office chair cushion for hip pain
Here are the best seat cushions for lower back pain on the market today.
We researched dozens of seat cushions and evaluated them for material, price, added features, and breathability. Each of the seat cushions chosen in this article was determined to be the best of these factors.
When looking for a seat cushion for lower back pain, Brian A. Cole, MD , an orthopedic surgery specialist at Englewood Spine Associates in Englewood, New Jersey, recommends looking for microwavable or freezer-friendly lumbar inserts, expandable straps, and adjustable buckets. These features can make for a more comfortable sitting position.
The ComfiLife Gel Enhanced Seat Cushion has a layer of memory foam to relieve pressure on your tailbone. The LOVEHOME Memory Foam Lumbar Support Cushion is a great addition to an office chair.
Seat cushions can help alleviate pressure off your tailbone and alleviate back pain. They can also "help maintain [a] healthy curve in your lower spine," provide more support, and "encourage an improved upright sitting posture," according to Preston Brown, according to Preston Brown, DPT , owner of Prestige Therapy and Wellness, LLC.
The mesh covering is completely washable, and the pillow is definitely small and convenient enough for travel.
This pillow is a gel and memory foam hybrid that works to provide relief to those recovering from giving birth or for those with tailbone and lower back pain. It will also relieve any pressure build-up surrounding the sciatic nerve by improving blood circulation.
"I have this lumbar pillow support set for my work-from-home setup. Since adding it, I've noticed my posture improve, and I have less fatigue from sitting in front of my laptop and monitor all day. (I should note that my chair is not an ergonomic desk chair but a hard, acrylic chair.)" — Ashleigh Morley , Editorial Director of Verywell Health Commerce
It is made of high-quality memory foam and has a non-slip rubber bottom. It also has adjustable buckles and straps that will prevent sliding or movement of any kind.
For those with arthritis, this set includes two cushions: one for the back of the chair and one for the seat. The seat cushion focuses on relieving pressure on the coccyx, while the back cushion provides pressure and pain relief to the lower lumbar region.
“It’s a great addition for your work chair as it helps to evenly distribute weight, improve lumbopelvic stabilization and proprioception, and increase core activation while sitting.” — Diana Chen, DPT , licensed physical therapist with Hudson Medical + Wellness
It comes with two adjustable straps as opposed to the typical one, which makes it super sturdy and customizable. The mesh on the outside is also washable, so you can make sure to keep it clean and fresh.
Sitting in an office chair all day can be a major source of stress on your back . Luckily, this pillow can help make your workday a little bit more comfortable. It’s made of premium memory foam and high-quality mesh. It’s especially great for people who are post-surgery, experiencing lumbosacral lower back pain , or for those with spondylosis as it focuses on removing pressure from your lumbar vertebrae.
This takes the cake for customers looking for something that is wheelchair-approved. Because it’s inflatable, it’s super sensitive for people who are at risk of tissue breakdown or for those experiencing pain or are concerned about developing ulcers or sores. This also makes it fairly adjustable and super lightweight. It comes with a little carrying case that is machine-washable, as well as a pump.
It includes a washable cover and an anti-skid bottom that will make sure you feel secure and comfortable all day long. It’s also perfect for travel.
If you’re looking for a cushion that will help you bid your lower back pain farewell at an affordable price, this high-density memory foam may just do the trick. Its entire design is focused on removing pressure from your lower back by ensuring that the tailbone hovers over the surface of the seat without actually touching it. It does this by factoring in a cut-out that leaves space for the coccyx bone.
“Generally, I recommend heat prior to exercise or performing a certain activity to help increase blood flow to the area, relax any tight muscles, and increase mobility; if you experience any pain or soreness following exercise or activity, ice can be used to help calm things down.” — Preston Brown , owner of Prestige Therapy and Wellness, LLC
The pillow itself is made of contoured, molded foam that is great for providing relief to those experiencing general pain, sciatica, or ulcers that are a result of pressure. It’s super compact and can be broken down for travel.
Not only is this option cost-effective, but it also comes with a removable gel insert that can be popped into the freezer and frozen or put into the microwave for a heat-infused boost. To Dr. Cole’s recommendations, it comes with adjustable straps and buckles that will ensure it stays exactly where you choose on the chair and in regard to your back placement.
One of the best parts about this cushion is that it can be used anywhere—at your office, in your car, or at home. It also supports better posture, which will also provide relief to your lower back and general alignment. It’s machine-washable and has a convenient handle that helps with transport.
