Sciatica is a discomfort and the , which passes from the lower back and down to the hips and buttocks and down one of the legs. Normally, sciatica affects only one leg. The condition arises when the is pinched due to either a herniated disk or a bone overgrowth in the spine. that occurs along
The common causes of sciatica are old age, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle that involves a lot of sitting. People with certain kinds of jobs that require them to twist their spine may also be at risk.
While sciatic pain can become intense, in most cases home remedies are enough to cure it. Regular exercise, maintaining proper posture, and using good body mechanics can gradually help reduce sciatic pain.
One devices that can help reduce and treat sciatic pain is the humble seat cushion. In this article, we specifically discuss car seat cushions, which help avert sciatic pain for patients who need to drive long distances on a regular basis.
Here, we review some of the best car seat cushions for sciatica for you. The table below provides a quick snapshot of our top pics, and you can scroll down for detailed reviews.
How to Choose the Best Cushion for Sciatica
There are several factors to consider when buying a car seat cushion for sciatica, the important ones of which we discuss below.
Wedge cushions are ergonomically designed to improve posture. They encourage an upright sitting position and encourage a natural inward bend of the lower back. The best thing about these cushions is that they reduce strain on muscles and the body.
Inflatable cushions have the advantage of being portable. They can be inflated anywhere and taken with you, and then later easily deflated and stored away.
Heated cushions widen the blood vessels, increasing overall blood supply to the lower back and buttock area, which then reduces pain and enhances healing in injured areas.
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It is important to make sure that the cushion that you are purchasing meets your requirement both in width and height. Larger and wider cushions are needed for people who are heavier and broader in size.
For a car seat cushion, portability is very important. You should be able to take the seat with you anywhere but also bring it inside for washing, and perhaps also using it on another chair. Secondly, the cushion should be designed so that it can be used with any of the seats in the car. For instance, it would be more ideal if it does not fit only the driver’s seat.
Pressure relief cushions absorb shocks while driving on the road, and protect the affected area by minimizing pressure on it. Therefore, you can sit longer on the seat with these type of cushions.
As already mentioned, one example of posture alignment cushions is wedge-shaped cushions. In general, posture alignment cushions promote an upright sitting position through their shape.
Pain relief cushions identify pressure points and have strategically placed holes in them to redistribute overall weight and pressure on the spine or tailbone.
Core engagement cushions focus on improving balance and engage the core muscles so as to build core strength.
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Memory foam is often considered the best material for sciatica pain. Memory foam has miniscule air bubbles which allow air to circulate within the cushion. It responds to body heat and density and fashions itself appropriately.
High-density foam distributes the weight of the body and retains its shape over a long period, which makes it an extremely popular option.
Air cushions are highly portable and soft to touch and sit on. You can personalize how hard or soft the cushion needs to be by changing the air pressure inside the cushion. However, they tend to be more unstable to sit on than foams and gels.
Liquid gel cushions are filled with a fluid material which takes the shape of the body, giving it soft support.
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Polyester is water-resistant, making it perfect for people who also suffer from incontinence. It is also a durable material.
Suede is perhaps the most popular choice for seat cushions. It is soft to touch and protects the material inside.
Nylon is water-resistant, durable and light. It doesn’t get dirty easily and resists the buildup of sweat.
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Non-Slip Base or Secure Straps
A non-slip base or secure straps can hold the cushion in place so that you don’t have to worry about the cushion slipping under you, or getting displaced frequently.
Let us look at our top choices for sciatica car seat cushions in the next sections, based upon the parameters that we have lined up above.
#1 – Everlasting Comfort Seat Cushion
The Everlasting Comfort Seat Cushion is a memory foam based ergonomically designed (U-shaped) cushion that provides relief to sciatic pain by reducing pressure on the lower back and coccyx area.
The 100% premium quality memory foam is heat responsive and molds itself as per the user’s shape and size. The cushion has a machine washable cover and a non-slip rubber bottom surface which ensures that the seat does not slip or slide from its position. The exterior is smooth and comfortable to sit on.
