About 5% to 10% of patients suffering from low back pain have sciatica. Its symptoms include radiating leg pain and other related issues.
Even though some sciatica patients usually require surgery, most of them only require secondary care, which includes having seats with special cushions.
Does Sitting on a Seat Cushion Help Sciatica?
Yes, sitting on a seat cushion helps sciatica patients in very many ways. Most seat cushions are circular or U-shaped. This design helps to take off the pressure from the tailbone and the spine, which are usually the most affected areas for sciatica patients.
Donut-shaped seat cushions also help sciatica patients with slightly varying conditions. They are unique and can help relieve strains from the affected areas of the patient’s body.
Different types of seat cushions are now available thanks to the growth of technology and continued innovations in the industry. This calls for the need for patients to find the perfect seat cushions for their needs. Every patient is unique.
See also: sciatica cushion.
What to Look for in a Seat Cushion if You Have Sciatica
Sciatica patients need a lot of cushioning and comfort to reduce the pain and the discomfort that comes with the condition. Consider the factors below:
1. Seat Cushion Type
The most common types of seat cushions include wedge, inflatable, and heated cushions. Each have their advantages and disadvantages as discussed below:
Wedge Seat Cushion
These seat cushions have a design that boosts the inward curvature of the lower back. They improve the patient's seating posture and general comfort. An upright posture together with reduced strain on the joints and ligaments further help in reducing general body strains.
Wedge seat cushions have both memory foam and high-density foam for their making. This gives you more options to pick from depending on your needs.
See also: best seat cushions out there.
Heated Seat Cushions
If you are looking for the latest trends and discovery in the cushion industry, heated seat cushions are your perfect option. As their name suggests, heated seat cushions rely on heat technology such as infrared and moist heat together with electricity to generate heat that is safe for patients to use.
These seat cushions work by improving blood circulation in the affected areas of your body through widening of the blood vessels. A good blood flow means that nutrients circulate through your body perfectly, therefore, improving your healing process and reducing sciatica pain.
Inflatable Seat Cushions
For patients that are always on the move, inflatable seat cushions are perfect. Their versatility means that you can carry them to your office, home, vacation or anywhere that you wish to visit.
The fact that you can inflate these seat cushions to your desired levels also means that you can customize them to your comfort levels.
2. The Functionality of the Seat Cushion
How the seat cushion functions is also a factor to consider. You must be able to answer questions such as; how well can the cushion relieve pain? What are its posture alignment abilities? Is it portable? Can it relieve pain effectively? What are the seat cushions core engagement abilities?
A suitable seat cushion should have some openings or holes in some parts of your body to relieve pressure from the spine or tailbone. Some come in donut-shape or circular to enhance further comfort for the patient.
Cushions with better core engagement helps the patient to sit actively and improves focus levels. Portable cushions are very versatile.
3. The Materials That Make Up the Cushion
When looking for a seat cushion, never compromise on comfort and durability of the product. One of the best ways to guarantee this is by checking the material used in making the seat cushion. Today, manufacturers use varying materials to manufacture seat cushions. The most common materials include:
Seat cushions made from memory foam are very popular majorly because they are breathable. They have bubbles that allow air to circulate freely inside the cushion. Memory foam cushions are arguably the best and they have been around for some considerable amount of time.
See also: why use memory foam seat cushion.
Silicone Gel Cushions
These are cushions that have a polymer network or cells with silicone fluids. The fluids make the cushions durable, flexible, and comfortable. Their main purpose, however, is to help relieve pressure from the patient’s body.
High-Density Foam Cushions
For sciatica patients, most of their seat cushions have high-density foam for their making. These cushions are perfect because they help relieve pressure on the exact parts where sciatica patients usually have discomfort- the tailbone.
Air Seat Cushions
Also known as inflatable seat cushions, air seat cushions are lightweight and easily portable. These seat cushions allow patients to fill air to their desired capacities. They allow patients to decide what their level of comfort is.
Air seat cushions are popular because of their easy portability and are easy to maintain as compared to the other available options.
4. The Size of the Seat Cushion
Having the right-sized seat cushion is a no-brainer. Not only does this factor affect how your seat cushion fits in your chair but also affects the height and the weight of your entire set up.
5. What Makes the Cushion’s Exteriors?
Seat cushions come with varying exterior finishes. The most common ones are nylon, suede, and polyester. Looking at the exterior of a seat cushion is important because it allows you to pick durable, water resistant, and comfortable products.
Additional features to consider include security straps, lumbar back support packages, and if the product is washable.
There is no doubt that seat cushions can help sciatica patients. They are comfortable and they can relieve pressure from the patient’s affected areas. However, the success of these seat cushions depend on the ability of the patient to find the perfect products.
Before opting for a particular product, consider factors such as functionality, size, exterior material, interior material, and the type of seat cushion. The additional features that come with some of these products can also be beneficial.
The most viable option for sciatica patients is the high-density foam seat cushion. They are very comfortable and have a design that makes it easier for the patients to adjust conveniently while sitting down. That said, the final decision lies with the patient because people are different.