by Tom Hein | 12:20 pm

THIS WEBSITE was created to focus primarily on braces to immobilize our skeletal structures for recovery from a wide array of ailments. One aid that fits more into the support category is a lumbar back support cushion for low back pain and discomfort.

Many of us spend hours each day sitting, usually at work, plus driving to and from work. What we sit on, and how we position ourselves, is the reason there is such a big need for additional lumbar support.

New chair technology and design, compared to what chairs started out as, hasn’t done us many favors. Originally, chairs were merely wood, with no padding. While that sounds too hard, it was more friendly to our spinal alignment. Now we have padded furniture, with more drawbacks than benefits.

Let’s look more in-depth into how lumbar back support cushions can help us out ……


Proper Sitting Posture

In order to alleviate many problems associated with long periods of sitting, it’s important to know the correct mechanics for skeletal alignment.

  1. At the top of the list is NO slouching! This puts all the wrong pressure on our spine, which in turn can pinch nerves coming out of the spinal cord, causing pain and/or pins and needles. Doing this continually could affect the vertebral discs and lead to long term spinal issues.
  2. Keeping the back straight and shoulders back.
  3. Sit squarely in the chair with no twists in the torso
  4. Do not cross your legs as this puts strain on the pelvic cavity and knee joints
  5. Feet should be flat on the floor
  6. Knees should be slightly lower than, or even with your hips
  7. Buttocks should be firmly to the back of the chair
  8. If sitting for long periods, get up and move around every 30 minutesback-pain-from-chair

In a perfect world, these are the guidelines to follow to keep your body, and particularly, you lower back in the best condition. Admittedly, most of us aren’t going to follow each and every recommendation, and that’s why we need to use a lumbar back support cushion.


Furniture Design

It’s highly likely, that the furniture pieces that you’re sitting on in your home are not designed with the spine in mind to prevent back trouble. They can be too soft without firm support. They can be too deep, which if you sit all the way back, can force you to slouch in an effort to keep your feet on the floor and not look like a child with your legs dangling in the air.

The back edge of the seat, where it meets the back of the chair/couch, can be tilted down lower than the front which gives improper spinal alignment and leads to backaches.

It’s quite easy to find office desk chairs these days, that have a lot more adjustability, which is great! The one thing to keep in mind though, even if you should have a chair that is adjusted to meet all of the outlined requirements and you are feeling comfortable …. don’t sit on your laurels (so to speak). You still want to get up and move around every half hour or so. This will have a “reset” effect on your joints and back – not to mention it can give your mind a reset too.


Car Seat Design

There aren’t many car manufacturers that take spinal posture into account when they design the seats. The higher end vehicles – yes, but the vast majority – no.

There are many seats that have adjustments for forward/backward, and height, and some will tip the front edge of the seat down, which helps a lot to get the knees from being too high. But to have good back and lumbar support, proper height of the knees, and still be in a position for proper vehicle control …… is pretty rare.

Most car seats are shaped so that your pelvis, back, and knees are far from optimal alignment. Prolonged trips in this position will find you in pain at the end of your journey, from shoulder/neck aches, pins and needles in your feet from pinched nerves in your legs, or cramps in your legs or back.


How to Counteract Poorly Designed Chairs/Seats/Couches

One of the best ways to help yourself avoid the effects of incorrectly designed seating, is to have a lumbar back support cushion. I also feel that one that is inflatable has the most benefits.

This type can be adjusted to just the right amount of firmness for your body, plus it can be deflated and easily carried with you on vacation to be used wherever you go. You may even consider having more than one, as one can be kept in your vehicle, one in your home, and one for traveling.

There are a few designs – the inflatable lumbar support as already mentioned. There is also a style that is a semi-rigid foam lumbar support, lumbar back support cushion

and one that is mesh over a wire frame,  which is breathable and thus cooler for extended uses.

 

 

 

 


Your Input?

I like to have my posts be on the interactive side, with you the reader, adding your thoughts and/or experiences. So please, feel free to post your comment or question, and you will hear from me in short order.

