Lumbar pillows are support pillows that help ease backaches and offer support and comfort for your spine, allowing it to remain in its natural position. If you have a grueling desk job that requires you to sit in the same position all day, every day, and you experience back pain, you need a lumbar support pillow.
Whether you sit up, or slouch, awkward postures will exacerbate pain in the lower back and increase pressure on the spine. With a handy lumbar support pillow tucked behind your back, you can help your muscles relax even when you are sitting at the desk for hours. A lumbar pillow is also especially handy if you suffer from lumbar disc problems and pain in your legs. Cushioning your spine properly against a lumbar support will considerably decrease discomfort and allow you to spend your day pain-free.
What is a Lumbar Pillow?
A lumbar pillow is a compact support pillow specially designed to provide maximum support to your spine and relieve any pressure on the lower back causing posture or musculoskeletal problems. Usually made of memory foam, it is light, portable, and incredibly effective in combating back pains from awkward postures, or physically taxing jobs.
The memory foam is soft, yet firmly supportive and incredibly breathable. The breathability of memory foam allows ample airflow which keeps the shape robust and sturdy enough to cushion the back.
Memory foam filling allows for sufficient airflow due to which the microclimate inside helps eliminate heat and sweat. This also keeps the foam hygienic and safe to use for most. Lumbar support pillows can easily be attached to office chair, gaming chair, airplane seat, or car seats, etc., using the elastic bands attached to them. These bands help to keep the pillow in place and for your back to rest against it in the same position.
Regardless of the nature of your job and whether you work at an office or from home, you use chairs and desks daily and excessive sitting in awkward positions may be causing you severe back and leg pains. The ergonomic design of lumbar support pillow contours to the delicate curvature of your spine, using pressure mapping and supportive memory foam which helps in the distribution of weight.
How to Use a Lumbar Support Pillow the Right Way
So, you have bought a lumbar support pillow, but you are still wondering how to use it correctly. To get the most out of your lumbar support pillow, you should know about its effects and how you can position it to relieve stress, back pain and pressure build-up in your lower body.
Strap your lumbar pillow across the back of the chair vertically using the elastic band. Position it so that it is flushed against the lower half of the seat. Once seated, make sure that your shoulders, hips, and back are aligned to the natural curve of your spine. During work, if you feel any pressure on your hips or lower back, chances are that it is not positioned correctly. The lumbar support pillow should contour against the curve of the spine, keeping your posture straight.
The lumbar support pillow is designed in a fashion that one end curves out slightly more than the other and this side should be placed down so the flatter side is snugly fit against your back. The pillow should be aligned at the bottom, between the shoulder blades and at the top of your hips. You may notice that it is slightly off the seat of your chair, but that is completely fine. Experiment with the placement to find the perfect spot that eases pressure of your tailbone.
Once your lumbar support pillow is secure in place, you need to adjust the height of your office chair to get the most out of the pillow. Do not overthink or fret over whether your feet touch the floor when fixing the height of the chair. Instead, what is important is where your arms fall on the chair. You must ensure that when you are sitting, your shoulders are relaxed and your elbows are placed at the correct angle, aligned to your forearms.
The chair height should allow you to rest your wrists comfortably on the desk. If the new adjustment makes your feet uncomfortable because they are not touching the floor, you may want to get a footrest as a support for your legs. This ergonomic setup will ensure that your back, shoulders, and elbows are free of strain.
Additionally, if you work on a computer for long hours, you may need to adjust your monitor height so that it is in line with your eyes. When using screens, you spend hours hunched over which places severe stress on your back. You may want to tinker with the adjustment panel of your monitor or place it on top of a few thick books to get the perfect eye level height.
When using a lumbar support pillow, you should also pay attention to the arms on your chair and if they need to be adjusted. Ensure that the chair arms are low enough that your elbows can be placed comfortably on them while your shoulders are completely relaxed. If you notice your elbows dangling, this may trigger strain on the shoulders and back and you may not be able to make the best of your lumbar pillow.
Benefits of a Lumbar Support Pillow
Spending long, tedious hours working at the office, hunched over a computer screen may cause back and shoulder pain. You may find yourself carrying some painkillers before a long flight or road trip just to keep dull aches and pains away. In addition to all this, you may notice poor posture or find yourself rubbing or stretching away the painful knots in your back after sitting all day. A lumbar pillow can significantly reduce these problems and provide comfort and relaxation.
Here are a few health benefits you can enjoy by using a lumbar support pillow:
Back pain relief
Due to slouching, bending, and hunching all day, your back muscles exert more than normal, and they overcompensate. This may result in clenching or spasming of the muscle, causing intense pains in your shoulder and lower back region. A lumbar pillow behind the back takes extra load off these muscles and contours delicately against the curve of your spine. This keeps the spine aligned and supported.
