A sciatica cushion is a special type of pillow used for sitting with sciatic nerve pain. Cushions are popular solutions for many people who must sit often, such as office workers and drivers. While a cushion might make sitting more comfortable for some, it is unlikely to provide a real or permanent solution for most forms of back and leg pain. However, any product which allows patients to find some measure of comfort without any risk is still worth investigating.
This article provides details on various types of sciatica seat cushions and their many applications.
Cushions can be made of many different materials and may be shaped in a variety of ways:
Many pillows specifically designed for sciatica are constructed from high density memory foam, the very same material used in the hugely popular Tempurpedic product line.
Other cushions are made from different types of foam or may be cotton or poly-filled.
Less expensive cushions may be inflatable with air and are typically donut shaped. These are also popular with patients who experience hemorrhoids or coccyx injuries, as well.
Seat cushions can be used whenever the patient is sitting and many people buy several to have one available in all the places they typically sit, including the home, office and car.
The idea behind sciatica pillows is that they theoretically reduce pressure on the sciatic nerve from the seated position. While sitting sciatica is a common symptomatic expression, it is often a conditioned response in many sufferers, rather than an actual structural issue. What this means is that sitting is not inherently painful, but the patient has simply been programmed to expect pain when seated and so it generally occurs. However, this is obviously not an absolute rule, since some nerve compression scenarios may be exacerbated by sitting.
Cushions usually help some sufferers a bit when they are new, but the benefits, if any, typically wear out fast. I do not recommend buying expensive pillows or cushions specifically used to treat sciatica at home, since most will only have minor benefits, if any, and might just turn out to be a huge waste of precious money. If you want to try one out, invest in a cheap one and see how it works before considering anything more costly.
The bottom line comes down to this: If you want to use a cushion for comfort and to provide a softer seating surface, then that is fine. I sometimes use one myself, especially for those marathon sessions at the computer. However, do not place too much hope in any cushion to cure your sciatica, as you are bound to be disappointed.
Additionally, do not spend a lot of money on some special cushion that may cost far more than it is worth. Instead, invest in a piece of basic memory foam for a few dollars and cover it with a pillow case. This will work well for comfort and is easy to clean regularly.