Last Updated on by Artem
The long periods of time behind your workstation may cause compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve roots in your lower spine, resulting in sciatica. When the pain extends to your foot or leg, you’re likely to feel a searing pain throughout the body.
This sciatica pain is like burning heat that may adversely affect the quality of your work. And since back pain is often chronic, you’ll find it challenging to concentrate on your work. We know the results of sciatica; poor performance!
This article outlines some simple yet effective tips on how to sit with sciatica. The tips will alleviate back pain and suppress the symptoms.
Read along and discover the simple yet effective ways of healing sciatica!
Top 10 Tips on How to Sit With Sciatica
1. Get an Ergonomic Office Chair
It all starts here!
While most office chairs boast beautiful designs, not all are meant to support your lower back. The cause of this bad condition could be the chair you’re using. If the chair does not fit your body contours or offer proper support, having a change will significantly impact your back pain levels and overall health.
And so, the first thing you’d want to do is to avoid sitting on a regular office chair. Invest in the best ergonomic chair that will guarantee a cozy haven. It should promote a tolerable posture by allowing you to sit and recline back a bit. This way, you will enjoy reliable back support and a proper sitting position.
If it has transportation wheels, use them. Avoid turning and twisting your body to pick files from the shelf. Instead, let the chair help you move around the office. And what better than knowing that you can use the swivel feature to turn in any direction? I bet nothing!
The office chair should fulfill the following checkpoints for sciatica patients: a contoured waterfall edge, adjustable seat depth, pronounced lumbar support, and adjustable footrest.
Here is a budget office chair collection you can start with.
2. Use a Sciatica Cushion
If you’re not in a position to replace your regular office desk chair, another viable tip is to get yourself a sciatica seat cushion. These pillows are designed for leg, spinal, back, and tailbone pain relief. They are important as they will also help in maintaining a proper sitting posture.
Furthermore, this health cushion facilitates uniform weight distribution on the spine and lower back. It will fill the gap between the seat and lumbar spine, offering ultimate support to the inward curve of the low back.
Check out this selection of seat cushions for the best options!
3. Get the Right Sitting Posture
Poor sitting postures put pressure on the nerves. That means getting the correct sitting posture will help pressure this tension. You’ll go through your work without sciatica discomforts and pain.
And so, it’s time to readjust your sitting posture!
Sit up straight on the ergonomic chair so your butt and back are well-supported. Do not hang on one side of the seat but ensure your hips are slightly above the knees. This position will facilitate proper blood circulation on the sciatic nerve. You can also wear lumbar braces to help stabilize your lower spine. The braces come in handy in giving you the proper sitting posture by limiting excessive movement, which could compress the sciatic nerve.
Dangling feet when you sit could be another culprit that limits blood flow and circulation in the lower legs and other body parts. Your feet should always rest on the floor because support through the feet helps stabilize the lower back. Also, be sure that the back of your knees (of each leg) touches the seat comfortably while you’re seated.
Remember to keep your hands rested at a 90° angle on the work table or desk. The right posture
4. Adjust You Work Station
To get optimal lumbar support and comfort, you’ll need to adjust some more things:
Adjust your armrests and chair height
Your ergonomic seat should have adjustable armrests that allow you to set your preferred height. Adjust them slightly to fit your shoulders. And when sitting, relax your shoulders in an upright manner, and set your head directly over the shoulders. Doing so helps in reducing the strain, heat, pressure, and pain placed on the shoulders. It also prevents you from slouching forward.
Adjust your backrest
Since the spine and back leans on the backrest, you’ll need to make them as comfortable as possible if you’re looking to relieve sciatica and back pain. Your back’s calf should be a fist’s gap away from the seat’s front. But if you don’t have sufficient space for the fist, adjust the backrest forward. And if you still can’t adjust the backrest, consider using your therapy cushion to achieve a comfortable low back support.
Adjust your computer’s monitor height
This is something you’ll need to try out until you achieve the perfect computer monitor height. Some physicians recommend closing your eyes then opening to see where the eyes will first focus. Your eyes should be at the center of the monitor and not on one side. It is also bad to lean towards the computer as this causes eyestrain.
5. Take Breaks
The sciatic nerve is a critical part of the human body. When compressed or pressured due to long hours of sitting, you’re likely to have severe sciatica pain. The other important solution to this is taking frequent breaks from sitting. Get up every 45 minutes, move around the office, take water, and stretch your body. The break should last for 15-30 minutes.
