Comfortable chairs

Hara chair

Yury writes: The Hara chair really helped - I am able work for 4-5 hours without break and I now have absolutely no problems with normal 9-5 working week (more than 9 hours is still a problem though).

Hara chair

Ekstrem chair

Ellen writes: I wanted to tell you about an amazing chair that I sat on in a showroom but am sadly unable to afford. It's made by Stokke (formerly Varier) and called the Ekstrem. This site has a good demo of how it can be used.

Ekstrem chair

Commode

Anonymous writes: Suggestion for your readers who have to sit at a desk - I have just found an old commode at a junk shop, and propped up with a big cushion at the back, its way better than anything else I have discovered for long term sitting.

 

Kneeling stool used backwards

Jane writes:I found that sitting backwards on my kneeing stool enabled me to work at my computer and totally relieved the pain. Also I got no pain or pins and needles in my legs / knees. It took 6 months to heal properly, but I didn't need any time off work (luckily I work from home anyway). It takes a bit of trial end error to get just right and you'll probably need to adjust your stool height. Set your computer up on a coffee table. We both found a feather cushion on the bum pad makes for more comfort. I liked to sit on one as well, but my son prefers it without.

kneeling stool backwards

Director's chairs

Kay writes: I bought a director's chair (the back and seat is canvas) at a second hand store and cut the bottom so it is not as wide as usual. Now I can sit down, lean back and my "painful area" doesn't touch anything (it just hangs off).

Here is a link to a Google search for Director's chairs for sale.

I (Jon) found the second chair pictured here in a holiday home where we stayed, but unfortunately I've never been able to find one the same in any shop. It has a gap at the back of the seat like a Director's chair, and I found it quite comfortable.

Anonymous found that the strap chair from John Lewis, UK, was comfortable for working all day.

director's chair garden chair with gap at back strap chair

HAG Credo chair

Dr Michael Durtnall writes: I help my patients to ensure their employer gets them a Swedish HAG Credo or HO4 chair WITH neckrest... (these chairs are fantastic but expensive)... which allows the chair to recline RIGHT BACK at a dramatic angle with a supporting neckrest for surfing the net, phoning and talking , BUT can then tilt far forward with the feet tucked under the chair & thighs tilted down at 25 degrees & 'back straight' to work on the keyboard... which takes all pressure off the coccyx and gives good working posture with no neck strain! I love them...all my clinic staff and family have had them over the last 20 years. Find a HAG chair supplier and try them out as I have described.

HAG Credo chair

Lafuma relaxer

Angela writes: I have found the comfiest of chairs, "Lafuma relaxer" (I had coccydectomy 3 years ago but unfortunately still find sitting very difficult) - I have only had mine a month but already it is making a big difference to my life in that I am able to take it places and know I will be comfortable.

Lafuma relaxer

Zero gravity chair

Greg writes: I recently tried a chair the call a "zero gravity" chair, and that helped some, although it would be awkward to use in a wokplace environment.

Zero gravity chair

Gym ball

Zoe writes: I sit on a gym ball all day at work. I couldn't get through the day without this - sitting on a conventional chair is just too painful. The gym ball allows you to adjust your posture all day. Initially, you can't sit on it all day and have to build up the time you use it for. It's meant to be very good for the general health of your back as your spine is always moving, rather than being static. [The picture is not Zoe]

gym ball

Back-to-front chair

Helen Buckthorpe writes: I have found a fantastic chair for coccyx problems, that has a tiltable seat, and allows you to sit on it 'back to front'. It has a breast plate, instead of a back, and you lean onto this when sat, to lift the coccyx off the seat. It comes with or without wheels, is height adjustable, and comfy for use all day.

The chair is an 'RH alternative' office seat, and I was provided with this info by 'Sitsmart' a chair shop in Surrey, who were ever so helpful to me, and allowed me to borrow the chairs first to see if I liked them. Having previously tried the RH coccyx- cut out chair and not got on with it, I was most surprised to find the new chair useful. For the first time, I have felt a noticeable difference, as I have been able to stay off my bum totally with the new chair.

back-to-front chair

Kneeling chairs

Some people find a 'kneeling chair' helpful. They come in several different designs. You could always cut a hole in the foam rubber where your coccyx goes. You may be able buy a kneeling chair with a cut-out, as in the third picture, or modify one to create a cut-out.

Back specialists say that you shouldn't use one of these for more than an hour at a time, because unlike a normal chair, you can't shift your position much while you're sitting.

Here is a link to a Google search for kneeling chairs.

kneeling chair kneeling chair  coccyx kneeling chair

Stools

Anonymous writes: For my home and office, I use another life-saving device: a tripod-stool designed for artists. I use a portable one made in leather designed for outdoor-drawing or painting. It allows my coccyx to not touch anything while sitting. It is of great help. Although I have to stand up and walk every half or one hour, I can work for quite a long time on it. And this is really much better than kneeling or lying down or standing : I have done all of this for five years, it was not nearly as comfortable as those solutions.

