How to sit on couch with sciatica

How to sit on couch with sciatica

As our daily lives get increasingly sedentary with the evolution of technology, it also becomes virtually impossible to avoid sitting for long periods of time. It’s hard enough as it is for regular people to avoid back pain, but Sciatica makes it even worse.

If you’re suffering from Sciatica, you might feel a slight ache or shooting pains that start at your lower back and spreads to your legs while sitting. Learning the proper way to seat can help alleviate the pain. Read ahead to learn how to sit on couch with Sciatica and get relief from the pain.

Why Does It Hurt When You Sit on A Couch with Sciatica?

Sciatic pain is usually the result of your sciatic nerves being compressed which can happen for a number of reasons. So, before we start talking about how to sit on couch with Sciatica, let’s first discuss why it hurts when you sit down.

When you sit down on a soft surface like your couch, you’re bending your back forward causing the lumbar vertebra which is your lower spinal vertebra to curve forward as well. As a result, the discs between your vertebrae get displaced due to the added pressure.

Your sciatic nerves are located behind your lower vertebra and the bulging disc compresses these nerves which results in pain and discomfort.

Another reason for experiencing Sciatica when you sit on a couch is not sitting symmetrically. If you’re not sitting evenly on the couch, then you’re exerting extra pressure on one side of your buttocks. There is a muscle in your buttock called “Piriformis” which is usually not a factor.

However, for some people, their sciatic nerves run through this muscle instead of over it. If you’ve got this condition, then sitting on your buttocks for long periods of time can cause the Piriformis muscles to tighten, pinching the sciatic nerves and causing pain.

You can also experience pain if the couch is not the right height for you or if it’s too soft. Sitting on a couch that’s too tall prevents you from placing your feet properly on the ground and maintaining the right sitting posture.

As a result, you sink into the couch which causes your back to arch forward and compress your sciatic nerves.

How to Sit on A Couch with Sciatica

If you’re suffering from Sciatica, it can be quite difficult to simply relax on the couch after a hard day’s work. However, with a few adjustments to your sitting posture, you can alleviate some of that pain and find relief. Follow the steps below to learn how to ease sciatica pain while sitting on a couch.

Sit Evenly on Both Sides

When we sit on the couch, we often tend to lean on the side of the armrest. Leaning on one side can put excess pressure and stress on that side. Sitting evenly on the couch means that your weight is distributed evenly which reduces the chances of your sciatic nerves being irritated.

Plant Your Feet

Make sure that both of your feet are planted on the ground when you’re sitting on the couch. Doing so can minimize the pressure that builds up under your thighs. If you’re unable to reach the ground while sitting, try using something to lift your feet. You typically want your knees to be on the same level as your hips.

Support Your Lower Back

The best way to relieve sciatic pain while sitting is to provide support for your lower back. When sitting on a couch, make sure that you’re sitting all the way back against the backrest. This will prevent you from arching forward and keep your spine in a neutral position.If necessary, use lumbar support or a rolled-up towel to support your back for sciatica relief while sitting.

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How to Sit in A Recliner with Sciatica

Many people tend to get a recliner for back problems. While reclining chairs for sciatic relief is certainly a great option, it won’t make a difference if you’re still using the wrong posture. Here’s the best sitting position for sciatic pain when using a recliner.

Use the Right Reclining Angle

Reclining chairs can have multiple reclining angles all the way to fully reclined. When sitting with Sciatica, you need to choose the right reclining position that gives you the most comfort. This tends to differ from chair to chair depending on the height and softness along with a few other factors.

You generally would want your hip angle to be more than 90 degrees. This will reduce the pressure off of your sciatic nerves and provide relief from the pain. You’ll have to go through some trial and error before you find the position that suits you best.

Use Lumber Support

Similar to the correct way to sit on the couch, you’ll want your back to be rested against the backrest while sitting in a recliner as well. If you’re back is still arched forward, you can use a pillow on your back or an aftermarket lumbar support. This will prevent your sciatic nerves from compressing and reduce sciatic pain from sitting.

Don’t Flatten Your Knees and Legs

If your reclining chair comes with a footrest, you should use it to raise your legs. However, make sure that you don’t flatten your knees and legs completely. Make sure that your knee is positioned on the same level or higher than your hips so your back doesn’t curve forward.

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Helpful Tips to Relieve Sciatica

Sitting with Sciatica can be a nightmare for some people. But it is possible to get relief from sciatica pain when sitting by only following a couple of simple steps.

Change Your Position Regularly

Sitting in one position for too long can cause your intervertebral discs to bulge towards a problematic area. So, when sitting down for long periods at a time, make sure you change your position every 30 minutes so you aren’t putting pressure on the same spot for too long.

Avoid Sitting for Too Long

Another way to avoid sciatic pain while sitting is to not sit in one place for too long. Your muscles tend to shorten or lengthen if you sit in one position for too long. This can affect your sciatic nerves leading to more pain.

Be Fit

Leading an active lifestyle will allow your muscles and nerves to function properly which can help relieve sciatica. One of the main causes of sciatica is obesity. Staying fit and maintaining your weight can will keep your muscles and nerves from being under excessive pressure.

Lift with Your Legs

When you’re lifting something, you should keep your back straight and only bend your knees. Try to refrain from twisting your body while lifting and use your leg muscles instead of your back to avoid lower back pain.

Wear Practical Footwear

Wearing extremely high heels or flat flip-flops can be bad for your lower back. When selecting footwear, pay close attention to the ergonomics so your back is supported properly.

Final Words

Sciatica can make even the mundane parts of our lives such as sitting difficult. In this article, we talked about how to sit on couch with Sciatica. The information presented is in no way a substitute for a medical opinion as each person’s condition can be unique.


Writholic, Very passionate Writer, love to travel a lot

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