Making your own lumbar support out of a towel

Written by david thompson
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Making your own lumbar support out of a towel
A lumbar support helps ease lower back pain. (pain ii image by Mykola Velychko from

If you sit for long periods and notice pain in your lower back, you may benefit from a lumbar support. "Sitting places markedly increased pressure on the lumbar discs," according to Mary Pullig Schatz, author of "Back Care Basics." She suggests using a chair with a lumbar support that's fitted to you individually. A rolled towel makes an inexpensive support that you can adjust until it's the most comfortable size and thickness for your back.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Towel, bath-size
  • 2 rubber bands or duct tape

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  1. 1

    Choose a terry-cloth bath towel that's approximately the width of the chair or car seat you sit in.

  2. 2

    Roll up the towel. Place a large rubber band or a strip of duct tape around each end to keep it rolled.

  3. 3

    Sit down and rest the rolled towel horizontally between the small of your back and the back of the seat. Adjust it until it's comfortable. If it feels too large, substitute a smaller towel. If it feels too small, unroll the towel and roll up a smaller one inside the larger towel.

Tips and warnings

  • If you want to secure the towel in place, sew a strip of cloth to each end of the roll and tie the two strips together around the back of the chair or seat.
  • Check your posture after adding a lumbar support to make sure your hips still touch the backrest and the lumbar support does not push you too far forward. If you notice any new discomfort, readjust the lumbar support or discontinue using it and check with your doctor or an ergonomics specialist for advice.
  • See your doctor before attempting self-treatment of back pain with a lumbar support.

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