Coccyx cushions and supports

Note - Ariela suggests that using a rigid board underneath a cut-out cushion helps when sitting on soft seats.

Cushions with a cut-out

Most people find that the most comfortable cushion is the type with a cut-out at the back, underneath the coccyx. The pictures show some of the commercially available designs. The first one shown is the most common design: a wedge, sloping forwards, often called a Tush-Cush. Some people don't find the slanted cushions comfortable, others like them. The second picture is a two-part cushion, normally covered. This cushion is recommended by Bernadette

Sally writes: I have just purchased a GelTec cushion that is great for my needs (see third picture). It doesn't fix all my pain but is a big improvement. When sitting hurts I rock to change the contact point. This cushion is a lot more comfortable than any others I've had. Because of fybromyalgia I'm pressure sensitive.

Therese writes: I purchased the: Inspiri cushion (the CX model) (see fourth picture) and I've been very happy with it. It's discreet, comfortable, and supportive. It doesn't have a full cut out, but just enough for me. I can sit on it for hours without it collapsing. Also, it's not wedge shaped, which for me is better. The downside is that it's fairly pricey.

Linda writes: Here's a cushion [the purple one] from Medport that I have found to be the most comfortable when I just HAVE to drive. Being air-filled, it allows my body to "rock" rather than experiencing the sliding from side to side around curves causing my tailbone to painfully shift from side to side.

CE Forman recommends the blue cushion from Nancy's Notions.

The two cushions shown with borders round the pictures are the Coccyx cushion and Supra SofGel Cushion made by Allman Products. Mike writes: They are worth EVERY penny. They have given me tremendous relief and I dare say...I think my condition is getting a little better! For bigger people, I haven't found ANYTHING else out there that comes close to giving you FULL support and relief like there gel/memory pillows. They are well made and VERY heavy...Which tells me that they aren't skimping on materials.

Here are the results of a Google search for coccyx cushions.

It's a good idea to have several cushions, at home, at work, in the car, etc, so that you don't have to carry one around all the time. But if you're going somewhere else, remember to take a cushion with you. You never know when you may need it.

You can make your own coccyx cushions quite easily by cutting some foam rubber out to one of the designs shown. Most people go for a cushion thickness of 5 cm (2 inches), but some prefer it twice as thick. Some people prefer a soft foam, and some prefer a very firm foam, or even a board. Experiment to find what is most comfortable for you. Here is how Sally Cowell made a cushion for herself.

There are firms that supply foam rubber in different grades, so you can choose what suits you. Some people put the cushion inside a pillow case. If you make a fitted cover for the cushion, you can either fit the cover round the inside of the cut-out, or (much easier) cover as if the gap was not there, but use a stretchy material that won't pull tight across the gap.

Monica adds: For some people who are embarrassed of carrying a pillow, this might help: Instead of a pillow I carry with me to meetings some books and sit on them (I place them on whatever chair) leaving the coccyx hanging out free of pressure. This seems to help for a while.

The last two images are of the customizable Marvel Cushion and its cover, described by Sharon. A cushion made of resilient closed cell urethane is encased in a washable vinyl cover designed to look like a valise or flexible briefcase, masking the embarrassing appearance of the cushion. This is a firm cushion, which suits some sufferers, but not all. One customer said that she found it too firm for her, and although she liked the case it comes in, she thought that she could have saved most of the cost by buying foam from a sporting goods store and making a case herself at home.

coccyx cushion 1 coccyx cushion 2 coccyx cushion 2a coccyx cushion 4 coccyx cushion 4 coccyx cushion 5coccyx cushion 5 Coccyx Cushion 6 Supra SofGel Cushion foam pad Coccyx Cushion bag

Ring, donut, or doughnut, cushions

These are the cushions that doctors traditionally recommend. But they are designed to relieve pressure on the genitals, not on the coccyx. A study by Dr Foye found that "patients with a preference were almost 5 times more likely to prefer wedge cushions as compared with donut cushions". But 42% did not find that either type of cushion helped them.

If a doctor recommends a donut cushion, they probably have little experience of treating coccyx pain. The best thing that you could do is to find another doctor - see specialists recommended by other patients.

