10 Things You Need To Consider While Choosing A Chair For Sciatica Pain

Many people suffer from lower back pain and sciatic nerve pain can be particularly excruciating. Some chairs can exacerbate your discomfort and make the situation worse. While engaging in regular physical activity is important for pain reduction, you should also use an office chair that is ergonomically designed to ease your sciatica symptoms. Achy pain in the back and lower extremities is a typical symptom of sciatica, because it involves the major body parts that are engaged when sitting in a chair. Therefore, finding a chair that reduces sciatic nerve pain is crucial for an pain-free work shift. There are a variety of chairs on the market today designed to help those with sciatic nerve and other back issues.

What Causes Sciatica?

A pinched sciatic nerve can cause the back extremities of your body to become numb. When sciatica is pinched, you might experience pain that radiates across your lower back as well as your hips and buttocks. In severe cases, you may also experience leg pain. A physical exercise and stretching program can help with sciatic nerve without surgery, and only extreme cases will require surgery for sciatica. It is crucial to understand what chair is best for sciatica in order to prevent unnecessary pain.

What Kind of Chair is Best for Sciatica?

It can be challenging to manage sciatica and a sedentary job, but it’s not impossible. It is imperative to get rid of habits that cause damage. Despite being unable to change your sedentary job, you can ensure that you do not further damage your sciatic nerve while working. To achieve this, you should invest in a good ergonomic office chair for back pain. We need to look at the features necessary for an office chair for sciatica.

1. Chair Height

Ergonomic chairs should provide total height adjustment. This means that the chair’s height is adjustable so that people of different heights can sit comfortably in it, and it should be easy for the chair’s seat to be adjusted either upwards or downwards. An individual between 5’0″ and 6’4″ will find a seat height of 15″ to 22″ comfortable. You should be able to put your feet flat on the floor and bend your knees 90 degrees.

2. Seat Width

Seats are usually between 17 and 20 inches wide; this provides enough space for an adequate amount of thigh support. You must be able to sit comfortably on a high-quality seat pan, with at least 1 inch on either side of their hips. However, the arms of the chair must not be so broad that they reach the armrests.

3. Seat Depth

An ergonomic office chair should provide a deep enough seat that they can sit back against the backrest, but leave a space between the end of the chair and their knees that allows for 2 to 4 fingers of space. Seats need to support at least ¾ of your thighs. A chair with a slidable seat can move the rear while seated in it.

4. Seat Size

If you use a seat for long periods, you can develop health issues if it is too big or too small. You should ensure that the ergonomic chair you select has the right seat size for you or anyone using it.

5. Back Support

A chair for sciatica will fully support your upper back and middle back. When you sit for a long time, keeping your back’s natural shape is essential to prevent injury or strain. Before buying an ergonomic chair, ensure that it offers excellent back support; you will need a backrest that is between 12″ and 19″. In addition, you should be able to adapt the shape and curve of your backrest to your body so that you can easily adjust the backrest to support your body’s contours.

6. Lumbar Support

If your lower back isn’t adequately supported, a chair can flatten your lower back and cause damage. The lower back has a natural inward curve, and a poorly designed chair can cause the lower back to straighten out. Your chair must help you maintain the normal curvature of your lower back to keep it healthy and strong. Adjusting the height of the chair’s back support pad will change the lumbar support. A chair with a nonadjustable back will not be suitable for everyone.

7. Armrests

Supporting your arms will alleviate upper back pain. It is beneficial to have adjustable armrests, though they are less critical than other requirements on this list. If you arms are supported, the lumbar will be aligned correctly, preventing disjointed movement. Ideally, the armrests should be movable and adjustable. If they are too narrow or uncomfortable, the elbows and forearms won’t rest lightly on them. In general, armrest height should be between 7″ and 10″ above the seat pan height.

 8. Adjustable Backrest

Adjusting the back of your chair or reclining will reduce the amount of weight on your lower back. You can use reclining chairs to relieve pressure from your lower back muscles and spinal discs if you plan to be seated for the majority of the day. The lowest back pressure can be found between 110° and 130° of reclining. Most of the people who can benefit from reclining chairs have lower back injuries.

9. Seat Material

Before purchasing a chair, make sure it has a high-quality seat. Your chair must be properly and adequately padded to ensure comfort and ergonomic support, especially if you spend a significant portion of your life sitting. Inadequately padded chair seats can cause hip misalignment and back issues, and low-quality foam will break down and become uncomfortable quickly.

10. Swiveling

If your chair is moveable, users can easily reach everything on their desk without straining. This will promote a dynamic position and promoting blood flow. It is recommended that a chair for sciatica have at least five spokes. Verify the weight capacity of the chair to ensure it fits your needs.

Best posture practices for those with sciatica

Maintaining good posture is crucial when you are sitting with sciatica. Even when you’re doing stretches and getting massages regularly, you’ll still get sciatic nerve pain if you’re not sitting correctly, especially for prolonged periods.

Don’t Sit Too Long

Make sure you take regular breaks. Perform back-specific exercises every fifteen to thirty minutes, such as stretching, standing up, and moving around.

Sit Straight

Sitting in a chair should result in your back and buttocks touching the back of your chair. If you sit near the front of your chair, then you might further strain your back. Sit back and let the chair do its job and support your back.

Adjust Your Knee Position

In some cases, keeping the knees even with their hips reduces sciatica pain. However, other people prefer to elevate knees or lower them slightly. Whatever works for you, keep your feet planted evenly on the ground or something else, like a block.

Avoid Slumping

Avoid slumping at your desk by positioning it correctly. Keeping your computer screen at eye level and keeping items you regularly use within reach is essential.Using chairs that fight your body instead of adjusting to it will cause you to suffer. Make sure the chair fits your height, weight, and body type.

FAQs

Is a hard chair better for sciatica?

Most chairs have incredibly soft cushions that may seem comfortable at first but eventually cause you to experience chronic pain. A hard chair seat can put too much pressure on the sciatic nerve because it does not conform to your body shape. Finding a middle ground between soft and hard is best.

Can a chair give you sciatica?

Yes, a prolonged period of sitting can cause sciatica. The entire weight of your upper body is shifted to your lower body, placing pressure on the sciatic nerve.

Why is my sciatica worse when I sit down?

Sitting increases pressure on the sciatic nerve, traveling from below the gluteus muscles toward the leg. Avoid sitting for an extended time on soft couches or hard chairs. You may want to try walking outside or on a treadmill for 10 to 15 minutes at a comfortable pace in the middle of prolonged periods of sitting.

Do kneeling chairs help with sciatica?

It has been proven that kneeling chairs are highly beneficial to people experiencing sciatica. Researchers have found that when sitting in an open-angled position, the pressure on your lumbar spine, thighs, and buttocks is dramatically reduced compared to conventional chairs.

Is it good to sit in a chair without a backrest?

Chairs without a backrest can actually harm your body. If you don’t have a backrest on your chair, the lack of support can force your posture to be wrong. In order to support the spine, if you don’t have strong core muscles, your back muscle will work harder.

Conclusion

You can purchase an ergonomic office chair from your doctor if you have problems with sciatica, lower back pain, or lower leg discomfort. Your doctor may also recommend stretching regularly and avoiding sitting for long periods.

I hope these tips are helpful for you to find a suitable chair for your sciatica concerns.

References

https://journals.lww.com/spinejournal/Abstract/2001/05150/Surgical_and_Nonsurgical_Management_of_Sciatica.17.aspx

https://www.nature.com/articles/3102080

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/003591570800101208

https://www.jospt.org/doi/full/10.2519/jospt.2017.6877