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Stretchsit Cushion vs. Lumbar Pillow, thoughts on Dr. Stuart McGill

noahklein75@gmail.com's picture
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Stretchsit Cushion vs. Lumbar Pillow, thoughts on Dr. Stuart McGill

Hello,

 

  I have been considering purchasing the Stretchsit Cushion, but I want to make sure that I will benefit from it.  I have also been considering buying an inflatable lumbar pillow, such as the Therm-a-Rest Lumbar Pillow, which has been very well liked (http://www.amazon.com/Therm-A-Rest-Therm-a-rest-Lumbar-Pillow/dp/B004IIRSAU/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top).  

Dr. Stuart McGill, one of the world's most prominent, if not the most prominent, scientist devoted solely to low back studies, suggests on his website that sitting should be dynamic in nature, with postures changing so given tissues don't get overloaded with stress.  (http://backfitpro.com/lumbar_support.php).  He notes that although slouching (lumbar spine in a very flexed positon) will stress the discs too much,  sitting up too straight for too long will activate the psoas and back extensor muscles, basically crushing the spine over a period of time.


I like Dr. McGill's idea of making sitting dynamic, but I wonder how the stretchsit cushion plays into this.  I'm honestly considering buying both products, but before I do so I want to get some opinions on what the best solution might be. 

 

Thanks,

 

Noah

 

 

Norm Brekke
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11/15/2012 - 12:51pm

Hi Noah,

Thanks for your question. First of all, I would like to say that our primary purpose is not sale of the stretchsit cushion. It's primary purpose is to facilitate and adapt many different chairs to make them more suitable for stretchsitting. In stretchsitting, with or without the aid of this cushion, you are enjoying a period of traction in your spine for extended periods of time. If you have had the pleasure of reading "8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back," you realize that our goal is to restore the spine through lengthening and decompressing the spine to it's natural J-shape.

By anteverting the pelvis and stacking the vertebrae you will enjoy good alignment of the spine over the leg bones without muscle strain.  This lengthening and decompressing actually removes some of the stresses that cause disc degeneration -- definitely not resulting in a crushing of the spine.

If you have not read the book, I would invite you to do so, and then to consider one of our free one hour sessions in a city near you, or online.

Thanks again,

Norm Brekke, Gokhale Methods Teacher, Minneapolis, MN

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06/12/2012 - 12:49pm

I would add to the great things that Norm said. Whether or not you get the stretchsit cushion, I would strongly advise against a lumbar roll.  Folks with lower back pain from swayed spines may like it, because it can keep them from feeling the pain they may feel from sitting. However, it only encourages the short, tight muscles in the back, and doesn't allow the stacking of the vertebrae as they are designed to stack.  So, if you use a lumbar roll, you get short term benefit but long-term lack of support and dependence.

 

Abeja Judy Hummel

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