Sciatica is an uncomfortable condition usually with pain originating from the from the lumbar region or lower back. Vertebrae in the spine are normally cushioned with round, disk-like connective tissue. However, over years the cushion, or soft tissue, can get worn down from age or from injury. This causes a herniated disk, which puts painful pressure on the vertebrae around it. Sometimes, the pressure hits the sciatic nerve, which is the longest nerve in the body. One method of dealing with the pain is to find the best seat cushion for sciatica for comfort when sitting at home or during travel.
What is the Sciatic Nerve?
The sciatica is a very distinctive nerve in the body. It runs from the lower back, then splits and runs through the hips, buttocks, legs and feet on both sides of the body. Herniated disks may be a very common cause for sciatica, but other causes can include bone spurs or spinal narrowing (stenosis), which also puts painful pressure on lower back and irritates the sciatic nerve.
Symptoms of Sciatica
Many seniors experience sciatic pain from using mobility aids or injuries caused by falls. Symptoms of sciatica are very easy to recognize: pain that radiates from your lower back and down your leg. Some cases of sciatica are milder, and may only take four to eight weeks to heal. Others are more severe and may need medical assistance. The good news is that it is a treatable condition, and while you are healing, there are exercises and special equipment you can use to help alleviate the pain.
Dr. Jo is a physical therapist who shares a lot of free information on the internet. Here is a quick video she put together showing some stretches and exercises for sciatic nerve pain:
Important Features of a Sciatica Coccyx Cushion
Whether you choose one of the options below or seek out your own information, it is important to remember a few features that your cushion should have. One of the most important is a good distribution of weight off your tailbone.
There are a couple of design strategies used for this in most cushions. Either there will be a cut-out “U” shape in the back of the cushion to protect your tailbone or the cushion will be tapered which also protects your coccyx. With even weight distribution comes better lumbar support, ease of pain, and increases circulation to protect against possible numbness. Also, keep in mind you want your cushion to have a removable, washable cover, and to be made of sturdy but soft material such as velour.
Many of these cushion options can even be used in a wheelchair for pain relief. If using a sciatica relief cushion in a wheelchair, look for one that has a non-slip bottom like the Travel Mate one below.
Recommended Cushions for Relieving Sciatic Pain
The following cushions are recommended by actual sciatica sufferers and may offer you some relief from the painful sitting with sciatic nerve pain. Of course, you should always consult with a medical professional for the best course of treatment.
Memory Foam Seat Cushion Pillow Orthopedic Design to Relieve Back Tailbone and Sciatica Pain
This cushion is designed to give some serious relief from pressure on the sciatic nerve. The foam in this cushion has an excellent balance of softness versus firmness. It will provide comfort for pain but also enough firmness to encourage a healthy posture. The cover is machine washable, and the cushion comes with a lifetime guarantee, which means if, for example, the zipper breaks, they’ll replace it for free.
Aylio Coccyx Orthopedic Comfort Foam Seat Cushion for Lower Back, Tailbone and Sciatica Pain Relief (Gray)
1 used from $ 39.19
No matter what your weight, this cushion will fit the bill. There is a cut-out as mentioned above, to help with weight distribution. Comfort is given when you sit because your tailbone is situated above the U shape cut-out near the rear of the cushion. The creates comfort for you because it provides additional space for the tailbone, preventing soreness and discomfort from sitting a long time. This cushion is lightweight and easy to take along with you anywhere.
TravelMate Gel-Enhanced Memory Foam Seat Cushion – Perfect for Office Chair & Car Seat Cushion – Helps Relief from Tailbone Pain – Reduce Pressure on Coccyx & Hip – Non-Slip Washable Cover
This innovative combined use of gel and foam creates a comfortable cushion. Top quality foam is topped with gel, adding to your comfort against sciatica pain. There is also a silicone non-slip mat so that your cushion stays put where you want it. Along with the ultra-comfortable gel and foam cushion is a washable removable cover. This is a very affordable option for pain relief from sciatica.
Dr. Tushy 100% Memory Foam Seat Cushion with Orthopedic Design & Comfort to Help Relieve Pressure from Sciatica, Coccyx, Tailbone Back Pain - Perfect for Office Chair, Car Seat, or Wheelchair
$23.95 in stock
There is a lot of good to say about this product for suffers of sciatica pain. First, it is created from 100% memory cushion foam. This is an important feature because the memory foam “hugs” your body as you sit down. The memory foam assists in relieving pain, and improving circulation in your legs.
This cushion also has the cut out “U” shape for protection of your tailbone and alleviate spinal pressure. As for the logistics, this cushion is made from a soft and durable velour, and the cover is removable with a zipper, and machine washable.
This is also another affordable option for those who suffer from sciatica and are in need of a good cushion with which to travel.
Coccyx Seat Cushion Memory Foam Tailbone Sciatica Lower Back Support,Pain Relief for Office Chair,Car Seat and Wheelchair
Though slightly more generic than some of the others, this cushion still hits my radar as a viable option for dealing with sciatic pain. This cushion also sports memory foam, as well as the feature of a tapering cushion. The tapering design helps to reduce pressure on your lower back by protecting your tailbone. The tailbone is lifted up, avoiding uncomfortable contact with any surface under the cushion. The memory form balances comfort and support. Both comfort and promotion of a healthy posture are the result.
Sciatic nerve damage is extremely painful and any relief received through medical attention and exercise is always a good thing. Sitting is especially hard those who suffer from sciatica.
One way to deal with the pain is to use a therapeutic seat cushion for sciatica. Look for a sciatica relief cushion that has high-grade memory foam. Another excellent feature is a “U” shaped cut out to help distribute weight for pressure relief. Of course, affordability is always a plus, and having removable covers for washing is a bonus as well. Finding a therapeutic cushion to alleviate sciatic nerve pain may lead you to expensive options, but that need not be the case.
The best seat cushion for sciatica doesn’t have to be expensive, but it should have a balance of firmness and softness, and not break the bank. My top recommendation is the Aylio seat cushion. It’s the perfect combination of comfort and ease of use. If you are looking for a cushion to use in the car, check out this post with recommended cushions for long car rides.
Do you have any experience helping sciatic pain that you want to share? Any cushions that have really helped? Please share in the comments below. If this guide was helpful, please share with your friends on social media!