The memory foam cushion is lightweight (1.85 pounds), easily portable, has a size of 17.5 X 13.5 inches and is 2.75 inches high when unused.
The cushion is available in 5 color options (Black/Blue/Gray/Navy Blue/Red). There is a lifetime guarantee on the seat cushion.
- The orthopedic design promotes good posture
- Memory foam distributes pressure across your bottom
- Non-slip rubber bottom surface
- Machine washable cover
- Available in multiple colors
- Some users have reported that the cushion tends to leave a mark on the car seat
- Memory foam may be too soft for some people to experience comfort
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#2 – ComfiLife Gel Enhanced Seat Cushion
This and naturally heals the as well. is another great choice for users with sciatica related problems. The mcushion is specially designed to reduce pressure on the rear due to its cut out rear feature. The is ergonomically designed to further promote good posture, which helps in reducing the chances of
The topped with a , which provides long-lasting . The is durable, easily portable and easy to clean as well. is made from
The exterior of the is made from a machine washable velour cover, which also has an inbuilt handle in it so as to be able to pick up the .
This cushion also comes with a handy money-back guarantee if you are unsatisfied with the product.
- Memory foam + cooling gel makes a soft and comfortable combination
- Machine washable external cover with handle
- Seat design promotes good posture and reduces pain on the sciatic nerve
- Lightweight (only 1.45 pounds)
- The cushion tends to flatten out easily
- No anti-slip protection
#3 – Coccyx Orthopedic Memory Foam Seat Cushion
This is ergonomically contoured and distributes your weight all across the seat, thus ensuring that pressure does not build up in a particular spot.
It has a “comfort” space for your tailbone to “float” above the seating surface, thereby reducing the pressure on the coccyx, tailbone, discs and vertebra considerably.
The helps promote good posture and aligns the spine and increase blood flow to the lower body.
The seat is made from active memory foam, that relieves pressure, increases blood flow, and maintains support for long seating periods.
There is a durable mesh cover that is easily machine washable and removable. The cushion comes with a handy carry bag and a built-in handle.
- Ergonomic design distributes weight and lowers sciatic pain
- Comfort space for coccyx, to reduce pain there due to sciatic nerve
- Active memory foam makes the seat comfortable
- Machine washable cover with handle and carry bag
- Some customers have complained that the cushion leaves stains on the seat
- Few customers found the seat uncomfortable due to the raised portion on the front
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#4 – 5 Stars United Seat Cushion Pillow
Here is another good cushion with contouring and support that distributes your weight across and avoids strain on the lower back, coccyx, and spine. It also helps in relieving pressure on the nerves, especially the sciatic nerve, thus reducing sciatic pain.
The chair promotes good spine alignment and allows you to sit naturally and feel revitalized even after driving the whole day.
It has a zippered machine-washable cover and is a durable product designed to support weights up to 200 pounds. The mesh cover also gives good air circulation and helps reduce sweat accumulation.
- Ergonomically contoured design reduces nerve pain
- Promotes spine alignment
- Machine washable mesh cover for easy cleaning and reducing sweat accumulation
- The padding tends to flatten down after a few months
- Some customers complained that the product is not the most comfortable to sit on
#5 – Aylio Socket Seat
This comfortable cushion seat by Aylio has a patented double hole design that is effective in weight redistribution. The pressure points in our sit bones and tailbone are protected by the design.
It uses memory foam technology which provides lasting support for the lower back and reduces pressure on the sciatic nerve.
The exterior of the cushion has a 0.25-inch thick mesh surface which reduces sweat and keeps the body cool all day. The cushion features a convenient handle for carrying around anywhere.
- Patented double hole design reduces pressure on the sensitive portions of the lower body
- Memory foam helps reduce pressure on the sciatic nerve
- Thick mesh surface keeps the body cool
- The memory foam tends to flatten down after some time
- The zipper for the outer cover may break off easily
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Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How does a seat cushion work to provide relief?
