At any given time, a staggering 31 million Americans are experiencing lower back pain. Does that include you?
If you suffer from pain in this region, you know that everyday activities, from sitting at work to riding in a car, can be frustratingly difficult. As researchers and physicians learn more about this condition, more products have entered the health and wellness market, designed to provide lumbar support where you need it the most.
These include special lumbar support cushions that can alleviate pressure and tension from the pain points along your spine.
Are you considering investing in a few to keep on hand at work and at home? If so, read on. Today, we're diving into the heavy-hitting questions around these cushions, exploring if they really work and what makes them so effective.
What Are Lumbar Support Cushions?
Before we take a closer look at their functionality, let's explore the form behind lumbar support cushions. What are they made of and why would you buy one?
In short, these are specially designed orthopedic cushions meant to provide ergonomic support for your back. Most of the time, lumbar support cushions are made out of some combination of firm foam and fiber. They're made to be as lightweight and portable as possible, as many people prefer to take theirs along on long car rides or back-and-forth between work and home.
Higher-end models, such as our Back Cushion Lumbar Support Cushion are made with premium, 100% pure memory foam for optimized comfort and support.
Due to its heat responsiveness, the memory foam is able to contour to the curves of your body, creating a custom fit that will keep you cushioned and cradled for hours.
Do I Need One?
Do you have a job or a hobby that requires you to spend a lengthy amount of time in a seated position? Are you a wheelchair user? Even if you don't currently suffer from back pain, you could notice new aches and jolts if you spend a considerable amount of time off of your feet.
In time, this can cause serious harm to your posture. If you spend hours hunched over a computer screen, you might notice that you already slouch and lean forward more than you used to! While you might not notice the negative consequences of this behavior at first, it won't be long until your lower spine starts to tell on you.
While lumbar support cushions can help improve your posture, that isn't their primary aim. Rather, they are mostly designed to help you stay as comfortable as possible while in a seated position. You can use one before your back pain sets in, while you're in the middle of a painful episode, or after an episode has passed.
In this regard, there is never a time when such a cushion isn't a welcomed and necessary accessory. You'll wonder how you ever sat at work without one!
Benefits of a Lumbar Support Cushion
Are you on the fence about buying a lumbar support cushion? Let's review a few of the many benefits you can expect to reap when you get one for yourself!
1. Relaxation for Tired Muscles
Do you find that your back feels tight or stiff after a long day at work? This is because your muscles have stayed stagnant for too long and haven't been adequately supported.
As you slouch, it puts extra pressure on your lumbar region. This can lead to muscle pain and fatigue over time. A lumbar support cushion helps keep these muscles relaxed and at ease, rather than pulled too tightly.
2. Physician-Recommended Support
While there are many different treatments and therapies designed to alleviate back pain, physicians and orthopedic specialists alike usually recommend a simple lumbar cushion before going a more drastic route.
For many people, this is the one small accessory that makes a huge difference.
3. Quick Pain Relief
Have you ever jolted out of an office chair only to find your back twisting and turning in writhing pain? When you need support, you need it now and these cushions deliver.
You don't have to grow accustomed to the shooting pain you feel radiating down your spine and through your legs. Letting that discomfort linger can lead to chronic back pain, as well as more complicated spinal disorders. A specialized cushion can help you avoid this pain altogether and find relief when it does strike.
4. Easy to Transport
One of the best things about our lumbar support cushions is that they're fuss-free and highly effective. Not only do their covers remove in seconds for easy cleaning, but they're lightweight and a cinch to take wherever you go.
When an item is this easy to transport, you're that much more likely to use it on a regular basis.
5. An Affordable Price Point
Consider the long-term implications of letting your lower back pain go untreated. While you may be able to take ibuprofen now to help mask the pain, that's not a long-term solution. In time, you could require more advanced physical therapies and other treatments to help you keep the sharp discomfort at bay.
When considered against these pricier routes, you'll see that a lumbar support cushion is a surprisingly affordable and budget-friendly buy!
How Do You Use One?
Once you've invested in a lumbar support cushion, you might take one look at it and wonder what exactly you're supposed to do with it! After all, you want to make sure it's achieving its full effect!
A lumbar support cushion is meant to sit in the inner curve of your spine. This region is also called the small of your back. This way, it can help relieve and manage your lower back pain.
There are many reasons you may feel discomfort in this region, including:
- Sprained or strained muscles
- Herniated or ruptured discs
- Traumatic injury
A lumbar support cushion uses pressure mapping to relieve stress from the areas where you tend to feel it the most. In addition, it helps to naturally distribute your weight while also adapting to your back's natural curvature.
While Sitting in a Chair
If you suffer from any condition, you may find that your symptoms are more prevalent after periods of prolonged sitting. This is because remaining in one place with limited to no movement can cause the muscles and ligaments in your lower back to tighten up and cramp.