We chose the ComfiLife cushion as our top pick because it is made of memory foam, and the cushion is topped with cooling gel that will keep you comfortable temperature-wise. It’s also specifically designed to relieve pressure on the coccyx .
What do buyers say? 85% of 83,000+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.
Who else recommends it? Bustle and The Strategist both picked the ComfiLife Gel Enhanced Seat Cushion.
While there are plenty of cushions on the market, ComfiLife Gel Enhanced Seat Cushion (view on Amazon) is the best overall and is a great place to start for anyone with general lower back pain looking for relief.
4.8 to 5 stars: These are the best seat cushions for lower back pain we reviewed. We recommend them without reservation.
4.5 to 4.7 stars: These seat cushions for lower back pain are excellent—they might have minor flaws, but we still recommend them.
4.0 to 4.5 stars: We think these are great seat cushions for lower back pain, but others are better.
3.5 to 3.9 stars: These seat cushions for lower back pain are just average.
3.4 and below: We don't recommend seat cushions for lower back pain with this rating; you won't find any on our list.
What to Look for in a Seat Cushion for Lower Back Pain
Most cushions are either inflatable or made of memory foam, and while one isn’t necessarily better than the others, it’s important to know what you need in terms of support before you choose between them. Physical therapist Susan Eby, M.S., of Eby Physical Therapy in New York City, says too-firm cushions are uncomfortable, but that squishy memory foam can, in some cases, compress too much to provide many benefits.
Her preferred material? Anything inflated. “Inflatable cushions allow firmness adjustment as well as the ability to shift your weight and activate your core muscles throughout the day,” she explains.
That said, if you’re recovering from injury or need something more stable, a fixed-shape memory foam cushion with a little give might be exactly what you want. Think about what kind of support you need, then find a cushion made of material that will give it to you.
When you’re using a back pain cushion with a chair (versus a couch or bed), you should look for an option that has adjustable straps to keep the cushion in place, says Eby. Otherwise, you could end up with a pillow that moves or slides into less-than-optimal positions during its use, either providing little to no relief for your pain or, worse, triggering new pain in other areas.
Shape and Contour
If the point of buying a support cushion is to get more support, one of the most important things to look at is whether the cushion can be adapted to your unique body shape. For relief from slouching and slumping, you need a back cushion that will keep your spine aligned in a neutral position.
“The shape of [a lumbar] cushion ideally matches the natural curve of your spine, and the bottom of the pillow should support the sacrum or tailbone,” says Eby. “This will create a base of support for your entire spine.”
The same goes for coccyx seat cushions; if your tailbone doesn’t rest over the support contour in the center of the cushion or if the cushion is too wide or narrow for your frame, you won’t benefit—or find relief—from its natural shape.
Is it better to use a firm cushion or soft cushion for back pain?
Although soft cushions are more inviting, you really want to aim for firm support when shopping for a seat cushion—as long as you understand that firm doesn’t mean hard or uncomfortable but “supportive,” says Preston Brown, DPT, owner of Prestige Therapy and Wellness, LLC.
“For prolonged sitting, having firm support is optimal [because it not only] provides more stability, but may help you to unconsciously shift around more, giving your spine the movement that it thrives on,” explains Dr. Brown.
Soft surfaces, on the other hand, are more comfortable in the short term but allow our bodies to sink into them, leaving us vulnerable to reduced movement and stiffness.
In addition to using a seat cushion, what other activities that can help with lower back pain?
"Despite our best intentions to maintain good posture throughout the day, our muscles fatigue. Support cushions help maintain alignment when our own muscles can’t do it for us," says Susan Eby, M.S., physical therapist at Eby Physical Therapy in New York City. She adds that in addition to using a seat cushion, there are some other approaches you can try to help relieve your back pain, including:
Why Trust Verywell Health
An experienced health writer, Brittany Loggins understands how important it is to have a comprehensive understanding of the products she's recommending. All of the products found in her pieces have either been tested by her first hand or have been recommended by trusted medical professionals.
Additional reporting to this story by Sarah Bradley
Sarah Bradley has been writing health content since 2017—everything from product roundups and illness FAQs to nutrition explainers and the dish on diet trends. She knows how important it is to receive trustworthy and expert-approved advice about over-the-counter products that manage everyday health conditions, from GI issues and allergies to chronic headaches and joint pain.
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