As cars as all different, the correct set-up varies depending on the car seat. Majority of newer cars have some kind of built in lumbar support, but this is often not enough, however a McKenzie lumbar roll can be too much.

There are Slim Line McKenzie rolls (that we sell here) as a compromise between needing something extra, but not tolerating a normal McKenzie lumbar roll in the car.

In other cars, the issue is the angle of the chair. If the car is angled so your butt is lower than your knees (typical of sports cars), even a lumbar roll may be insufficient. Some cars allow you to adjust the tilt of the seat, which is best by allowing knees/hips to be lower than your butt or at least level. If your chair does not have this adjustment a rubber wedge (thicker end at the back under your butt) can correct the tilt. These can be bought at places like Back Care and Seating, but are only about $20 if ordered from Clark Rubber.

Some car seats are so bad that the whole shape of the seat is terrible (typically bucket shaped). In these cars a wedge and lumbar roll frequently sorts it out, but another option is something called a Therapod insert. This can be bought from Back Care and Seating (about $130), and it looks like the back of a good ergonomic office chair. Is basically puts a good shape of seat on top of the poor one.

BackCare and Seating, (website: offers many such solutions.

If in doubt come and see us and we can have a look at your car and help find the best solution for you.

Joel Laing

Spine Health Physiotherapy