How to Make a Lumbar Roll


A lumbar roll, also known as lumbar cushions or supports, can help to naturally curve, support, and take pressure off your lower back. A lumbar roll is about the size of your arm. There are commercial lumbar rolls that you can buy, but it is easy, more comfortable and a lot more economical to make one of your own since you can find materials around the house to make one. You can use lumbar rolls at work, at home or in the car. These lumbar roll instructions were devised by Jolie Bookspan, Ph.D.

Things You'll Need

  • Towel
  • Shirt
  • Jacket
  • Small inflatable pillow
  • Roll of quilted paper towels or roll of foam
  • Tape
  • Pillowcase, if desired

Determine the right size for your lumbar roll. Sit with your back against a chair and place your forearm between the chair and your lumbar area of the lower back. Push your upper back lightly against the chair, taking most of the pressure off your arm, although your lumbar region should still slightly touch your arm. You should feel comfortable and supported.

Locate material you would like to use for your lumbar roll. You can use many different things around your home, such as a folded towel, a shirt, a jacket, small inflatable pillow, a roll of quilted paper towels or a roll of foam.

Roll the material to the right size, usually about the size of your forearm. Remember to roll the material smoothly and evenly. Secure with tape. If desired, cover with a pillow case or tape the support to your chair at the level that supports you the best and feels most comfortable.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't make the roll too big otherwise it will be uncomfortable. It will also push you forward, which doesn't help with support at all. If the roll is uncomfortable, it will not be beneficial.
  • Don't round your back against the lumbar roll or use it too high on your back. Neither one of these situations will be beneficial to your back. Press your upper back against your chair, allowing your lumbar region to naturally curve around the roll. Try not to tilt or crane your neck and head while sitting.

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