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Take a seat… if you can!

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Soula's Seat Pile

With Pudendal Neuralgia, or any other pelvic chronic pain issue, it can be impossible to sit pain free (let alone get away without a flare up).

Of course, I’m no pro when it comes to seating, but I’ve learned a lot from my own experience and from listening to the ‘ouch’ in my pelvis. The seating I needed, was most often hand-made! (Have a look at the one my gorgeous father in law made, it’s the stool with adjustable foot rest!)

Although I’ve worn out, thrown out, tried and tested so many more seating aids, I’m showing the ones that have lasted or worked for a while. These are the ones I often resort to when things are getting heated again.All seating aidsIf anyone has any questions about them, just pop a comment below and that way we can keep the information going. I will definitely get back to anyone (except for spammers!).

Once again I will mention I’m not an expert, I’m just writing and sharing my own experience in hope of helping others in pain. The following is no endorsement or guarantee. If only!

Zip & Tempur Seats

Above left: Tempur pillow. Not the best for me to sit on but great for my lower back in the car to keep the vibration from my spine.

Above right and below: is a black zip folio envelope I sourced from Zetta Florence on Brunswick Street. I cut two pieces of foam/polystyrene and the idea was to disguise this as an ‘envelope’ handbag. It was light to carry but essentially was a seat without any coccyx pressure. So the foam was just pushed aside when sitting, allowing the coccyx to ‘float’. I used this everywhere and I was so happy to finally have a handbag!

Black Zip witih sponges inside

Below: This rubber tubing isn’t only brilliant for back pain sufferers, I think it’s essential to anyone driving around all day. In fact something like this should be a standard car seat! Theo bought this from ClarkeRubber. The idea was to have each tube run either side of my spine and down the back of my thighs so my spine hovered and I didn’t feel any pressure or vibration from the car. These were like magic for me!

Rubber Tubing

Below: Again this is the same foam as is in the ‘envelope’. It’s a  great material because it’s not so soft that you have to keep your balance and stress all the pelvic muscles (which is what I found with the traditional coccyx blow-up cushion). I used to always say I was more comfortable on the toilet seat, so we traced it! Even went one further and made a cut out. I often let my whole bum sit through this so that part of the foam supported my lower back and once again allowed the spine to hover!

Harder Sponge in Toilet Seat cutout

Below: The cushion on the left wasn’t the best. I always found the softer the cushion, the more I wobbled. This one was also taller so I sank in it and that caused pressure and a squeezing which was not good. The cushion on the right was simply great for knee support when sleeping on my belly/side. It becomes aggravating if my knee falls forward.

Coccyx sponge seat & airy spongy cylinder support

No, that’s not all, but it’s a good summary. So much trial and error with chronic pain…goodness knows I could write another lengthy post for all the shoes I’ve tried too!!!!

Feedback

18
  • Yes Pudendal Neuralgia = modern desk work, bikes, and repetitive sit behaviors. and specific traumas,

    Yes Pudendal Nueralgia can be caused by our modern behaviours such as endless desk work, bikes, falling trauma, equally as mush as repetitive sit behaviors. often depending on congenital issues such as individuals born with unique and different nerve paths through sacral and perieum ligaments and myafascial tissue regions etc etc. So don’t let anyone deny you your pain experience or reason. all are welcome here. enough said
    Me

  • Bridget

    Hi Vanessa
    Which RoHo cushion do you use?

  • Anne smith

    All such great inflammation! I like you am an artist soula! Thank god I can stand to paint also stand to do my paid job ! Hairdresser! Which I still love ! But 16yrs in ! I have to say my quality of life is poor! No matter how ( for every one ) I gloss it over) I think I should lay my state of mind open to my specialist hear in England ! Baranofski) and see what reaction I get????

  • Kathie

    I too have tried just about every cushion available, but the one that works best for me is the “boppy”. Its a breastfeeding pillow, found in the baby isle and costs about 20-25 dollars. It was quite thick when I brought it home, so I stuffed it under the foot of our mattress for a few days and it has been a God sent.

    • Soula

      Thanks so much for taking the time to let everyone know Kathie. We have to be resourceful don’t we? What a great idea to sleep on it!!

