People transition from a regular chair to a kneeling chair for a variety of different reasons. Still, something we see time and time again is people coming to us hoping that a kneeling chair will help them to find relief from their constant sciatica pain.
There is a big difference between general back pain and sciatic pain- are you experiencing pain but are not sure if it's Sciatica you're suffering from? We've got your back.
Let's get science-y and break down the symptoms of Sciatica!
How To Identify Sciatica:
Sciatica symptoms may include many different painful manifestations anywhere in the lower anatomy. Signs of true Sciatica occur due to a spinal nerve compressions problem, while other nonspinal or nonstructural causes will enact pseudo-sciatica expressions.
There are four typical sciatica symptoms. These symptoms include:
While Sciatica is a very unique-to-you pain syndrome, these symptoms typically make an appearance in virtually everyone who suffers from Sciatica at one point or another.
Sciatica pain is definitely the most widely reported of all radiculopathy (that’s fancy for pinched nerve) symptoms. Pain can be experienced in the lower back, butt, legs, or feet and can range from dull to extreme. Pain is not only the most prevalent symptom but is also the one that elicits the most fear since it can really reduce the quality of life for anyone affected.
Sciatica muscle spasms can occur in some people, bringing on very severe pain.
Chronic sciatica pain is generally not caused by an injury or degenerative condition, although these circumstances are typically blamed for enacting the symptoms. Most injuries will heal on their own or resolve with appropriate medical attention. Most degenerative conditions are not symptomatic at all and are merely a normal part of the spinal aging process. However, some cases of enduring pain can result from extreme injury or degeneration, if a neurological tissue is affected long-term.
Pain radiates from your lower (or lumbar, if you wanna be fancy again) spine to your butt (or booty, if you wanna be funny) and down the back of your leg is the hallmark of Sciatica. You might feel discomfort anywhere along the nerve pathway, but it's especially likely to follow a path from your low back to your butt and the back of your thigh and calf.
As I said before- the pain can vary widely person to person, from a mild ache to a sharp, burning sensation or excruciating pain. Sometimes it can feel like a jolt or electric shock. It can be worse when you cough or sneeze, and prolonged sitting can aggravate symptoms. Usually, only one side of your body is affected.
Some people also have numbness, tingling, or muscle weakness in the affected leg or foot. You might have pain in one part of your leg and numbness in another region.
The Main Causes of Sciatica
Okay, so now we know how to say “Uhoh- I have sciatica!” - let’s pin down what causes it in the first place so we can AVOID it like the plague.
Sciatica most commonly rears its ugly head when a herniated disk, bone spur on the spine, or narrowing of the spine (spinal stenosis) compresses part of the nerve. This causes inflammation, pain, and often some numbness in the affected leg.
The spinal column is made up of three parts:
- vertebra (individual bones in the spine that protect underlying nerves)
Disks are made of cartilage, which is a strong and resilient material; the cartilage acts as a little cushion between each vertebra and allows the spine to be flexible. A herniated disk occurs when a disk is pushed out of place, putting pressure on the sciatic nerve. Sounds fun, right?!
Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there- here are some other causes of Sciatica:
- Lumbar spinal stenosis - narrowing of the spinal cord in the lower back.
- Spondylolisthesis - a condition where a disk slips forward over the vertebra below it.
- Tumors within the spine - these may compress the root of the sciatic nerve.
- Infection - ultimately affecting the spine.
- Other causes - for instance, injury within the spine.
- Cauda equina syndrome - a rare but severe condition that affects the nerves in the lower part of the spinal cord; it requires immediate medical attention.
In many cases of Sciatica, there is no single apparent cause, buuuut the good news is, we have a very effective tool that helps not only alleviate Sciatica pain but also prevent it from happening in the first place- and that friends, is the kneeling chair….
How A Kneeling Chair Can Help With Your Sciatica:
A kneeling chair has been proven to be incredibly beneficial for people suffering from Sciatica. Using a kneeling chair can is an effective way to actively treat back and leg pain which comes on during seated postures. Sitting Sciatica is one of the most common versions of Sciatica and can make long hours spent at work seem like an eternity.
The kneeling chair was designed to be an alternative seating option meant to take the pressure off the lower back and buttocks, which can hopefully give some relief from the symptoms of Sciatica. Research has shown that having an open-angled posture while sitting dramatically reduces the pressure on your lumbar spine, thighs, and buttocks as compared to while sitting on conventional chairs. This is the exact position a kneeling chair place you in- the seat of most kneeling chairs vary from about 60° to 70° compared to the flat 90° angle of a conventional chair. This is a primary importance to people suffering from Sciatica because the course of the sciatic nerve is along with these anatomic parts of the human body.
On top of putting you in a more "sciatica friendly" open hip angle, a kneeling chair can also help in improving blood circulation to your lower limbs, an area that is typically adversely affected in cases of Sciatica.
If you do suffer from Sciatica are looking to transition into using a kneeling chair, there are a few essential things to keep in mind. Firstly, it takes a while to get used to the new sitting posture, so approach patiently. It is entirely reasonable for anyone, whether they suffer from Sciatica or not, to experience discomfort in the back and shin when they first start using a kneeling. Just know that it's your body adjusting to the new posture and strengthening muscles that had been ignored until now. Secondly, it's always important to get up and move around regularly while spending a prolonged amount of time working and sitting, but with a kneeling chair, it's extra important. Due to the added pressure placed on our legs and knees, it's essential to give them a break and stretch and change position every hour or so.
If you are experiencing severe back and leg pain or have previously been diagnosed with Sciatica, we always recommend talking to your doctor before adding a kneeling chair to your routine.
We would love to hear from you! Do you have questions? Do you have a great story of how a kneeling chair has helped you? We would love to hear from you. Send us an email at email@example.com, find us on Instagram @sleekform or Facebook!