/, Blog, Learn, Living, Personal resources, The pain, Tips/Take a seat… if you can!

Take a seat… if you can!

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!!!!

By |2017-12-15T15:54:24+11:00November 28th, 2012|About, Blog, Learn, Living, Personal resources, The pain, Tips|20 Comments


  1. Susan March 2, 2019 at 11:28 am - Reply

    I found the Best Price Mattress 4 inch memory foam mattress topper 151.64 on Amazon is the best for my Pudendal Nerve Problem. It takes pressure off the joints therefore taking pressure off the nerves.
    Dry needling calmed my nervous system down. Once a week for 3 months. This was most important.
    Physiotherapy once a week for three months relieving trigger points and doing breathing exercises in through your diaphragm out through your chest ( when breathing out feel your bra strap in the middle of your back push towards the floor. This technique relaxes muscles around perineum and anus. Which is where those stinker nerves sit. You can lay down and put feet
    Flat on a wall then let legs fall like a frog to the side with sit bones on floor arched back and bra strap middle back flat and do breathing. Stretch out one leg and breathe which helps with sciatica.Nerve gliding exercises on one knee bending forwarding with opposite arm pointing to ceiling very slowly and laying flat on stomach and bent knee letting leg fall out. Move through your hip using breathing exercise. In through diaphragm then when pushing through hip slowly to raise leg exhale through bra strap area middle of back.
    Lidocaine around anus and up to sacral area.
    Ligament strain identified. I had strong left glute and no strength right glute. Carefully with Pilates technique(new Pilates) do a bridge with breathing technique , neutral spine, feel sit bones pushing down, careful don’t arch keep neutral spine not flat back, 70./. Right glute and 30./. Left glute squeeze when lifting. 10x
    Using theraband around bottom of calf muscles to keep legs hip width, calf’s against bench, sitting glute stretch, sit back without knees going past toes(important) then stand slowly using same breathing technique. 10x
    Adjusted side plank. Knees slightly bent, leaning on one arm, feet together, breathing technique lift for ten seconds. 3x
    I do the exercises in morning and evening. Breathing exercises 3-4 x a day. I can balance on each foot now with foot to knee without wobbling. Always use physiotherapist that understand exercises. Physical therapists don’t get it. Chiropractors don’t get it. Most doctors don’t get it.
    When sitting always in open hip position. Like a man would sit with good posture. Especially when driving. I also use cruise control most of the time.
    I use a kneeling chair at work. Sleekform 88.00 on Amazon. The knee cushion is thicker than others. I need to do calf stretches after using it. Keeps my spine straight and pressure off the nerves.
    I walk at least 2 miles a day. Even if some days I am like a turtle.
    Suggest anal manometry so you really understand your muscles and nerves. I was told left side normal and right side some delay. I don’t agree with the test but it helped to identify some problems and where my pressure was coming from. Sounds crazy right???
    I didn’t understand the word normal in my report. This is anything but normal. Ha!
    Try not to underestimate the breathing. We tend to be chest breathers especially in pain. Try not to overreact when you have pain it heightens the nervous system and then it’s difficult to get back to base level. Accept the pain then start the breathing exercises so you can get back to base level. Put a diffuser on with lavender oil to bring your senses away form pain and on to relaxation and include relaxing music or even turn on a fan . Our lives are different and everyday we adjust to meet the needs of our bodies. A warm bath may also be helpful with magnesium salts and a soothing facial.
    Ladies boxer shorts are a must and stretchy pants.
    After working a few days I need to do more breathing exercises and rest more so I can finish out my work week.
    Whenever I bend to pick something off the floor I always make sure I do the breathing exercise and squat. Even when I brush my teeth I check my posture. I am careful now not to lean to one side.
    Good luck everyone! It’s nice to share tips and an online friendship through our misfortune.

  2. dave November 5, 2018 at 12:57 am - Reply

    Check out the Carmichael drummer’s throne. I use this when things are bad.
    For office work, I find that the Herman Miller Aeron chair is decent. I don’t know why but
    I think it may have to do with less trapped heat and less pressure than the usual cushion. Combined with a standing desk you can probably relieve a good deal of the problem coming from desk work. There are so many more options now than there were years ago! Oddly, when my problem was at its worst I took a break from the desk and went to the indoor pool where I work ( a college) and swam for 40 minutes. It rejuvenated the troubled area quite a bit. The key thing is to not subject yourself to day after day of irritating the thing because the symptoms get worse and worse and take longer to subside.


    • Soula Mantalvanos November 5, 2018 at 10:00 am - Reply

      Great advice Dave!I have a Capisco chair which I can sit (with cushion) or straddle. It’s great.

  3. […] Treatments: It has to be No. 1 my implant which has been a wonderful, life-saving device. I’m wearing some great cooling patches called Pain Reliev Cooling Patches (no that’s not incorrect spelling) which seriously stop the spasm and in my lower back region. When I initially started them I was ready to give up on the 3rd day, but perhaps some pain was being drawn out, the 4th day was heaven and now I use them for a little extra ammunition or pain relief rather than daily. Although he isn’t a product, Theo is my biggest treatment.  PN needs understanding and help, a lot of it. The internet and my smart phone are essentials. They have kept me connected to the world – they are my legs and arms.  Look what’s happened here… all internet!  Another thing that’s not a product, but rather a huge gift, is my creativity. I guess a very special product is my home – my sanctuary which we setup and renovated to suit my limitations (or should I say abilities).  It’s so important to love your own space when you’re quite confined to it. And finally, another thing that’s not a product (sorry) – my community. I live in a very creative hub so a small walk finds me at a gallery opening or at a cafe, and having been here for well over a decade, the people are really like my family. It’s very important to feel connected to the world when you can’t physically participate much. I use my seating aid a lot. I made that, you can see it here: http://www.pudendalnerve.com.au/2012/11/28/take-a-seat-if-you-can/ […]

  4. Yes Pudendal Neuralgia = modern desk work, bikes, and repetitive sit behaviors. and specific traumas, January 2, 2016 at 7:04 am - Reply

    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

    • Karen November 4, 2018 at 8:15 pm - Reply

      I fell really hard about four years ago….did the splits. Its taken this long to be diagnosed with a pudenal nerve issue. The only time it plays up is when i sit, my leg/butt burns and i have to sit on ice. I have an office job, so have to sit on ice all day. Has any one found a chair or cushion to offload this nerve? I about to have botox and a nerve block!

  5. Bridget March 1, 2015 at 12:34 am - Reply

    Hi Vanessa
    Which RoHo cushion do you use?

  6. Anne smith February 4, 2015 at 8:37 am - Reply

    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????

  7. Kathie October 11, 2014 at 4:55 am - Reply

    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 October 11, 2014 at 2:26 pm - Reply

      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!!

  8. David Marshall September 11, 2014 at 11:10 pm - Reply

    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 September 12, 2014 at 3:44 pm - Reply

      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.

  9. Mark S.B. September 8, 2013 at 9:16 am - Reply

    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.

  10. knee support June 7, 2013 at 1:55 pm - Reply

    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 June 7, 2013 at 3:16 pm - Reply

      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…

  11. MDNB June 1, 2013 at 3:13 pm - Reply

    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 June 2, 2013 at 9:15 am - Reply

      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.

      • MDNB June 2, 2013 at 1:22 pm - Reply

        thanks for the information I’ll let you know what I learn.

  12. soula November 29, 2012 at 4:40 pm - Reply

    Thankyou Vanessa! Great tip. x

  13. Vanessa November 29, 2012 at 1:29 am - Reply

    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

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.