I've suffered from minor back pain for the past year or so and my doctor has suggested I try a lumbar support pillow for my chair at the office. I spend most of my time seated at my desk which is why he made the suggestion. It may only provide marginal relief, but at this point I'm willing to try something.
So I'm hoping someone here could point me in the right direction, or possibly share their experience with a similar product. Let me know if a support pillow really helped and if not what was it that didn't work? I just don't want to spend money on something that's not going to work properly.
You can try one, but it wouldn't be the first thing I would suggest to try to resolve your pain. How about getting a top-notch ergonomic office chair if you don't already have one, and have someone knowledgeable in ergonomics come in and set up your desk so you know everything is at the proper height and angles so you can use good body mechanics when sitting at your desk.
There is another product called a Backjoy that I find very helpful. I used to carry mine with me all the time -- to restaurants, theatres, museums, etc. --anywhere that I knew I would be uncomfortable sitting for any time at all.
I would recommend you have a course of therapy with a physical therapist who specializes in orthopedic spine issues and learn a series of back and core exercises that you can do every day to strengthen your support system, and, hopefully, lessen your pain.
The lumbar rolls aren't expensive so you could try it to see if it helps. Better yet, roll up a towel and put rubberbands around it to hold it in place and experiment with it before you lay out any cash.
Also, get up every hour or so and take a short walk -- that will probably help more than anything.
Teri gives good advice, especially about PT to help with your back pain. However, my PT suggested I get a McKenzie Lumbar roll, which I take to places that have uncomfortable seating, like the theater in our town, and certain restaurants. It has saved me many times, and wasn't too expensive. You can try the effect with a towel first, but the actual product is easy to fit into a carry bag when I travel, etc.
ACDF C7-T1 bone graft and titanium plate 2008
Perhaps it depends where your back pain is located. I guess I was assuming it was in the lumbar area. I always found the rolls like the one sold under the McKenzie name had too much "stuffing" for my natural curve of my lumbar spine. I felt like it was pushing me out too far. For that reason, I found a towel more adaptable.
The thing I like about the Backjoy is that it causes you to sit in a way that automatically promotes better structural alignment which opens the spaces between the discs. It automatically tilts the pelvis and "holds" it in the proper position that allows the spine to "stack" in a more healthy way. And it works in any chair, changing the depth of the seat, or the angle between the seat and back, which is where I often find the difficulty. If the seat (due to combination of length and angle) cuts my thigh wrong, it can result in pain.
In any case, I understand you not wanting to spend money on something that doesn't work...if you have a store near you that carries the lumbar rolls, go in and try it out and see what you think.