A lumbar support cushion, such as our Gel-Infused Memory Foam Lumbar Support Back Cushion, provides targeted support right where you need it the most.
For best results, it helps to use yours in a chair that offers firm support. First, position the lumbar cushion vertically in the chair, so it's able to cover as much of your spine as possible. You'll know it's in the right position if you can feel it lying flush against the lower part of your back. While you might be tempted to move it around to the exact spot where you're feeling the ache, try to keep it placed on your lumbar region instead.
As you lean against it, you'll notice that it alleviates back and spine pain almost instantly. Moreover, it gently shifts your body into the correct posture, which can take the pressure off your pain points and reduce your overall discomfort. The gel-infused memory foam keeps you cool and ventilated, so you never have to worry about getting too hot during use.
The best part? Both our standard and gel-infused lumbar support back cushions feature a machine-washable cover with a non-slip bottom. This helps you rest assured that it will stay in place all day long, even as you shift and move around in your chair. There are even adjustable straps that allow you to position it anywhere on the chair you'd like for hours-long comfort.
If you're planning to use your cushion on a public surface, such as on a bus or in a taxi, you'll appreciate the easy maintenance and convenience that the removable covers provide!
While Lying in Bed
In addition to using your lumbar support cushion while seated, you can also use it at night while you lie in bed. Especially if your mattress is on the softer side, you might not get all of the support you need from that foundation alone. In fact, some mattresses can even contribute to your back pain!
While lying in bed, elevate your knees just a little with a few soft pillows. Then, you can position the lumbar support cushion in the small of your back. This helps reduce the amount of pressure that's lying on your lower spine and can help you sleep more comfortably. If you prefer to sleep on your side, you can shift the cushion to between your knees instead.
Do Cushions for Lumbar Support Really Work?
You've seen the advertisements and you've read the claims. Still, you're skeptical. Do lumbar cushions really help ease lower back pain as they promise?
The answer is a resounding "yes".
Whether you're lying on your back or sitting upright in a chair, these cushions allow your spine to remain in a natural, neutral position. If you know ahead of time that you'll be sitting for a while, you may also want to prop your feet up using a supportive pillow such as our Memory Foam Foot Rest Pillow. This way, you can relieve even more pressure from your spine and encourage proper posture.
If you suffer from sciatica, you might have pain that isn't just isolated to your lower back or spine. Rather, it might travel all the way down the backs of your legs. In this case, a lumbar support cushion can help relieve that pain as well.
Whether you're riding in a car, flying on a plane or answering e-mails at work, you deserve to be cradled in maximum comfort and your lumbar support cushion can provide that relief.
Researcher Support For Lumbar Support Cushions
You know that we're major proponents of the cushions in our shop that help relieve your back pain. This includes our lumbar support cushions, wedge cushions, coccyx seat cushions and more. Yet, you don't have to simply take our word for it!
Research also points to the effectiveness of these cushions. While myriad studies have been conducted around lumbar support devices and their effect on spinal curvatures, the benefits are made more real when measured in real people. Recently, researchers investigated a specific pain population to see if these cushions made a difference in their pain levels and everyday lives.
With that data, they were able to report a quantitative measure of comfort.
They began by asking a simple question: Is a lumbar support cushion more effective than a standard chair when it comes to promoting a neutral spine posture? Moreover, which device was more successful in providing both subjective and objective measures of comfort?
The study analyzed 28 people, including both healthy individuals as well as those who suffered from lower back pain. During the study, the groups sat in two different settings. One group sat in a standard office chair while the other sat in the same chair, outfitted with a lumbar support cushion.
They remained in position for 30 minutes. They measured the participants' lumbar and thoracolumbar postures via electromagnetic markers. Then, they determined everyone's comfort level by analyzing their degree of pressure shifting, as well as using visual scales.
The findings? There were marked differences in the participants' lumbar posture and thoracolumbar posture when considering those in the cushioned chair versus those in the standard chair.
While those in the standard chair had a more neutral thoracolumbar posture, this wasn't the case with lumbar posture. In fact, those in the cushioned chair had a more neutral lumbar posture than those who were not using the lumbar support cushions. In addition, the degree of pressure shifting was "significantly improved" in the cushioned chair as well.
Shop Our Products for Lumbar Support
You don't have to let lumbar pain keep you from enjoying your everyday life. You should be able to work, play and sleep in comfort.
Our lumbar support cushions were designed with you in mind. Every detail, from the supportive material to the washable cover, is meant to improve your life and ease your discomfort. With continued use, you'll notice how much stronger, healthier and more relaxed your lower back feels.
When you're ready to discover more products to support your health and home, check out the rest of our online shop. You can also contact us with any questions!