How Do Coccyx Cushions Work?

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Do you ever experience pain in your tailbone? If so, you may want to try using a coccyx cushion to support and protect these areas. Learn how coccyx cushions work and find out if they may be the right solution for you.

As a general rule, As a general rule, a coccyx cushion is designed to distribute weight evenly through the left and right sitting bones when in use. This can help to take pressure off the rest of the buttocks, including the coccyx, by lifting it off these bony points.
Here’s why I can help finding the right solution for your coccyx pain:

Dr Lawrence Woods DC

If you are into super easy and inexpensive alternatives to office chairs, I wrote a fantastic article on how and why you should consider these options for back pain and I encourage you to read it!

Anatomy of the Spine, Sacrum, and Coccyx

To grasp what coccyx cushions are and how they work, let’s first discuss the anatomy of your spine. 

Spine: A column of vertebrae in the back part of the torso (upper body). Backbones are also called vertebrae. Through the spine runs a spinal canal. This canal contains the spinal cord. Animals that have a spine are called vertebrates, while animals without one are called invertebrates. Because human beings have a spine, they are vertebrates. Intervertebral discs are separating the vertebrae in many vertebrates, including mammals.

Image of a model of a spine lying on its side

Low back (lumbar) vertebrae are located between your bottom ribs and your hips in a curve at the bottom. You have your sacrum and coccyx bone(s) at the base of your spine. Your coccyx lies at the base of your spine, at the very base of your coccygeal vertebrae. 

man with lower lumbar pain with overlapping red pain and spine graphic

The iliopsoas muscles are the muscles that support the pelvic region and help you to stand straight. If these muscles get too tight, they can cause a lot of discomfort in your back and pelvis, which is why most people who have chronic back pain or pelvic pain will try a coccyx cushion. 

Your Coccyx: What Is It?

a red highlighted coccyx on a medical model of human hips

Your coccyx is the tiny bone at the base of your spine. Sometimes referred to as the tailbone, it provides support while you are sitting or standing. Sitting down puts most of your weight on your coccyx. Due to this role, bruising or even fractures of the coccyx are common.

Coccyx Injuries: Causes 

a side profile of a red highlighted coccyx on a medical model of human hips

Injuries to the coccyx often result from long-term stress. Every day, if you sit in a chair without enough cushioning, your tailbone might become bruised. Small stress fractures can develop over time, causing pain and taking a long time to recover. (source)

Coccyx bruises and fractures are common injuries experienced by many people during their lifetime. Usually, tailbone injuries occur due to falls, slips in the showers, or even being pulled out of a chair while sitting down! (source)

Coccyx Injuries: Symptoms

Your body’s pain patterns must be identified so they can be diagnosed and treated. I’ve learned from treating chronic pain patients for decades that every person experiences their symptoms differently. 

I’ve written a complete hands-on review about the Best Seat Cushion for Pregnancy and here are some of the shocking issues that I ran into in this post!

Broken coccyx symptoms include chronic stabbing or burning sensations around my tailbone area. Standing up or sitting down may worsen your discomfort, but you have options for relief!

Additionally, you may also experience more pain during certain activities. If you sit for an extended period, particularly on unpadded surfaces, the pain may be more severe.

Coccyx Cushion – What Is It?

A coccyx cushion is a specially designed seat cushion cut out in the shape of your tailbone or maybe a doughnut-shaped cushion. It helps protect you from pain while sitting, and it also can help correct any posture issues or back problems. 

A coccyx cushion has a cutout where your tailbone sits, removing all pressure from it. While recovering, this will allow you to sit without further damaging the healing area and will enable you to use a lighter dose of pain medication.

Coccyx Cushions: When to Use Them

Coccyx cushions can be used to make sitting less painful in a variety of situations. For example, if you are recovering from an injury and need to sit for long periods or plan on being seated at your desk for over an hour, you can use one. You can also use a cushioned seat if you need to watch television while lying down with some pillows underneath. If you have a long commute, you should also get one for your car.

Coccyx Cushion Buying Guide

You need to consider certain features when purchasing a coccyx cushion. There are many different types of coccyx cushions to take into account before making your decision. If you have back pain, it may mean that it’s best to consider when sitting, so make sure the height and angle of the seat can accommodate this. (source)

Choosing one with an ergonomic design will also prove beneficial as they’re made specifically with specific body shapes in mind; some even have additional spine curvature support built-in!

