Sciatica can make the simplest daily activities, like sitting, an ordeal. Sciatica originates in the sciatic nerve and can be quite debilitating to say the least. It can be particularly hard for those who sit for long hours and even more so for mums managing motherhood with executive roles. That's why nailing down comfort in your sitting routine isn't just about getting through the day—it's about enhancing your quality of life. In this blog, lets discuss why finding a comfortable sitting position is essential and provide you with practical and simple tips to minimize your discomfort.
The sciatic nerve is the longest and thickest nerve in your body, running from your lower back down to your feet. When this nerve experiences pressure or irritation anywhere near its origin in the lumbar spine or along its route in the bottom, legs or feet, the result is a cascade of pain that can ripple through your lower half. This is known as Sciatica. Sitting, especially for elongated periods can worsen this pressure, leading to intensified pain. So, the objective isn't just to sit, its to sit smart.
Here are some tips to help you sit more comfortably with sciatica:
1. Movement is the key:
Take regular breaks from sitting and move by standing up and stretching. Our bodies are not meant for static postures, whether it is prolonged standing or prolonged sitting. Stand up, move around, and stretch every 30 minutes throughout the day to reverse the effects of being seated for extended periods. This helps reduce the strain on your back and improves blood circulation. This is not only good for your sciatic nerve but also for your overall body and mind. You can also consider investing in an adjustable standing desk. It gives you the flexibility to alternate between sitting and standing, integrating movement into your workflow. Try and incorporate simple exercises such as shoulder rolls, side bends, and gentle twists to release tension in your lower back and sciatic nerve. These Desk based exercises can be done even when you are in a meeting or a flight where you cant get up and move.
2. Keep your feet grounded:
Where do your feet rest when you're seated? If you're finding them often dangling, it's time to put them on a foot stool or adjust your chair so that you feet are resting on the floor. This provides a stable foundation to your body and thus avoid unnecessary strain up the feet into the knees, hips and pelvis and in to your lower back, which can aggravate your sciatica anywhere along this chain. This is a small adjustment but it has substantial benefits with sciatica. Another important tip is to keep the tripod of your foot on the floor in sitting to make sure that your body weight is evenly distributed on the feet. Tripod of the feet are ball of the big toe and ball of the little toe and the heel.
3. Support your Lumbar spine:
Try and sit back into your chair so that your so that your bottom is touching the back of the seat. However, be mindful to keep a 1-inch gap between the edge of the seat and the back of your knee. This ensures there is no additional pressure on the important structures that are present at the back of the knee. If your chair is too deep and this is not possible use a pillow or lumbar support behind your back to shorted the seat length. When your back muscles get tired you tend to move back towards the seat to lean on it. If you don’t sit back into your chair there is enough room for you slouch into the seat at this stage, leading to a poor slumped posture and back pain, which can result in increased sciatic pain.
Watch this video to know ‘Why is your Sciatica worse when Sitting?’
HERE is a free guide on "How can you manage your nerve pain?" where you can get more information about what are nerve pains, how do you know if you are suffering from nerve pains, some solutions to manage your nerve pain and much more.
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