Whether it is strenuous physical labor, or sitting at the desk all day, your muscles carry immense strain and tension all day. Back pain, shoulder aches, spasms, and cramps are merely some of the aftereffects of tense muscles. Using a lumbar pillow can relieve pressure build-up and muscle fatigue around the body and especially the neck, shoulder and back area.
Placing a lumbar pillow behind your back helps to support some of your weight and keeps your spine relaxed. You will notice that by using a lumbar pillow every day, the knots and strain in your back are released, helping in improving your posture. The support and comfort provided by a lumbar pillow relaxes and eases painful muscles.
One of the most striking health benefits of a lumbar support pillow is that it significantly improves your posture. No longer will you feel the need to hunch or slouch when your back is comfortably set against the pillow and your chair is the perfect height. Whether you are sitting at the desk, mid-flight on an airplane, or driving for hours to a faraway location, a lumbar support pillow will help improve your posture in the long term.
Bad posture when sitting or standing is a result of overexertion and overcompensation for strained muscles. You may shift your weight from one foot to the other or tilt your hips back to remove some pressure when you feel your back beginning to ache. With a lumbar pillow, you will not have to break a sweat and your muscles will get the rest and support they need to always maintain a healthy posture.
Less strain on spine
It is common knowledge that your spine carries most of your body weight and functions to keep you upright and active throughout the day. Your postures, positions, and weight can put intense strain on your spine, but a lumbar pillow can provide it with customized support that will reduce strain and pressure.
The greatest perk of a lumbar support pillow is that it is flexible and provides your spine with adequate support without slipping it out of place. In fact, memory foam pillow is even more useful as the heat of the body allows the tender filling to react, shape, and mold to the curvature of your spine. The customized molding ensures that your back is supported where it needs the most. The strain on your hips and lower back is eliminated.
Where to Put Lumbar Support Pillows
Not only are these pillows unique in their design and function, but you can use a lumbar support pillow for a variety of situations. Throughout the day, you may notice that we sit a lot, be it in our cars, office chairs, lounge sofas, etc. Improper posture and position when sitting or even lying down may exacerbate any existing back pain or shoulder aches. It may also give rise to other problems such as muscle spasms and cramps.
To tackle these various problems, you can easily carry and place lumbar support pillow anywhere you go where you may have to sit or lie for long hours. You can strap it to your office chair as you type away on your computer, and you can even carry it with you as you drive to different locations. A lumbar support cushion can be attached to the car seat and it will keep your back and shoulders from getting strained.
In addition to this, you can attach a lumbar pillow to an airplane seat and sit back to ensure that your spine is perfectly supported. Pull the level and stretch your chair back so you are in a lying position and your pillow will continue to cushion your body throughout.
To put it simply, lumbar pillows are incredibly versatile workplace, travel, or home accessories that can easily be always carried with you. Wheelchair users can also benefit from them in maintaining the correct and comfortable posture in the chair. You can use the lumbar pillow if you are in a waiting room for a doctor’s appointment, watching a movie at the cinema, or lounging on your sofa at home.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you sleep with a lumbar pillow?
You can sleep with a lumbar pillow by placing it under your lower back as it molds to the curve of your spine and keeps your body from contorting into uncomfortable positions and poor postures. Simply lie in the supine sleeping position with the lumbar support pillow or a lumber roll under your lower back. You can also elevate your legs by using an elevating leg rest pillow under your knees and relax while the knots in your back work themselves out.
Should you sit with a pillow behind your back?
A lumbar support pillow should be placed behind your back. It should always be positioned behind the lower half of the back and an inch above the seat cushion. This allows the curvature of the spine to fit perfectly against the slope of the pillow and provides comfort by keeping your body’s weight from straining your lower back and hip bones. Lumbar pillows must be strapped with your chair, so the sloping side of the pillow faces your back.
How thick should a lumbar pillow be?
A lumbar pillow should ideally be at least 3 inches thick. This is perfect for those who like softer, cushiony pillows that mesh in with the chair and do not feel like a chunky block strapped to your back. If you prefer firmer lumbar pillows, you can opt for one that is thicker and harder. Sometimes a bit of extra padding can be better depending on the kind of chair you use more often and the support you require. Anything below 3 inches of thickness may be too less for a lot of people.
Is too much lumbar support bad?
No, lumbar support is beneficial the more you use it. It corrects posture, angles your spine into a more comfortable position, and relaxes sore, spasming muscles significantly. The more you use it, the more used to it you become and even when you forget to carry it to work with you, you remember to keep the correct posture. Lumbar support pillows are always handy and should be used as often as possible to keep should and back pain at bay.