a degenerative condition such as arthritis. Another consideration is that SI joint dysfunction and pregnancy pain can be caused by loose, overstretched ligaments in the hip region. Stretching them further is not the answer to pain treatment. Also, pregnant women should not lay on their backs after the first trimester, a precaution that the product’s website doesn’t acknowledge.
The above website contains more information about the Sacro Wedgy, including videos to explain the device’s history and demonstrate its use.
Before purchasing a product to relieve back pain, it is necessary to consider the possible harm it can do in certain situations. Read product reviews from sites like Amazon.com and make every effort to discover the cause of your lower back pain before making a purchase.