I've used an MEDesign Backfriend continuously for nearly 10 years now - that's how much I like them.
something like "makes a bad seat
good" and I bought my first one after buying a Renault
When I was
test driving the Clio I didn't notice how bad the seat was, but after a
week I realised it gave me no support at all, so I had to do something.
At about that time I read in an auto magazine a product survey of
seat improvers and lumbar supports. The Backfriend
came out top, and I
thought I'd give it a go.
Since then I've used it in all the cars I've owned, including an Audi A4 (awful seats - I used to get a really numb bottom after only a couple of hours driving) and a Mazda 6 (better than the Audi, but I found the in-built lumbar support not as effective as the Backfriend).
The Backfriend consists of two ergonomically shaped pieces of plastic, one you sit on, the other supports your back. They are connected by plastic strips and brass screws - the strips are adjustable (although it never really explains how to adjust them). You can use them in the car, on a sofa, on an airplane...
I've used mine mainly in the car and at my study at home. When my back has been really bad, I'll use it when sitting on the sofa, or I'll take it to work.
I've now bought two - the first lives in my car, and is just the back section, without the seat. I found using both in the car was a bit tricky as the Backfriend lifted me up and jammed my head against the roof - so I got rid of the seat. My other Backfriend lives in my study - I'm sitting on it now. I have the double-padded version as I found the single-padded option (which I first had) uncomfortable after a while.
If there's one thing wrong with the Backfriend, it's that it can wear the seat you're using it with. On the back of the upright section, near the top, there's a rivet that's used to secure a strip of velcro (used to hold the Backfriend together when you're carrying it around). However, over a period of time (and we're talking some years here), the rivet can wear away the fabric of whatever seat you've put it on - something to be aware of if you're going to have it in your car for more than a couple of years...
You can pick them up on several places on the Internet - they typically cost £50-£60.
Or go straight to the manufacturers - MEDesign: Here's the website: http://www.medesign.co.uk/
If you have any stories or comments (or even tips) about the Backfriend please share them with me and I'll add them to this site. Click here to tell me your story.
Just a quickie to say after having only a brief look through your site, I have found it to be very useful, honest and easy to relate to. My mum was going to buy me Back Friend anyway, so i punched the name into google and up you popped.
Sedentary job, 43 male , no excercise lopsided shoulders and twisty spine. ARE YOU ME!?
Nearly 2 years of (only recently slowly diminishing, thank goodness) excruciating lower back pain, caused by an L5 S1 prolapsed disc. GP said don't have op and consultant told me to wait and it should shrink. Well it does but it takes the patience of a Saint to hold out in such agony when you read of operations with fantastic results. The coward in me won over, Too early to say i made the right decision but as i slowly improve, i feel that i might just have.
So to all with a newbie back problem, wait and see, Do not rush it. Don't beat yourself up. Sh** happens and if you can work through it your empathy levels will increase infinitely, no bad thing. Liam - UK
Written by Steve Hatherley.