Choosing the best chair for sciatica

The maxim― prevention is better than cure― was probably coined for conditions like sciatica. There is no one cause of sciatica, nor is there one single cure for it. Though not impossible, sciatica is also difficult to prevent.

Although true sciatica is associated with disc deformations that compress the sciatic nerve, sciatica-like pain can also caused by postural faults, some of which we are not even aware. You may feel that a straight back chair feels best for your back and therefore may be ignorantly satisfied with the support that it provides you. But that is not really the truth. The best chair for preventing sciatica is one that:

* Supports your hips.
* Does not press on the back of your thighs or knees.
* Supports the natural curve of your lower spine.

The seat should be such that your weight is distributed evenly so that your muscles are relaxed and do not irritate the nerves.

The back of the chair should provide the best possible fit for your body considering the environment in which you work. For example, if you are required to work on a computer for long hours, your feet should be flat on the floor and the arm rests should be at a level that allows your elbows to bend at right angles while you work at the keyboard.

If you drive for long periods, your car seat should be adjusted in a way to keep your knees and hips at the same level. The seat should be moved forward so that you do not have to overreach for pedals.

Even after taking all the above precautions it is highly recommended that you take frequent breaks from work or driving for a couple of minutes and avoid sitting in the same position for too long.

Ideally, a chair should be customized to meet the requirements of each individual considering the weight, height and the spinal curve. This is obviously not possible unless you are ready to pay dearly for a custom made chair. You can however ensure that you use a cushion to support your back in every chair that you sit in - at home, at work or while driving.

Ignore your back and your posture at your own risk! A bad posture, sitting in the same position for long or an improper chair can cause muscle tension and put pressure on the sciatic nerve. An improper chair is a potential risk for your spine and can lead to certain alterations in one or more of the discs.

Sciatic nerve treatment is a long drawn process of conventional and sciatica alternative remedies. A typical sciatic nerve treatment would involve recourse to more than one therapy - exercise, yoga, acupressure, acupuncture and/or herbal treatment.

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