Earlier this month Thumper Massager introduced two really interesting products, the Thumper Flexor and the Thumper Companion back supports. I’ve been using the Flexor for about three weeks at the office, and while there is usually not much to say about a back support, I’ve had some definite impressions regarding the Flexor.
If you are not familiar with the Thumper Massager company, they have been around for years manufacturing high quality personal and professional massagers in Canada. These are the massagers you may have seen that actually massage rather than just vibrate the skin. Given the effectiveness of relaxing muscle tension, one of their large customer segments is back pain sufferers, so offering a preventative back pain product such as a support appears to be a natural expansion of their product line.
Most competing products (perhaps all of them) are manufactured by Asian contract manufacturers that are focused on cost minimization and sold by marketing and import companies. The Thumper Flexor Pro is manufactured in Canada under the direction of the same folks who produce the ultra-high quality Thumper Massagers.
Your spine, muscles, and ligaments become stressed when sitting in a slouched position. Many times due to the chair/seat it unavoidable, especially when lacking support in the lumbar area. Depending on an individual’s proportions and curve of the spine, the optimal support is unique. The Flexor incorporates a height-adjustable inflatable lumbar support. The height adjustability is exclusive to the Flexor and patented by Thumper.
Out of the box, it is obvious that the Flexor is not a typical back support. It is constructed from what appears to be high quality foam and fabric. Thumper claims that the foam will last 15 years. There were no manufacturing flaws on my unit. From handling and using the Flexor, I would say that it would last for years.
Years ago, I worked for a company that manufactured inflatable lumbar systems for the automotive industry. I was the Quality Manager, and I know that the weak point of an inflatable system such as this are the air valves. Thumper provides a lifetime warranty on the valve components, and they appear to be of very high quality.
Using the Flexor Pro
In my job I spend most the day sitting either on the phone or on the computer. I installed the Flexor on the chair I use daily, which is a fairly typical office chair. From the factory, the lumbar support area was a bit too low, and it easily adjusted upward to where I felt it was comfortable. After the initial adjustment, I moved it again the next day to fine tune the position and haven’t touched it since. I have been adjusting the inflation of the support, giving myself a little more in the late afternoon. I believe that it bladder and components inside would hold inflation where I wouldn’t have to mess with it if that’s what I wanted.
Thumper sites research from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada that indicates “adjusting spinal curvature is a critical issue in terms of minimizing disc stresses resulting from prolonged sitting and in specific disorders such as disc bulging/herniation.” They also have independent lab data that confirms the Flexor can beneficially change spinal curvature. From my three week experience with the product, I can personally confirm that as well.
Having used it for a few weeks, I would classify the Flexor Pro as a preventative back pain device. Other products we sell and use like inversion tables and back bubbles are more reactive in that they are used after you have back pain. I found that I could sit much longer without needing to get up and walk around.
What Others Are Saying About The Thumper Flexor Pro
“The ideal sitting posture is one that continually changes. The Thumper® Flexor Pro Active Back Support uses the latest science to ensure minimal stress on the low back tissues and provide for posture change. Using an inflatable air chamber, the user increases or decreases lumbar support. This avoids the stresses caused by prolonged, flexed posture. The easy-to-use inflation/deflation pump facilitates pressure adjustment to create regular posture change. Higher air chamber pressure is recommended later in the day to accommodate the diurnal change in disc hydration. Static back rests simply cannot provide these advantages”
Stuart M. McGill, PhD
Professor of Spine Biomechanics
Occupational Biomechanics and Safety Laboratories
Department of Kinesiology Faculty of Applied Health Sciences
University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
“As a practicing chiropractor for 18 years, I highly recommend Thumper Flexor Pro to all my patients to facilitate proper spinal support at home, at work, or in the car. I believe there is no other back support that combines comfort, durability and price. They are simply the ‘Rolls Royce’ of back supports!”
Robert D. Johnson, BA, DC
“Thumper® Flexor Pro represents a breakthrough in customized, ergonomically-designed back supports!”
J. Dimerman, DC
Dr. J. Dimerman & Associates
Thornhill, Ontario, Canada
For people who sit for long periods of time, I recommend the Thumper Flexor Pro to prevent back pain issues. It appears to be a high quality product that will last for years. Materials used are obviously more durable than those used in competing products, and their patented adjustment feature makes the product customizable for virtually anyone. In my opinion, it is well worth the extra cost over the less expensive non-adjustable models, which are much more common.
If you are reading this, then you probably have first hand knowledge of the effects of improper sitting, but here is an article from WebMD (click here), backing up some of the research from the University of Waterloo.
Better Health Innovations currently has both the Thumper Flexor Pro and the Thumper Companion in stock. I’ve only used the Companion for a little bit, but I think that it would be a fantastic product for anyone who travels a lot. Especially for air travel.