Common Misconceptions About Pressure Relief Cushions

Common Misconceptions About Pressure Relief Cushions

Pressure cushions are one of the newest accessories that have a lot of versatile uses. Where we used to think of them as pieces of medical equipment designed to help those with pressure sores or serious injuries, there are now many ways that everyone can benefit from them as well.

A pressure cushion is only as good as the way it’s used though and that’s why it’s important to know how to work them. You might assume it’s as simple as placing it on your chair and sitting done, but studies into these accessories have found that you need to pay a lot more attention than that.

This guide will walk you through the common misconceptions about pressure-relieving cushions and some tips for using them properly. With a little bit of guidance, you’ll guarantee the most comfortable and pressure free seat for yourself and all of the benefits they offer.

What Is A Pressure Relief Cushion?

Pressure Relief Cushions

Sometimes referred to as a pressure sore cushion, foam cushion, gel cushion, or just a pressure relief cushion, these handy devices are designed to offer a comfortable buffer between your body and chair. Their purpose is to take the pressure from your body and transfer it to the cushion which saves discomfort and pain, and also adds comfort to regular seating arrangements.

These cushions are filled with materials like gel, foam, or air, and specially designed in a shape that contours around the body. By increasing the surface area of your body sits on the cushion, they’re able to release the pressure from other parts of the body and therefore make it easier to sit for long periods or without any discomfort.

The cushions simply sit on your regular chair and can be easily transported to wherever you might be going. Some might have other features like non-slip surfaces, straps, and machine washable covers, depending on what extras the owner requires from their cushion.

Who Uses Them?

When they were first designed, these accessories were mainly for medical reasons, like a pressure sores cushion or to help with rehabilitation.

These days, they’re often used as a comfort device for people who find their chair uncomfortable, have long commutes, work in an office all day long, or just want some relief from sitting down for long periods. These are some other medical cases where a pressure cushion might come in handy:

  • People who are unable to reposition themselves without assistance and therefore need the cushion to help them keep their posture and reduce discomfort
  • Those who sit for long periods each day due to accident, injury, old age because they have very little mobility
  • People who require expert hoisting to be transferred from bed to chair or other places
  • Patients with pressure sores or who may be prone to developing them because of thin skin or their age

There are no rules that state you must have a medical need or condition to benefit from a pressure sore. These days, people usually purchase one just to make their daily lives more comfortable and prevent any injury or strain from sitting for long periods in their seat.

Common Problems That Lead To Pressure When Seated

Woman Holding For Backs

Considering we are leading more sedentary lives than ever before, it makes sense to employ the help of a device like a pressure cushion. If you’re wondering whether you could get some use out of one of these accessories or want to know what might lead someone to need help from a pressure cushion, these are some common factors that can signal the beginning of a problem.

  • Excess weight: Sometimes people who are carrying more weight than others or can be classed as overweight or obese will find more pressure being put on their bodies as they sit. The excess weight can impact your comfort levels and also how much pressure is placed on your spine and backside as you sit
  • Prolonged periods of sitting: Any time you’re required to sit in a chair for more than an hour, you’ll probably notice pressure pain starting. You can take one of these cushions with you and use it for watching TV, reading books, waiting in appointment rooms, or eating out, so you don’t have to put up with pressure
  • Long commute time: People who travel long periods each day for their commute may find problems arising from being seated. Those who drive, take buses and trains, or even people who fly for business may start to experience problems because of these long seated periods
  • Occupational risks: There are many types of jobs where being seated is a requirement and something that’s done for nearly the entirety of the work day. These people may be more likely to develop complications due to their seating arrangements because of this heightened pressure
  • Incorrect chair: Sitting on the wrong chair that already doesn’t provide enough pressure relief will certainly lead to needing one of these cushions
  • Poor ergonomics: Ergonomics is the study of efficiency in the workplace as it relates to your comfort and health. Without an understanding of posture, height, and positioning, you may find increased pressure whenever you’re sitting down
  • Medical issues: Various medical issues including spinal problems, pressure sores, and thin skin can all result in the need for a specialized cushion to help

Of course, there doesn’t have to be a medical or occupational need that requires a pressure cushion in order to get one. These days, you can purchase one of these accessories for an affordable price and enjoy a more comfortable rest every time you sit down, with plenty of other benefits as well.

Common Issues With Pressure Cushion Usage

Wrong Posture In Office Chair

One problem with using pressure cushions is that people assume that the simple addition of one to a chair is all they need. Although they certainly relieve pressure as their main duty, without looking at the other factors and ensuring you don’t do any of these common mistakes, the cushion could be doing you more harm than good.

You Have No Postural Support

Pressure cushions sometimes focus too much on the bottom support without think of the rest of the spin. Posture is crucial in distributing pressure when you’re seated so you need to ensure your back is being adequately supported as well.

You’re Not Sitting Properly

This is sometimes referred to as the loading of the body and it can have a huge impact on pressure. Body loading means ensuring that your legs, feet, arms, back, and head all remain in contact with the seat so that support is spread through the entire body. To get the best use out of a pressure cushion, this is a must-have.

The Cushion Can’t Be Repositioned

Those who need extra support with relieving pressure might find themselves stuck as their chair doesn’t reposition. Look for a specific type of chair that allows for adjustments so that even patients who are immobile will be able to get comfortable as needed.

The Chair Is Not Adequate

Simply adding a cushion to a chair isn’t always enough. People assume that any stool or kitchen chair can be improved with a pressure cushion but for those in need of support, you’ll have to start with a quality chair.

Using A Pressure Cushion The Right Way

Now that we know what not to do with these cushions, we need some tips for using them the right way. Here are some hints for getting the best use out of your pressure cushion and making it as effective as possible.

  • Cover up: Always keep the cushion covered with the recommended materials to prevent overheating or discomfort
  • Right chair: Find a chair that fits the cushion, is adjustable and repositionable, and also ergonomically correct for your body
  • Feet position: Don’t let your feet sit too high otherwise the right amount of pressure won’t be on the cushion
  • Check your body: After an hour of use, look at your legs to see if there are any red marks. This indicates incorrect usage and a need to reposition
  • Bottom bones: The bones of your backside should be directly in the well area of the cushion
Sitting On Pressure Cushion

A Simple Device With A Lot Of Worth

The addition of a pressure cushion to your regular chair can do wonders, but the accessory alone won’t do all of the work. Whether you need it for a medical reason or just to add some comfort to your day, taking the time to learn how to use them will pay of phenomenally.

Pressure cushions can have many benefits for people when used correctly, but if not, they can end up doing more damage than before. Choosing a quality cushion that meets your needs and ensuring that your chair and positioning are all correct will lead to so many benefits from this one simple accessory.

Resources:

NSW
Ncbi

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