Do You Get Sciatica When Sitting On A Couch Or In A Recliner?
If so, this post will give you simple & easy tips on how to sit on a couch or recliner with sciatica.
Watch the video below for sitting positions to relieve sciatica...
What Causes Sciatica When Your Sit On A Couch Or In A Recliner?
Sciatica Is A Pain In The Butt
Your sciatic nerve is made up from the nerve roots in your lower back (the L4, L5, S1, S2, and S3 nerve roots). Those nerve roots then join together to form the sciatica nerve, which comes out of your buttocks near your "sits bones" - the bones you sit on.
When you're sitting for a long time, particularlly if you're sitting assymetrically, you put a lot of pressure on your butt, and possibly on your sciatic nerve as it enters your butt.
Sciatica Is A Pain In The Back Side
As noted above, the sciatic nerve starts out from the nerve roots in your lower back. When you sit on a couch or in a recliner, your back is not well supported.
If you have to lean back to reach the backrest of the couch or recliner, it puts too much arch in your lower back.
Sitting with too much arch in your back narrows the spaces when the nerve roots that make up the sciatic nerve exit your spine. This in turn can cause sciatica when sitting on a couch or in a recliner.
In addition, when your back is not fully supported, then the muscles in your back can't relax. This constant tension of the muscles creates further compression on your spine, thus further irritating the nerve roots that make up your sciatic nerve.
Is A Recliner Good Or Bad For Sciatica?
Is A Recliner Good For Sciatica?
In many cases, yes a recliner can be good for sciatica. In fact, many people who have sciatica or back pain when sleeping can only fall asleep by sleeping in a recliner.
When you sit in a recliner, your hips are flexed slightly and you can lean back to unload you spine. However, as noted above, it you lean back TOO far, a recliner can be bad for sciatica.
Are Recliners Bad For Sciatia?
On the flip side of this argument, when you lean back on a recliner, it creates lumbar extension, particularly if you're not scooted all the way back in the recliner.
If there's a gap between your lower back and the backrest of the recliner, that creates lumbar extension. As noted above, lumbar extension can irritate ther nerves in the lower back.
Fortunately, small changes in your sitting position can make a big difference if you get sciatica when sitting in a recliner.
Use the tips below to learn how to sit in a recliner and how to sit on a couch in order to avoid getting sciatica when sitting for a long time.
How To Sit In A Recliner With Sciatica
Use the tips below on how to sit in a recliner without getting sciatica
- Scoot all the way back into the chair and get to a place on the chair where you can actually rest your back on the back rest of the recliner
- Make sure your back isn't arched
- When reclining your chair - instead of keeping your knees and legs flat (this causes an arch in your lower back) - bend your knees and put your feet on the recliner to get your back in a better position!
How To Sit On A Couch With Sciatica
When sitting on a couch, where your back and butt hit the seat is VERY IMPORTANT!
Use the tips below on how to sit on a couch without getting sciatica
- When sitting, try to square up so there is equal pressure on both sides of your body. If you lean to one side more than the other, it causes more pressure and stress to that side instead of evenly distributing it. More Square = More Optimal
- Make sure to scoot all the way to the back of the couch so your back is flat against the backrest.
- If your feet don't touch the ground, put them up on an ottoman, put pillows under your knees, or put your feet flat on the seat of the couch with your knees bent.
Hopefully you found these tips helpful to relieve sciatica when you sit in a recliner or when you sit on a couch.
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Need More Help For Sciatica When Sitting?
If so, check our our posts "5 Tips To Avoid Sciatica Or Lower Back Pain When Driving"
...or check out our other great posts on sciatica
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