Back pain is one of the most uncomfortable things to experience, and for people who suffer with sciatica this is something that becomes all too normal.
Sciatica is a certain type of back pain that is caused from the sciatic nerve becoming irritated. It tends to happen when something presses against the nerve, with the most common cause being a slipped spinal disc.
The pain can be felt all through the back, down through the legs all the way to the feet, and it can make it very difficult to get comfortable. It can particularly make it hard to find the right sitting position that doesn’t aggravate the pain.
So, if you’re suffering with sciatica and you can’t quite figure out the best sitting position for when you’re working at your desk, traveling, or even just sitting in your lounge, then keep reading to find out the best way to sit if you have sciatica.
#1 Don’t Cross Your Legs
One thing you shouldn’t do when sitting down with sciatica pain, is cross your legs.
This is because sitting with your legs crossed can cause you to have bad posture and hold your upper body poorly whilst sitting in a chair. This could then, in turn, aggravate your sciatica pain and make you feel even more uncomfortable.
Furthermore, when crossing your legs, you are more likely to lean on, and potentially trap, a nerve which could then worsen your sciatica pain.
Therefore, you should make sure that you don’t sit with your legs crossed if you’re suffering from sciatica pain. More to read: 12 Piriformis Stretching Exercises for Sciatica Pain Relief for Elderly
#2 Place Feet Flat on The Floor
So, if you can’t cross your legs then what should you do with them when sitting down? Well, the best way to sit when you have sciatica is to make sure the soles of your feet are placed flat on the floor, and that your feet are parallel to each other.
This helps to make sure your upper body is fully supported to prevent any stress or strain being put on a particular area. Furthermore, having your feet firmly on the floor promotes good posture, which will help to keep your sciatica pain at bay.
#3 Sit on the Right Type of Chair
It is important that you sit on the right chair if you have sciatica. The best type of chair for you to use is a chair with wheels. This means that instead of having to twist your body at awkward angles to reach something, do something, or see something properly, you can instead make use of the wheels on the chair to move yourself whilst keeping your body in a good position.
For some people with sciatica, they find that leaning back a little can help to relieve some of the pain. If this is the case for you, then a good idea is to choose a chair that reclines slightly. That way you can lean it back whenever you need to and find the exact position that works best for you.
#4 Hips and Knees at 45-Degree Angle
The best sitting position for if you have sciatica is to make sure you are sat with your hips and knees at a 45-degree angle. This helps to limit the pressure being put on your back and will prevent your nerves from getting irritated more than they already are.
#5 Sit Close to Your Desk
You should also make sure you are sat close to your desk. If you are too far away then you’ll end up having to lean forward to reach your laptop, notebook etc, which is going to put strain on your back and neck.
So, make sure you are at a good distance from your work surface so that you can keep your back, neck and head straight and in line with each other. Read more: Best Sleeping Position for Sciatica Pain
#6 Sit at Eye Level to Your Screen
If you are working at a desk with a computer screen in front of you, then you should make sure that you’re at the correct height to prevent you from having to tilt your head upwards or downwards in order to see the screen properly. This is something that can put a lot of pressure on your neck, which can irritate nerves and in turn aggravate sciatica pain.
If you are using reading material, a notebook or something else which would usually lie flat on a desk, then instead you should place it on a stand that angles at 45 degrees. This will mean you don’t have to tilt your neck downwards as much, and so will place less strain on your neck and back.
#7 Sit Right to The Back of The Chair
One thing that is extremely important to do when sitting with sciatica pain, is to make sure your bum is placed right to the back of the chair.
This helps to make sure your back is fully supported by the chair and prevents you from leaning forward and slipping into poor posture, which would in turn aggravate your sciatica pain.
Doing this will also make it easier for you to get your legs in that correct, 45-degree angle placement, and will also make it feel more natural to keep your feet firmly on the floor. Read more: How to Sit Comfortably with Sciatica Pain
#8 Sit Up Straight
Perhaps the most important thing you should do to get the right sitting position for sciatica is to make sure you are sat up straight.
Your spine should be in a straight line, and you shouldn’t be leaning forward or back at all. Sitting straight and keeping your body balanced prevents putting any pressure on a particular part of your body, and instead keeps your weight distributed evenly. This then in turn helps to prevent aggravation of your sciatica, as no extra strain is being put on the sciatic nerve.
Implementing steps 2 and 7 will help you to maintain a straight sitting position.
So, there you have all the steps you need to follow in order to find the best sitting position for sciatica. Some things might work slightly differently for you than for other people, but the main thing is to see what works best for you and find the position that puts the least amount of pressure on your back and neck.