How much time do you spend per day sitting down? Seems like a strange question but think about it for a moment. Eight hours maybe? Could be as much as 12 hours.Now think about this human beings were not designed to sit in chairs. Our bodies are not well suited to the seated position that we subject ourselves to for the majority of our waking hours.
If you suffer from sciatica this insight should be of particular importance. Sciatica relief really does start at the bottom.
Sciatica Relief from good postureWhats wrong with the seated position?
The seated position places an enormous amount of pressure on the spine. Research shows that up to six times as much stress is placed on your back when seated as compared to lying down.
In many cases the posture you assume whilst in a seated position will aggravate your sciatica condition and cause you additional back pain. It may even have been one of the contributing factors to you getting the condition in the first place.
So, how can I get sciatica relief when seated?
Although the seated position is not ideal for a healthy back, the fact is that most of us have no choice but to spend extended periods in a seated position.
Fortunately there are some things you can do right away to reduce the amount of stress placed on your back. Implementing the recommendations in the next section will go a long way to bringing you some sciatica relief and improving the overall condition of your back.
Sciatica relief recommendations for a seated position
Whether you suffer from sciatica or just experience the occasional aching back run through the following checklist to ensure your back is in the best possible shape whilst you are in a seated position.
Recommendation #1 Check your lumbar support
Lumbar support is the name given to the extended cushioned area on the back rest of your chair. Its purpose is to help to maintain and support the natural curve in the spine. The shape and position of the lumbar support is very important factor in giving sciatica relief whilst seated.
Many modern chairs have a lumbar support adjustment feature so that you can adjust the support to fit correctly against the small of your back.
If your chair does not include an adjustable lumbar support you should consider purchasing an insert lumbar cushion. This cushion serves the same purpose but can be purchased separated and then fitted to any chair.
Recommendation #2 Set a good seated position
In conjunction with adjusting the position of your lumbar support, take a few minutes to review your general seating position. Firstly, adjust the height of your chair so that you can rest you feet flat on the floor. Avoid having your chair set too high, leaving your legs and feet dangling in the air.
Next adjust the tilt of the chair seat in conjunction with the tilt of the seat back. It may take a few minutes of adjustment to find the optimum position and once you have done so check that the lumbar support is still in the correct place.
Recommendation #3 Dont stay seated for too long
Our final recommendation is simple and yet extremely important. Get into a routine of getting out of your chair and moving around regularly throughout your day. Ideally you will do this every 15 minutes or so but certainly you should aim to get out of your chair at least every 30 minutes.
Exactly what you do is up to you and the constraints of your environment. Some suggestions would be to stretch or to walk around perhaps walk to the kitchen or office rest area and take a drink of water.
Want to find out more?
If you would like to find out more about how minor changes in your everyday body positioning can bring about dramatic sciatica relief I highly recommend you take a look at the book Stop Sciatica Now by Pamela Kihm.
The book is packed full of practical guidelines on how to maintain good posture and a healthy back whilst carrying out everyday activities such as walking up stairs, lifting heavy loads and sitting at a desk. The book includes dozens of illustrations and photographs that make it easy to see the movements and postures described in the text.