A correct posture when sitting in a chair is very important in preventing and relieving lower back pain. Without proper lumbar support, most people tend to slouch forward in their chairs, and if you’re sitting for extended periods, this can lead to lower back pain and chronic discomfort. The problem can be remedied by ensuring your chair provides good support for your lower spine. It is estimated that a lack of proper support increases the load on the discs between your vertebrae by up to 40%; it’s no wonder around 8 out of every 10 people suffer from lumbar problems at one time or another.
There are several different ways you can help support your back when seated:
Chairs with lumbar support
Some chairs have lumbar support built-in. Those which allow you to adjust the support are always more effective, though a fixed support is usually better than none at all.
Pillows and cushions
The purpose of using a pillow or cushion is simply to fill in the space between the back of your chair and the gap caused by the natural curvature of your lower spine. If you can fit your hand between your lower back and the backrest of your seat, then your back is not being adequately supported and your spine is likely to suffer. Although you can’t beat a high-quality, purpose-built lumbar pillow or cushion; you can achieve a similar benefit by using a rolled-up towel.
A support cushion has portability as a major advantage. If you finding one that particularly suits your needs, then being able to take it with you wherever you may need it is a real bonus. Buying a cheap model is probably not a good investment, as they tend to use low-quality fillings which degrade quickly, with a subsequent drop in performance. Many people prefer pillows filled with buckwheat, since you are often able to take some wheat out, or add more in, to suit your preferences. Another relatively new option is the ‘memory’ material cushion, constructed from a special foam which customizes itself to the shape of your back using body heat.
Whichever option you choose, proper lumbar support can go a long way to alleviating lower back pain.