Make Sure That Your Coccyx Cushion Has the Following Features:

  • A cutout or notch cut out where your tailbone sits.
  • If you wish to sit cool, choose a foam with open cells (like natural latex).  
  • Gel, silicone, and polyurethane foams trap heat, which will exacerbate your coccyx pain.
  • In addition to improving posture, the seat wedge encourages your back into an upright position by pushing the pelvis forward when sitting. Sitting wedges also provide core stability, ease coccyx pain, and make it easier to work if you’re seated for a long time. (source)
  • Make sure that the coccyx seat cover is stretchy to increase the surface are reduce nasty pressure points.

What is the Best Seat Cushion for Coccyx Pain?

seat cushion for better posture

I have been a chiropractor for almost 30 years, and during that time, I have seen countless patients suffering from coccyx pain. I have tried many different seat cushions, but I never found one that was perfect for my patients. I wanted something that would provide support and comfort but also be able to help with spinal alignment.

After doing some research, I decided to design my own seat cushion and test it out on my patients suffering from back pain. After many attempts using various materials and designs, I ultimately created a seat cushion that worked like a charm, and my patients loved it! The cushion is made of memory foam, which contours to the body and provides support for the spine. The cover is made of a breathable mesh fabric that helps to keep the body cool and dry. Additionally, the cushion is designed with a special gel layer that helps to reduce pressure on the coccyx area. This has been an absolute game-changer for my patients, and I am so happy that I was able to help them find relief from their pain!

thespinery.com seat cushion

When it comes to finding a seat cushion that is both comfortable and supportive, many people assume that memory foam is the best option. However, memory foam can often be too soft, resulting in poor spine alignment. Polyurethane foams are more supportive, but they can be quite firm and uncomfortable.

I was surprised how similar cheap memory foam seat cushions were on Aliexpress from the listing on Amazon!

Natural latex, on the other hand, strikes the perfect balance between comfort and support. It is also more durable than either memory foam or polyurethane, making it an ideal choice for a seat cushion. After months of testing different prototypes, I finally designed a seat cushion (in the 2 pictures above) that met all of my criteria. The cushion has helped many of my patients find relief from back pain, and I am confident that it can help you too.

I explain the concept of my design on a TV show HERE

Conclusion

If you’ve been experiencing pain in your tailbone after long hours at the computer, it might be time to invest in a coccyx cushion. These cushions are designed specifically for people with back problems and can help reduce pressure on your tailbone when sitting down. For more ergonomic information about how these products work or what they look like, visit our blog today!

 

 

Sources:

  1. DUNCAN, G.A., 1937. Painful coccyx. Archives of Surgery34(6), pp.1088-1104.
  2. Perkash, I., O’Neill, H., Politi-Meeks, D. and Beets, C.L., 1984. Development and evaluation of a universal contoured cushion. Spinal Cord22(6), pp.358-365.
  3. Crane, B., Wininger, M. and Call, E., 2016. Orthotic-style off-loading wheelchair seat cushion reduces interface pressure under ischial tuberosities and sacrococcygeal regions. Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation97(11), pp.1872-1879.
  4. Jun, Y.D., Cho, S.M. and Park, S.H., 2016. Body pressure distribution measurement for comfort evaluation of a coccyx seating Mat. Adv Sci Technol Lett140, pp.173-8.

 

 

 

 

 

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Dr Lawrence Woods DC

Dr Lawrence Woods DC

Founder

My goal is to create the highest quality ergonomic office chairs and accessories for unmatched comfort.

With 30 years of spinal healthcare experience in Ireland as a chiropractor, I learned the value of high-quality sitting for living a happy and healthy life.

I have a Chiropractic Degree from Life Chiropractic College West and I am NBCE Physiotherapy certified.

 

Dr Lawrence Woods

My goal is to create the highest quality ergonomic office chairs and accessories for unmatched comfort. With 30 years of spinal healthcare experience as a chiropractor, I learned the value of high-quality sleep for living a happy and healthy life. I have a Chiropractic Degree from Life Chiropractic College West and am NBCE Physiotherapy certified.

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