However, Lisa writes: What I did with mine was to chop the back off it so that it will fit onto a car seat without pushing you forward & away from the seat back. This is similar to the U-shape cushions that other contributors to your page recommend. If you have a smaller bum than mine ;-) , you could possibly cut one in half & get 2 cushions for the price of 1.

ring cushion ring cushion

Backjoy support

PD found that the Backjoy support worked better for him than cushions and other devices.

Backjoy support

Enhancer

Reed found that the Enhancer by Roho was best.

Roho cushion

Kabooti comfort ring

Donalyn found that the Kabooti comfort ring from contourhealth.com was best.

kabooti cushion

Two garden kneeling pads

Mat says that after trying several solutions, he found that using two deluxe kneeling pads was the best. Use them side by side, with a gap for the coccyx.

kneeling pad

Breast feeding cushions/ nursing pillows

Marie writes: Just wanted to let you and anyone else know that a breast feeding pillow also works great for sitting on. I injured my tailbone delivering my twins two and a half years ago, one day I just happened to be sitting on the pillow and realized that I was actually comfortable. This is an easy solution for new mothers who were injured this way.

Note - the design of breast feeding cushions varies a lot.

Matt writes: I'd also like to recommend the Boppy (nursing) pillow, I found it dramatically superior to any of the more "official" wedge cushions I tried. (The second picture is the Boppy pillow)

breast feeding cushion Boppy pllow

Pool noodles

Cheryl writes: Using inexpensive children's foam swimming noodles, fashion a U-shaped cushion which fits you, your chair, and your car seat. Use a serrated bread knife to cut the noodles, it works very well. If the simple U works for you, use duct tape to hold the U shape. Wrap the tape around one end a couple times, then bring it across the bottom, then wrap around the other end. Put a piece of tape on top of the sticky part which is holding the U ends together. Another option you might try instead of taping to hold the U shape together -- diagonally slice the ends of the noodle to make them wedge-shaped. Then slide these wedged ends into the back of your car seat or office chair. This held very well in my car.

Heather tried this, and found that a noodle seat was the best solution for comfortable sitting.

The images show two different versions of the seat, made by different people.

pool noodles   pool noodles

Stuffed sock

Justin writes: I stumbled across your site while trying to find a solution to my snowboarding hurt. All good ideas on your site but what do I do to survive is drive to the store to grab the proper supplies... For this I am self proclaiming myself a genius. I took a sock and stuffed it with pairs of socks shaped in the U shape and bam I'm in the car driving pain free.. This was huge since I don't have a wife or girlfriend to send out for my bum supplies. ;)

Jim writes: I took a standard over-the-calf white sock filled, it with white rice and shaped it into a U shape and viola….. pain relieved. It can also be used as a heating pad by heating the rice in the microwave. I have NOT done it but putting it in the freezer MIGHT be an option also.

sock

Custom-Air cushion

This inflatable cushion is in separate sections. It is possible to have some of the sections at lower air pressure than others. It was originally designed to relieve pressure sores, but it looks as if it should allow you to sit comfortably without pressure on the coccyx. There are more detsails at http://www.aquilacorp.com/

Custom-air cushion

Inflatable ring

Sally Cowell writes: The usual keyhole or doughnut cushion does not work for me. I can only manage to sit on the femur area. I have a blow up doughnut cushion with very little air in it. I folded this in half, not exactly in half, so the front edges are not on top of each other. I placed this in a cover made to fit, to restrict it from unfolding. I take this everywhere I go, and place it on the front of chairs and the car seat, to balance on. It is small and not conspicuous. At home I use a 4 inch soft foam for added comfort on top of the air cushion.

inflatable ring cushion

Neck cushion

Anonymous writes: For sitting in public areas (work, social events,...) and as well as for transportation in cars, planes, trains I got one of those U-shaped neck cushions designed for airplane-travellers. They are much better than donuts as they are open in the back so they don't press on your muscles, and you can bend them and position them as you like.

I have tried inflatable neck cushions, ones with synthetic filling, and memory foam ones. These were all either too soft or unstable. The ones filled with buckwheat hulls worked best for me. I use those made by Bucky, produced in Seattle.

