Are Wedge Cushions Good For Back Pain?
Sitting in an office chair all day makes your spine hurt. So if you want to avoid a backache, ensure that your seating is good and supports your lower back, so it doesn’t get even worse!
Well-designed wedge cushions are comfortable, supportive of the back, and reduce back pain or sciatica, spinal stenosis, tailbone pain, arthritis, and pregnancy.
As a general rule, a wedge cushion is good for back pain as it provides spinal stability and comfort. Seat angles between 8 and 13 degrees are recommended to distribute your weight more evenly and prevent overloading your spine.
As a chiropractor with thirty years of experience designing seat wedges and treating back pain, let me explain why this article will hopefully help you get the help you need if you take the time to read it.
You will not read anything like this on this topic anywhere else. Using my research, design, and hands-on experience, I will help you find the perfect wedge cushion that can provide pain relief while seated at work or at home. Follow my simple advice in this article to prevent seated low back discomfort.
The Problem with Back Pain
Back pain is a common condition, but it can be challenging to diagnose. Non-specific back pain is an umbrella term for any type of chronic or repetitive low back discomfort that does not have one specific cause. Many treatments are available, and there are no definitive studies concluding on the most effective way to treat non-specific back problems.
Back pain is tricky to treat because it does not always come from the same place. If two patients have different causes of their back pains, then one treatment may be very effective for one patient but might be useless for another.
There are many types of back pain, so it’s essential to find out the specific problem before you start any exercise program or seek treatment. So, the best way someone can treat their back pain depends on its cause – which may not even be apparent. So what should you do?
Let’s pretend that your back pain originates from a painful disc in your low back. You attend a class after work where one of the exercises is a stretch where you bend forward (flexion). If you exercise this way, your symptoms will likely worsen – or at least worsen over time.
Sitting can aggravate the same process. During this experience, the lower spine will flex due to being seated in this position. People with this particular disc issue will sometimes be advised to pull their knees into them to gain relief. As a result, many extensor muscles feel temporary relief for 15 minutes, but this may also cause severe damage in the long run.
The individual will become accustomed to a perpetual pattern by continuing the knees-to-chest stretches. For these people, frequent posture changes and fast walking can temporarily relieve their pain, but prolonged flexion (sitting) periods cannot be tolerated.
Sitting posture can be assisted with wedge cushions to prevent lumbar flexion. High-end seat wedges are designed to combat the cumulative stresses from sitting by stabilizing your hips. Let me explain why.
Spinal Bending vs. Hip Hinging
Sitting on wedges or wedge cushions are specially shaped foam cushions that can be used to make your office chair more comfortable. The slight downward slope of the cushion helps you sit up straighter and alleviates aches in the back. When seated in this position, you will be bending from the hips, not your spine.
There Are Many Benefits of a Sitting Wedge:
- All in the hips! – It will move your pelvis forward so that your hips do the work instead of your back!
- Better Posture – Position yourself upright to improve core stability,
- Pain relief – Provides comfort for prolonged sitting.
- Sciatica – Helps sciatic pain.
- Tailbone discomfort – for the relief of coccyx injury pain
How Do You Use A Wedge Cushion?
It is as simple as back sitting on it and then pushing yourself up! The thicker part should be located at the back of your chair. You will be able to keep your back upright using the wedge. The wedges aren’t good for soft seating, such as couches or armchairs.
How to Choose a Wedge Cushion for Back Pain
A sitting wedge will better align your torso and upper legs. Additionally, cushions pull your spine inward and tilt your pelvis forward. You’ll decrease spinal stress, feel more stable, and be able to sit upright without putting much stress on your joints, discs, or ligaments.
A seat angle of between 8 and 13 degrees is recommended depending on how you sit. The first time you sit in this manner, it may be helpful to sit for a short time at first. Then, as your back muscles strengthen, you can gradually increase the duration of the time you spend on the seat.
In your instance, the seating wedge relieved the coccyx from its problematic load, thereby relieving pressure on the area. Sitting like that will allow you to sit without feeling uncomfortable.
Best Recommendations for a Sitting Wedge
Layers of foam
Seat cushions usually have a layer of supportive material and a layer of pressure-relieving material so that they can provide both support and pressure relief.
Wedge cushions have ergonomically designed contours that help you improve your posture while you sit.
A seat wedge’s ideal slope is between 8-13 degrees.
High-quality foam foundation (plus 96 kg/m3)
Comfort layer at the top (56-68 kg/m3)
In terms of comfort, resilience, and alignment, Natural Latex is the ultimate choice of foam type.
4D, stretchy and non-slip.
Avoid memory foams
They aren’t ideal for back issues, so I don’t recommend them. Memory foams have no springiness (resiliency); they bottom out; trap heat; and are made of toxic materials, in contrast to natural latex, which is derived from tree sap.
To avoid back pain, ensure your seating is ergonomic and supportive for the lower spine. Well-designed posture wedge cushions are comfortable, support the back, and reduce back pain or sciatica, spinal stenosis, tailbone pain, arthritis, and pregnancy-related symptoms. For more helpful guidance on ergonomics, visit our blog!