Sciatica Pain? Maybe Itís Your Chair
by Marcia Coulter
Most people donít realize that their chair can either contribute to
their sciatic pain or help relieve it.
Lots of things can cause sciatica: an aging spine,
chronically clenched buttock muscles, flat feet, or
something more serious. Whatever causes your sciatica,
it all boils down to this: ***Something*** is squeezing
or irritating your sciatic nerve.
Now letís take a look at how your chair can help you.
1. Check the front edge of your chair seat.
Take a look at the front edge of the seat on your
chair. Does the padding extend beyond the firm edge
the chair base? Thatís good. If it doesn'tít, you
really consider getting a large cushion for the
One big enough to drape over the front edge.
Your sciatic nerves travel down the back of your
and knees. So anything that relieves the pressure
those body parts will pay off in greater comfort
your sciatic nerve.
2. Check the depth of your chair seat.
Now, sit down in the chair with your hips at the
edge of the seat. Where are the backs of your knees
relative to the front edge of your chair?
If the backs of your knees reach beyond the front
edge of your chair, youíll be more comfortable than
if they do not. So what if youíre short like me?
Thatís simple. Just sit forward on the chair so that
your knees do reach beyond the chairís edge. And get
a footstool. (See #5.)
3. Check the angle of your chair seat.
To relieve the pressure on the backs of your legs
and knees, you want to get your thighs parallel to
the floor. Anything that supports that goal is
going to make you more comfortable.
So look at your chair seat again, but this time
notice the tilt from the front edge of the chair
to the back. If the seat tilts backward, you will
uncomfortable at best. At worst, it can aggravate
sciatic nerve pain.
On the other hand, if your chair seat is level or
tilts forward, youíre much more likely to be
4. Check your car seat.
This tip comes from page 70 of Stop Sciatica Now
ďSit in your car seat and notice how it Ďfitsí
Does the back of your car seat support your lumbar
If it doesnít, roll up a towel or some foam rubber
and put it
in a pillowcase. Place the roll behind you just
sacrum to help you maintain your lumbar curve.
Now check your legs. Do you feel pressure on your
or knees where they contact the front edge of the
* If you feel pressure and your car seat has
controls, use the controls to tilt the seat
forward a bit.
* If you feel pressure and your car seat has no
controls, use a cushion to relieve the pressure
on your thighs
5. Get a footstool.
As I said before, anything that puts pressure on
of your thigh and knee can irritate your sciatic
Using a footstool is an easy way to lessen the
Make sure to get one high enough so that your
parallel to the floor.
Try it. I'm sure youíll notice the difference.
(c) 2003, Health Enhancement Resources
Stop Sciatica Now by Pamela Kihm
Easy-to-do, no-sweat exercises ease sciatic
3 FREE chapters at: www.sciatica-home-treatment.com