A Guide to the Best Sciatica Cushions of 2022
More and more jobs nowadays involve sitting in front of a computer for long periods of time. But there are hazards associated with a sedentary lifestyle. Studies have shown that people who sit for long periods of time are at a higher risk of developing sciatica, a painful condition involving pressure on the sciatic nerve. The two sciatic nerves run from your lower back, down the back of each leg. If there is abnormal pressure on the sciatic nerve, you can experience pain or numbness that runs down from your lower back to the thigh and calf. Sciatica is more likely especially if you sit in the wrong posture, without support for your lower back, and when using a chair without armrests. Fortunately, there are special sciatica cushions that can help relieve some of the pressure, provide support, and ensure that you sit correctly and comfortably.
But there are differences between the different sciatica cushions. Some are made of only memory foam, while others also use a cooling gel. They can also differ in the type of cover on the cushion, with some materials being more “breathable” than others. We’ll go through some of the options, and note which are the most comfortable. In many cases, sciatica pain can go away by itself, just by a small change in lifestyle!
Types of Sciatica Cushions
When you look at the various offerings in the Best Reviews Guide list of the Top 10 Sciatica Cushions, you’ll see two main configurations of products:
Seat cushion only: These will usually be a U-shaped or V-shaped cushion, providing support for your legs, coccyx, and buttocks. You’ll notice a raised bump in the middle, to support your tailbone and relieve any pressure. An example is the Ziraki Seat Cushion Pillow.
Ziraki Seat Cushion Pillow
Seat and lumbar cushion: Besides the seat cushion, some manufacturers will also provide a separate lumbar support cushion for your lower back. This is the case with the SoftaCare Seat Cushion.
SoftaCare Seat Cushion
You’ll also see some variations between the materials of the different cushions:
Memory foam: Memory foam is a material that was developed by NASA, for molding itself to the body’s contours and according to your body’s weight. This can allow a memory foam cushion to relieve pressure points. One sciatica cushion that is 100% memory foam is the ComfiLife Premium Comfort Seat Cushion.
ComfiLife Premium Comfort Seat Cushion
Memory foam with cooling silicone gel: Memory foam cushions are very comfortable initially since they allow you to sit without pressing on any sensitive areas. But, they have the disadvantage of absorbing and retaining body heat. That can be uncomfortable after sitting for a long time. One solution is a memory foam seat with a silicone gel. The gel draws heat away from your body, so you don’t perspire so much while sitting. An example is the ComfiLife Gel-Enhanced Seat Cushion.
ComfiLife Gel-Enhanced Seat Cushion
What reviewers say
Here are some caveats that customers noted in their reviews:
Check if really memory foam: Customers noticed that some sciatica cushions advertise being made from memory foam, but, when you look closer at the composition, you’ll see that it says that it includes “two layers of foam”. In the case of the Xtreme Comforts Seat Cushion, only the top ¾” is actually memory foam, while the bottom layer is foam rubber. The responsiveness of the foam is not the same!
Anti-skid bottom: Some cushions, like the Oveynersin Seat Cushion, has an anti-skid rubber bottom. This will ensure that the sciatica cushion doesn’t move around, even if you shift your weight.
Good when driving: Customers who bought the two-piece SoftaCare Seat Cushion and Lumbar Support Pillow were pleased with the comfort, especially on long drives of 4 hours or more. It compresses just enough to provide comfort, while at the same time allowing headroom for taller drivers.
Better with footrest: Since the sciatic nerve runs down the leg, it’s also advisable to use a footrest to raise the position of your feet. This can also relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve. It can also improve blood circulation, and help avoid the “tingling” feeling that comes with sciatica. Many companies, such as 5-Stars United, make foot cushions as well as sciatica cushions.
5-Stars United Foot Cushion
There are certain characteristics that will make a sciatica cushion more effective:
Good for other problems as well: Even if you don’t suffer from sciatica, you may find that these cushions can contribute to the comfort of your seat. They are also recommended for people with lower back pain, herniated discs, and injuries to their coccyx.
Type of cover: The cushion cover will also influence how comfortable the sciatica cushion will be. Some seats have a velour cover, while others have a velvet cover. That may be a bit confusing since “velours” is the French word for “velvet”! Velvet is usually made from either silk or cotton, while velour is either synthetic or a cotton blend. The important thing is that the cover should be machine-washable. You should be able to unzip the cover, throw it in the washing machine, and let it air-dry.
We went through some of the offerings in the Best Reviews Guide list of the 10 best sciatica cushions. They can help you maintain good posture, and remain comfortable even after hours of sitting. Even if you don’t suffer from any back problems presently, a good cushion will help you avoid any occupational problems in the future. Try one out today!