To make the breaks regular, consider adding a recurring alarm on your computer or phone to prompt you to stand and walk. Data suggests that the breaks will reduce sciatica symptoms, though this may only offer a temporary solution. All in all, taking breaks will significantly reduce the pain from sciatica and help you work and sit comfortably.
6. Keep Everything Close
Sitting for long periods with sciatica requires that you don’t have any unnecessary movements. One such way is to keep everything close. This way, you’ll relax and be at ease working from your office desk.
It is important to position your monitor at eye level and keep the keyboard within your arm’s reach. And if you use the phone constantly, pull it nearby to avoid moving needlessly when it rings. Your work-related accessories should be on your left or right hand side – a stretch away.
By keeping your work items close, you’ll reduce the need for stretching, consequently reducing the risks of straining your body ligaments. This tip also helps not to “breaking” the upright sitting position. You’ll be shocked how it’ll be easy to maintain the correct position.
7. Undertake Treatment
The most common sciatica symptoms include moderate to severe pain in the lower back, buttocks, and down your leg. You may also feel weakness, tingling, or numbness in your low back. If the pain worsens with movement or you begin feeling “needles” on standing, it’s time to see your physician.
Your physician will diagnose your sciatica and know the extent of the pain. He or she will then advise on the suitable medication. Some treatments of sciatica include anti-inflammatories, narcotics, muscle relaxants, anti-seizure medications, and tricyclic antidepressants. Check for more sciatica treatment options at Pubmed.
If your sciatica is severe and conservative treatments cannot work, the doctor may recommend surgery. The surgery will help remove the herniated disc that presses the injured sciatic nerve. It will ease the sciatica pain and any associated symptoms of weakness, tingling, and numbness.
9. Get a Massage
Another way of sitting comfortably with sciatica is by getting a massage right after leaving your workplace. The massage is meant to help alleviate the physical tension and increase blood flow around the sciatic nerve.
Another benefit of massage is that it soothes the tensed muscles of the body. When the muscles are tensed, they pressure the sciatic nerve, which increases the pain. The perfect body spot for the massage is the gluteus maximus muscle, just below the lowest portion of the back. When your physical therapist focuses on this area, you’ll feel sciatica relief.
10. Perform Regular Piriformis Exercises
As we’ve seen, sitting for extended hours could cause sciatica. Performing regular exercises will also give you a healthy sitting when you’re back in the office. Try out exercises that aim at the piriformis muscle, which is the band-like muscle in the butt (near the hip joint). The muscle stabilizes the hip joints, lifts the thigh from the body, and helps lower body movement.
The piriformis stretch is one such exercise. The exercise involves lying flat on the floor on your back with your legs straight, lifting the affected leg, bending your knee, using your opposite hand to reach across the body, and gently pulling the knee towards the opposite shoulder. The stretch should last for 15-30 seconds while repeating the 2 -4 times on one side, then the other. Combine this exercise with walking and you’ll see how your legs will feel strong.
While doctors recommend using medication to relieve piriformis pain, your physical therapist will advise exercises, physical therapy, and regular stretching.
11. Stay Active
Even though maintaining the correct body posture will minimize the force and strain on your spine, it may not entirely alleviate the pain in your nerves. Standing and walking may also not be the ultimate solutions to healing the herniated discs.
As we’ve seen, sciatica and nerve pain come with sitting for long hours. That means you’ll need to be active at work at a minimum stretch to alleviate your sciatica.
Between the report writing, drafting budgets, meeting tight deadlines, and having performance reviews, be sure to combine different relaxation techniques to keep you active. It will help relieve the legs and sciatic pain.
For instance, you can take deep breaths and perform different stretches to keep your legs, spine, back, and even mind healthy. And when transitioning from one room to another, feel free to do some more stretching. Staying active will relieve the pain from sciatica and help you work and sit comfortably.
If you’re suffering from nerve pain or sciatica, you understand how painful it can be sitting for long hours. But since we’ve taken time to understand the causes of sciatica, you now know the common tips that may help alleviate your spinal and sciatic pain.
Doctors say that physical therapy is an important natural treatment line, but only your therapist can advise the best treatment option. And so, you don’t have to waste any more time! Apply the above sciatica health tips and get some health relief.
All the best working behind that desk!