For years I suffered with extreme low back pain. I could not drive a car more than an hour or two because my lower back would spasm. I had to lay flat and be driven for longer distances. A longer than two hour drive often meant an evening spent laying on an ice-pack and possibly a day or more of recovery. When I started to meditate I really had a hard time with lower back pain, and pain down beneath my neck between the shoulder blades. Sitting for meditation often felt like torture. I really had to consider if I even wanted to try to get into meditation at all, because my body protested so much. You can see why I take my meditation seating so seriously!
I gained valuable understanding of my body from an exceptional physical therapist. He helped me understand the needs of my spine and spent some time working with me on how to sit in my vehicle. It turned out that after much investigation all he had me do was fold a small towel into a flattish shape and place that behind my sacrum to prevent by body from slouching too deeply into the seat. This tipped my pelvis slightly forward. It was amazing to me, how this slight alteration to the angle of my pelvis could make me so much more comfortable.
But after about 30 minutes, what at first felt great became uncomfortable. So he then had me move the folded towel up and down an inch or two at a time and this allowed my spine to stay comfortable longer. Each time the pad was placed in a new position it altered the angle of my pelvis slightly.
I eventually learned to move the towel/pad up or down BEFORE I started to get uncomfortable. Once I got into this habit I was able to drive for much longer periods. I could avoid having a painful low back by not allowing my position to stay in one place too long while sitting.
If you have upper or lower back pain this approach may help you to sit more comfortably on a meditation bench or chair. At least it’s worth a try. This is one way to use our meditation bench. Make slight adjustments BEFORE you feel discomfort, and with practice you’ll be able to avoid fatigue and go longer and deeper in meditation.
Gently working to build strength in the abdominal muscles and flexibility in and around the hips and pelvis will also go a long way to helping you meditate in greater comfort.
There is a lot more that could be said here. If you have questions I would be glad to hear from you below.