Linda writes that the inflatable type, very lightly inflated, did the trick for her.

neck cushion

Toilet seat

Judy writes: Now I've just had a 'brilliant'? idea - I bought a wooden toilet seat set and removed the lid. Then I covered the wooden 'circle' with a fabric covering and presto - I have the perfect 'cushion' - it works for me anyway. I really don't care what people think - to sit without pain is heaven.

Bill adds: She 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.

You know what a toilet seat looks like

Relaxo-Bak

llcasey writes: I use a "seat" called Relaxo-Bak. This seat is a God-send!!! I also use the "Tush-Cush" type, but this one is made of hard plastic (so you can put it on any cushioned chair, or anywhere) and has a concave area for the sacrum and tailbone to be "suspended" therefore putting less pressure where it hurts the most!

They have a website showing what the seat looks like and how much, etc. It's www.relaxobak.com. It may not be possible to buy from this site if you are not in the USA. For Europe you could use www.backtowork.co.uk/relaxobak or search among your own country's websites.

Heather tried this, and found that it was very helpful, especially for putting on top of soft seats or on the floor.

relaxo-bak seat

Bottoms-up

Linda T. writes: Thought I'd pass on a seat that I sit on and don't know what I'd do without it. It's called: BOTTOMS-UP Pelvic Spinal Posture Seat, Model: UNIVERSAL 20". The company is ROLOKE CO. 5760 Hannum Ave. Culver City, Ca.90230, 310-649-1807

I have tried the donut pillows but this is the best. When I drive a long way I take an ice pack and this seat to sit on and I'm go to go.

bottoms up seat

Roof-rack cushion

Carlos Moraes writes: I found something that has made my driving much more comfortable, at least for mid distances. Go to the nearest windsurfing (watersports) store and buy a thick cylindrical pad used to protect boards when those go on the rack on top of the car. These pads usually go around the metal racks and are quite thick (the thicker the better) and approximately one meter long. They cost about $10, and you would need only one.

Once you are in the driver's seat, slide the padded cylinder across the seat under your butt. In the beginning I would put it more towards my legs, but even when you sit on it, the coccyx stays without any pressure.

windsurfing rack pad

Ice packs

Grace writes: I have found now, after several years, that one thing that really reduces pain is ice packs. If you have large muscle pain in the low back, hips and thighs in addition to the coccyx when sitting, this cushion/ice-pack method might help. These are the flat gel-filled kind of various sizes that are kept in the freezer.

In the car I lay a few of these down where my bottom will be on top of the cushion, and I can drive comfortably (no pain really) for a half an hour. I finish shopping, come out and get 3 more and do the same thing on the ride home.

Andy Kirk adds: The ice packs I use are produced by Camping Gaz, and are flexible. They cost about £1.50 currently. One pack under each cheek, wrapped in a towel, will take about an hour to defrost. It can be uncomfortable to sit on initially, while it is frozen solid, but as it melts, it moulds to your shape. The numbness helps to deal with the pain. I put the packs on top of the coccyx cushion that I use. Do make sure you use a towel or something similar, as after repeated use, the packs can start to leak.

In order to extend the range or distance that can be covered whilst driving, I have recently bought a 12v cool-box which I can plug into the socket in the car, and keep some spare ice-packs chilled. I can then change over once the initial ones have de-frosted.

ice pack

Subskate

Suzanne writes: We were in Target the other night and my husband picked up a Subskate. It works perfectly in the car, on chairs, etc. It takes all the pressure off my tailbone. You can get it in Target in the toy section where the swimming stuff is. As you can see the Subskate is long, but my husband used a sharp knife and cut off a section from one end and now it fits in the car and I carry it with me wherever we go. Cost is $14.99.

subskate

Pile of newspapers

Juan writes: Finally the best solution for me has been putting 4 or 5 newspapers on the chair and sitting in a way that the coccyx is behind the newspapers so it does not touch them. (It is just a matter of trying, if you use less newspapers it can be more comfortable).

Seat that curves down at the back

Stefan writes: This is actually the back of a cheap IKEA chair. The fact that it "curves down" at the back relieves my tailbone. No pressure on it! I will also add some padding and simple upholstery to make it more comfortable and presentable (not unimportant).

seat that curves down at the back

Updated 2013-01-30

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