How Do I Choose the Best Orthopedic Seat Cushion?

Article Details
  • Written By: M.C. Huguelet
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 03 August 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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If you suffer from pain in your tailbone, buttocks, or lower back, you may find that sitting, particularly for long periods, is uncomfortable or even impossible. For many people, an orthopedic seat cushion can help make sitting more bearable by encouraging proper spinal alignment and relieving painful pressure points. If you would like to purchase such a seat cushion but are uncertain which model would best suit you, you may find it useful to first consider which type of cushion material you prefer. Then, decide whether you want a cushion with special features, such as built-in heating or massage, and establish a price point.

While orthopedic seat cushions may vary widely in appearance, most are intended to perform two central functions: encouraging the spine to align properly, and relieving pressure from the tailbone, lower back, and buttocks. Many feature a cut-out space at the center of their rear edge which serves to alleviate tailbone pressure. Others are shaped like two flattened ovals with an inverted groove running between them, a design intended to direct pressure away from the tailbone and the spine. The rear part of the seat cushion is often thicker than the front part, a feature which may reduce lower back pain by promoting good posture.

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To choose the best orthopedic seat cushion for you, you may find it helpful to first decide which type of cushion material you prefer. The most commonly used materials are medium- to high-density foam and a semi-solid gel. Deciding which material is better for you is generally a matter of personal preference. Some people argue, however, that foam cushions offer superior comfort but are bulky, while gel cushions are less comfortable but more easily transportable.

Once you have decided which seat cushion material is best for you, decide whether you would like a cushion with special features. For instance, consider whether you want a cushion that includes a cover. Generally, foam seat cushions include a removable cover made from a material such as cotton or fleece, while gel cushions are covered with a nylon material that cannot be removed. Removable covers may present an advantage because they can be easily washed if needed. Other special features found in certain orthopedic seat cushion models include built-in heating and a massage function.

After deciding what kind of shape, materials, and features you would like your orthopedic seat cushion to have, set a maximum price point. Once you have established all of these factors, you can begin shopping. Try visiting orthopedic accessory shops and Internet-based retailers, and consider only those cushions which meet your criteria. With a bit of persistence, you will likely soon find the right cushion for you.

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