A specialized seat cushion has a specific shape and thickness that aids in alleviating pain from the coccyx, sciatica, lower back pain. The pressure of your spine is distributed throughout the cushion and provides the necessary support to your tailbone.
Q. Can I use a seat cushion on my wheelchair?
Yes. The portability of a dedicated seat or makes it convenient for people lay on their wheelchairs . Wheelchair seats may be uncomfortable, but a eliminates a major cause of discomfort from prolonged sitting in the wheelchair.
Q. What is a healthy sitting posture?
Please see here for details about how to sit in a healthy posture that can relieve pressure from the tailbone and help slow rate at which we develop tailbone pain.
Q. How does sciatica manifest?
The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back to the hip and down each leg. Sciatica is pain that occurs down the sciatic nerve, and is most often caused either by a herniated disc or bone overgrowth in the spine.
Typically, sciatica occurs only along one leg. A person with sciatica would feel pain or discomfort almost anywhere along where the sciatic nerve radiates, though it is most often felt on the back side of the body on the lower back, buttocks, and leg.
can range from mild, dull aching that can include , to more severe shooting pains. The pain may feel worse when jolting the body during a heavy cough or sneeze, or after sitting for long periods of time. Along with pain, some individuals may also have a tingling sensation, numbness, or muscle weakness in the leg.
Although mild sciatica can go away over time, it is recommended to seek medical care if you feel sharp, shooting pain, numbness, or weakness, if your pain occurs after a severe accident, or if you have trouble controlling your bladder or bowels and it is accompanied by sciatica. A doctor will also be able to differentiate from conditions that can cause similar symptoms like , , or .
Here is a video overview discussing how sciatica manifests:
Q. What are some other ways to treat sciatica pain?
Treatment for sciatica is multi-faceted. Mild sciatica pain can be cared for and monitored at home, and may go away on its own over time.
Home treatment and basic care for sciatica can include applying cold and hot packs in alternation, stretching the muscles along the sciatic nerve on the side with pain, and over-the-counter pain medications.
Your doctor may recommend medications like anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants to help ease the muscles and other tissue in the region to dissipate pain.
A physical therapist can help you design a rehab program centered on physical therapy that can include targeted exercises, better posture, and improved flexibility to help avoid future incidents of sciatica.
For severe cases of sciatica where the compressed nerve can cause weakness in the muscle or severe, loss of bladder or bowel control, or uncontrollable pain, your doctor may pose the option of surgery to reduce the excess bone or herniated disk that is causing your sciatica.
Consult your doctor to discuss your best course of treatment.
Q. What are some other home remedies for sciatica pain?
Some additional home treatments for sciatica pain that are quick and easy include applying alternating cold and hot packs, stretching the muscles causing the sciatica pain, and pain relief medications. We recommend consulting your doctor about your strategy for treatment and then planning a home treatment system from there.
Parting Words – More Comfy Car Rides
While many seat cushions are available in the market and advertise as being compatible for sciatica pain, it is recommended to go with one that uses memory foam, has a contoured and ergonomic design that promotes good spine placement while reducing pressure on the lower body, and one which is made of a good exterior material that eliminates sweat accumulation while being easily machine washable as well.
We believe that the lineup we have reviewed in this article meets all the criteria for a good product for sciatic pain. Our favourite choice is the Everlasting Comfort Seat Cushion, which has a ergonomic design that distributes pressure across the rear, has a U-shaped cutout that relieves coccyx pain, and has non-slip feet to ensure a stable and carefree seat.
The 5 Stars United Seat Cushion Pillow is our pick for best value-for-money cushion, as it has a lot of the same features as the pricier cushions but at an affordable price. Do note that a few customers have expressed concern that the cushion loses some of its firmness after a few months, despite being made of memory foam.