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 support 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 this subject ……
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.
- At the top of the list is NO slouching! This puts all the wrong pressure on our vertebrae, 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.
- Keeping the back straight and shoulders back.
- Sit squarely in the chair with no twists in the torso
- Do not cross your legs as this puts strain on the pelvic cavity and knee joints
- Feet should be flat on the floor
- Knees should be slightly lower than, or even with your hips
- Buttocks should be firmly to the back of the chair
- If sitting for long periods, get up and move around every 30 minutes
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 cushion.
It’s highly likely, that the furniture pieces that you’re sitting on in your home are not ergonomically designed 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 seat ergonomics into account. 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 support. 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,
and one that is mesh over a wire frame, which is breathable and thus cooler for extended uses.
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.
Thanks for stopping by, and may you be pain-free ASAP!
All the best,
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.