  • David Marshall

    Soula: I’ve battled PN problems for many years. It was caused by too much sitting in front of a computer (my job) and some bike seats. This summer I started using a bike seat called a Hobson saddle. I was able to ride my bike without aggravating the nerve. It really is completely open under the nerve and all the weight is on the two sits bones. Now I’m thinking of building a chair or stool using this seat and perhaps cutting part of bike frame for the seat post. The trick will be building a stool that this thing can mount into. I’m not a furniture builder but I’m interested in your inventions. What we really need is a true chair made for PNE sufferers. I find the foam pillows crush down too much and the nerve ends up compressed. For some reason a heating pad under the pillow makes things a little better. Maybe it helps bring blood to the area. I’d be interested to know if you’ve tried building stools or chairs that have worked to keep that nerve fully free of weight

    • soula

      Hi David, So great to hear you’ve found a way to ride your bike. All the attempts are in this post, they are all my ideas shown in the images. My father in law made the wooden stool and I obviously bought some of the cushions but my favorite and best is the one I sit on, the black zip envelope with two bits of foam in it. And to work I use a seat that you can sit and straddle. You can see me sittin on it in the documentary. I put my bits of foam on it though… I carry that around too. Have found it makes all the difference. We do need a PN chair… thanks for stopping by. Good luck.

  • Mark S.B.

    I cant sit for long and the chronic pain starts driving me crazy.
    It feels like a dagger jabbing me in my neck and if I don’t stand up and pace it just gets worse. Then I sit down again to watch TV and continue this process all through the program I’m watching. I did have a at home traction unit I hung over my door but that drove my jaw in to my upper teeth causing a headache, dang if you do, dang if you don’t.
    There is no comfortable position when sitting having neck and back pain, I’m surprised I haven’t gone crazee.

  • knee support

    This happens as a
    result of the flesh has not been designed to take a seat for extended amount.
    However, in modern times life-style of most of the people is such they need to
    take a seat for extended time. This has diode to increasing range of
    individuals coverage to be full of chronic back pain.

    • Soula Mantalvanos

      Hello Knee support. You’re spot on but this website is about an injury from trauma to the pelvis and not our modern day bad habits of extended sitting. Thanks for the advice but for readers on this website, that advice isn’t quite going to help…

  • MDNB

    Hi I am a sewer and want to help my niece out. She thinks the folio idea might work for her. I’m wondering if you could give some dimensions of the folio (handbag) that you used and how big the foam is. I’m assuming the spacing between the foam is the “useful” space. Also looking at the rubber tubes would they help on an upholstered chair or couch at home too? Is the foam you are using rubbery or stiff? and how thick seems to be most helpful. Is the tempur pillow too thick even if it was cut in two to make the slot in the middle. I will certainly report back about what works for her.

    • Soula Mantalvanos

      Oh how lovely! It’s certainly worth trying. The handbag is 40cm x 30cm but I purchased mine and if I could get it made I’d make it 32cm width by 30cm height as the foam inside tends to spread out too far. The foam is about 3cm depth/thickness and is 10 width x 25cm height. If you’re a sewer then if your niece finds the width apart for the foam that suits her best you can put a seam either side to keep it all from slipping apart. I’m using a very dense foam. To put an indent in it you’d have to press very hard or use a heavy object. The tempura tense to sink and flatten and isn’t as helpful for me. I would love to hear back. Let me know if you have anymore questions. I hope you’re niece is ok.

  • soula

    Thankyou Vanessa! Great tip. x

  • Vanessa

    I’ve tried many cushions too…with pudendal nerve entrapment I was unable to sit at all until my surgery in ’08 and since then looking for alternatives to a blow up cushion used for haemorrhoids! Found it- the Roho cushion- individual air pockets that can be pumped up manually to soft/hard and comes in removable/washable cushion (i made a groovy bag to carry it in- so looks like handbag).Beware though- the cost in Aust was $850 but online from company direct in US was $150 delivered- bargain! Can’t live without it now x

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Definitions of pain

What is Pudendal Neuralgia (PN)?
Most simply put PN is Carpal Tunnel in the pelvis/buttocks. Compression of the Pudendal Nerve occurs after trauma to the pelvis and is aggravated with pressure. The pain is often described as a toothache like pain, with spasms, sensations of tingling, numbness, or burning. It can be very debilitating.

What is Neuropathic pain?
Neuropathic pain is the result of an injury or malfunction in the peripheral or central nervous system. The pain is often triggered by an injury, but this injury may or may not involve actual damage to the nervous system. More…

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