I (Jon) have found the last stool pictured (a bipod stool?) very helpful. I keep it in the kitchen, so I can take the weight off my feet from time to time when I'm cooking. If we're going out and I may have to stand for a long time, I take it along with me.

Here are links to Google searches for tripod stools and folding stools.

tripod stool tripod stool bipod stool

Reclining

If you can find a couch with the right shape, this can be very comfortable. A cushion or bean bag may help to get the right shape and support.

The first picture is me, Jon, at the Greyhound pub in Letcombe Regis (I took my shoes off). The second is from Sally Cowell, who says: "This is how I lie on the couch, propped up on a small ben bag and resting on one hip. I wish this was me. The truth is I have grey hair, wrinkles and a 'padded' figure!".

reclining on a couch

reclining on a couch

Office chairs

Some office furniture suppliers have a selection of chairs with coccyx cut-outs.

Alan writes: I use the Neutral Posture 8700 [second picture on the right] with the tempur-pedic seat option. It doesn't have a cut out, but man is it comfortable and supportive. The only two times I am not in pain are when I am standing or sitting in this chair. I priced the chair at Relax the Back. They wanted $1360 for it. Bought it on the web at www.ergomart.com for $760 including shipping.

Sean writes: I ordered the Neutral Posture chair on your site and another chair which is made by Mayline. I tried both of them out and I definitely liked the Mayline one better. It really helped relieve the pain at home so I bought one for my office too. Luckily I was able to return the Neutral Posture chair with no problems since they have a 60 day try out period.

chair with coccyx cut-out chair with tempur-pedic seat

Wheelchairs

Ann writes: Having found that a director's chair, as recommended by Kay, is quite comfortable because of the gap at the back for my tail bone to hang over, I recently thought that the same principle might apply with a collapsible wheelchair - i.e. the back upholstery is generally "slung" and and so are the seats, just like a director's chair, but they're more comfortable for longer sitting.

I've bought myself a wheelchair for use to sit at my computer - it's a Sunshine Medical (Tel UK 01384 446688, www.sunrisemedical.co.uk) "Breezy SL" self propel lightweight wheelchair that has a fully adjustable back rest (an "optima" tension adjustable back) which has velcro straps under the uphostery. The bottom two straps of the back rest can be loosened to allow you to hang you tail bone over the back without having to cut off any material from the seat. I just use a thin fleece on the seat to give my legs a little padding which also softens the seat edge - Since I got my wheelchair I've experience absolutely no tail bone pain whilst I'm in it and I've tried it out for hours on end.

My wheelchair was quite expensive because I particularly wanted a lightweight one, but I did try out some other cheaper ones that were equally as comfortable, even without the adjustable back rest upholstery, because they had quite a gap for my tail bone to hang over anyway. It's just a question of trying different makes out in a showroom and sitting for a while to test them out.

Hope this might help others - particularly in the work place - being it's a wheelchair you can just wheel it along to other rooms, meetings etc with ease. Could even take it to cinemas and theatres, pubs, evening classes etc etc.

I do get some strange looks when I push my wheelchair and then sit in it, but I couldn't/wouldn't do without it now despite feeling very self conscious at first. Occasionally, if I'm going somewhere with my husband I don't let on I can get out of it - he pushes me into restaurants etc and it saves me having to explain anything to anyone.

wheelchair

Use two chairs

Rory Greenwell writes: One of the BEST things for me to do is this: if there are more than enough chairs to go around, use two, each leg gets a chair and the gap between them is absolute bliss !!! This works at restaurants and meetings. I discovered this at the YMCA, when we would all sit and talk through our progress with physio. I have done it ever since and it really does work. ...to hell with the embarrassment.

Somewhere else to sit

Jennifer writes: People would ask me why I always took so long in the restroom.

Little did they know... I was RESTING! Before I got a ring cushion, I used to sit on the toilet for a while just to... REST. You know it has that big hole in the center! You can even lean back against the back with no pain what-so-ever. (I just can't lean back in any chair) And, NO pain when getting up! I still do this from time to time. That ring cushion is not perfect. Of course, you can't sit there for too long... your legs will go to sleep.

Bill adds: Jennifer may find it even more comfortable if she used a padded toilet seat. My wife and I are from Australia, and have put them in at every house we've lived in. They are so different, warm in winter, cool in summer, and comfortable.

toilet

Curved bench seat

Melissa writes: I have found a sitting solution that works for me and may work for others! It is the reason I am able to sit at this computer, and at my sewing machine. :) I use a bench, a hard one. (which would seem to be contrary to relief of pain in the rear end!) Now the unique thing about this bench is that the seat is curved, with the center of the seat curving down and the ends curved upward. It is most effective to sit on this bench with my tailbone hanging off the back of the bench, so that no pressure is on the coccyx at all. I have no pain when sitting this way!! Although it can get a bit tiring for my back, it is much less harmful for my back than trying to sit on one "cheek" or the other in a chair!

bench seat 1 bench seat 2


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