More in-depth information can be found here, regarding the benefits of using a lumbar back support cushion.

Thanks for stopping by, and may you be pain-free ASAP!

All the best,

Tom   My Profile Pic

 

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Disclaimer: I am trained in a holistic modality, but not as a doctor, so this post or website should not be taken as medical advice. Please do your own research. Material on this blog is the result of either my own experience or research, and is provided for informational purposes only. It is general information that may not apply to your specific situation, and is not a substitute for your own doctor’s medical care or advice.

Please use discernment in the consideration of purchasing any type of health related products via the internet. Educating yourself prior to buying is always suggested and recommended.

Comments

Michel

Great article and I don’t think that enough people know that the back pain that they are experiencing in later years is mainly due to sitting wrongly all their lives.

I don’t think that the human being was actually designed to sit for long periods of time, which is why more and more people are opting for a standing desk. Although I don’t think standing for long periods in one place is ideal either.

Reading your article has reminded me to go out and purchase some lumbar support for my office chair, which I have been meaning to do for a while now. Thanks for the great reminder.

Jul 01.2019 | 05:21 pm

    Tom Hein

    Thank you Michel – and I agree with you! We’re not meant to sit, or stand really, for long periods. 

    Like all things in life – moderation is THE way to go. 

    It’s always a good idea, if you have a desk job, to get up as often as possible (even if you have to fake a trip to the toilet lol). This will help to “reset”your bone structure, stretch your muscles, and even clear your mind a bit. 

    Here is a great lumbar support for you to check out!

    All the best,

    Tom

    Jul 01.2019 | 06:49 pm

Xaric

I actually ended up with a disk bulge due to a chronic poor sitting posture. Not fun at all!

I’ve actually tried several types of semi-rigid foam lumbar supports but none of them seem to work for me. I haven’t tried the meshed one though… Is it any different than the foam ones or will I just be wasting my money on it?

Xaric

Jul 01.2019 | 05:22 pm

    Tom Hein

    Hi Xaric,

    Sorry to hear that! This sure is a prime example of the consequences of poor posture. 

    I hope you have found some degree of relief. 

    The mesh ones probably will not give you enough support, as they’re basically mesh wrapped over a wire frame and will flatten out from normal body weight. They can be good when slight support is needed, and being built the way they are, can be cooler during hot weather. 

    The one I would suggest for you is the Supportiback Lumbar Support. Take a look and see what you think. 

    Here’s to your (back) health!

    Tom

    Jul 01.2019 | 09:39 pm

Sondra M

Thanks for sharing this information about what kind of posture is good sitting posture and what is bad sitting posture.   This spring, I realized that the amount of time that I have been sitting at the computer has started causing back pain.  

 I also have had friends comment on my poor posture.  It’s embarrassing when friends start feeling like my slouching and slumped shoulders has gotten so bad that they are mentioning it.   Hopefully the damage that I have done to my posture is not going to be irreversible.

I think the padded furniture which feels comfortable has contributed to my “challenges.”  As has the ability to sit in bed or on the couch and work on a laptop computer or an iPad.

Your diagrams showing proper sitting posture is helpful.   I probably need to print it out and tape it as a reminder on my devises….    Thank you!      

Jul 01.2019 | 05:32 pm

    Tom Hein

    Hi Sondra,

    Don’t feel too bad as you’re definitely not in the minority. 

    It’s almost like an evolution prompted by “comfy” vs what is actually good for us. 

    Maybe we should go into business redesigning furniture to counteract the years of damage done by being unaware. lol

    In my health care practice that I also do, I see first hand the results of improper posture and poor supporting furniture. It can be corrected with time and the right guidance and intent. 

    (BTW – sitting in bed and working on a laptop or watching TV is maybe the worst position for your spine FYI)

    Awareness is half the battle Sondra, so chin up!! 🙂 

    All the best,

    Tom

    Jul 01.2019 | 09:31 pm

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