Alleviate lower back pain while providing back support and stability
As you have already most likely experienced for yourself, slouching or sitting with your spine rounded forwards, causes irritation and discomfort. In some cases, prolonged slouching may lead to more serious injury in your neck or low back.
The pain or discomfort arises for two main reasons. Slouched sitting holds your muscles in an abnormally lengthened position. Doing this day by day, for hours on end stretches these structures abnormally and ultimately weakens them. Imagine holding your hamstring in a stretched position for 20 minutes non-stop - it would be unbearable. Don't be confused, stretching certainly has it benefits, but prolonged stretching can be equally detrimental to the same structure.
Over time, prolonged stretching leads to disc degeneration, the discs being the little cushions between your vertebrae (back bones). Slouched sitting pushes the discs outward towards the surface of your back. In time, the discs bulge - also called herniated or slipped. Holding your neck tilted forward of your shoulders, and/or with the chin jutting forward, also mechanically harms the discs in your neck spine.
A disc may bulge outward enough to press on nearby nerves, and depending on its whereabouts, may send pain down either your arms or legs. Even without disc involvement, soft tissue pain alone from slouching can be uncomfortable but they are all easy to prevent.
Like the ground floor of a new home, your low back should also have a solid foundation. Adopting a good posture in the lumbar spine will allow the rest of your spine to sit in a safe and pain free position. Remember however, that prolonged sitting in any posture will ultimately be uncomfortable. Our bodies were made to move regularly, not sit five days per week.
Most chairs and automobiles these days have lumbar support built into the back of the chair yet the support offered is usually inadequate. Using a lumbar roll is an effective way of ensuring that you sit correctly in a chair. Using the lumbar roll effectively requires you to sit deeply into the back of the chair thus maintaining your lumbar lordosis (curvature in the low back) as it rests up against the roll.
Lumbar rolls are available in different sizes and firmness. Ensure you have been recommended or tried a lumbar roll that fits you correctly and for the right setting (office or car). A lumbar roll that is too large may feel like it is sticking you in the back, or extending too high or low on your back. If it is not comfortable, it is not right nor helpful, change it!
To use the lumbar roll correctly, lean your upper back against the chair rather than pushing your lower back against the roll. Avoid forcing your spine into overly straight or arched postures. Keep your head upright without tilting it forward or back, and ensure you are not poking your chin out.
How to make a temporary lumbar roll at home :
A towel should only be used for a temporary situation. Always consider purchasing a lumbar roll, made for long term use.
Anybody who sits for a living should use a lumbar roll. If you're in an office job and you don't have back pain - get one from your health care practitioner anyway. When it comes to lumbar rolls, it's the same as eating vegetables, they're good for you!