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How To Sit With Sciatica

How To Sit With Sciatica

You know that sitting for a long time can make sciatica worse. But did you know that it can actually cause it?

Even when you’re sitting with perfect posture, there’s a lot of stress on your lower back. This is because the pressure from your vertebrae can push the disk (which has fluid inside) out from its natural resting place and into the nerve–causing your sciatica to flare up.

If you have a bad posture, it’s even worse.

The key is to sit in a way that helps your spine stay maintain its natural curvature (also called an anterior tilt).

Here are a few methods for keeping your posture correct and minimizing sciatica

Method #1: The Chair Tilt

The easiest way to align your spine is to tilt forward in your seat. 

If you have a nice office chair, it may have a feature that allows you to tilt the seat forward with a lever. This is the simplest solution. 

If not, you can purchase a soft chair wedge that forces you to roll your hips forward as you sit on top of it. This may feel awkward at first, but it will help your sciatica symptoms tremendously. 

You can also add lumbar support for additional relief. It’s a good idea to start with thick, roll-style support, then move on to a thinner model once the pain has subsided.

Method #2: Vary Your Position

Even if you have your spine in perfect alignment, it’s crucial that you switch up your position throughout the day. 

The adjustment doesn’t need to be drastic; just a half-inch movement can prevent soreness or cramping. Try to shift your posture at least every thirty minutes, and take breaks from sitting. A short walk can go a long way.

Method #3: Maintain Proper Height

This applies to more than just your eye level. There are a few height-alignment factors to consider when sitting for a long time:

  • Your feet. You may have a bad habit of sitting with your toes touching the floor. What you should be doing instead is getting your feet flat to the ground; this reduces low back tension.
  • Your eyes. If you work at a computer, you should pay attention to the level of your monitor in relation to your eyes. Some experts say that your eyes should be level with the top of the monitor; some think they should be halfway down. Play around with this and see which one works best for you. 
  • Your hands. If you can get an adjustable desk that allows you to control the work surface’s height, do it. 


Sciatica can stem from a range of physical conditions, but the methods listed above will help anyone with this condition who must sit for long periods. 

The methods listed here are helpful, but they are not a comprehensive solution. Make sure you continue to stretch your major muscle groups and implement every other piece of your plan to relieve your sciatica. 

If you are continuing to suffer from sciatica, you may need to visit your primary physician or another doctor who specializes in the treatment of sciatica. To find a doctor near you experienced in treating sciatica and other types of back pain, call (800) 897-8440 today.