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Using Your Chair to Fix Your Sciatica

Using Your Chair to Fix Your Sciatica

By: Dr. Arnan Sisson

I like to consider my practice here in Montross the last line of defense against a horrible outcome. I’ll explain what I mean in a bit.

It is very common for folks with back or sciatic pain to be extremely frustrated. This is because they’ve literally tried everything. They’ve tried 12 weeks of traditional physical therapy, months of massage or chiropractic adjustments. Maybe they even taking Tylenol, Oxycodone, or getting some sort of steroid injection. Or their scouring through YouTube or Google trying to find that “miracle stretch” that will finally rid them of back troubles. 

Months later though, their no closer to their solution. Their time has been wasted and their pockets are a little lighter. Then after trying everything, they give up and decide to finally get that back fusion. 

This is that horrible outcome I speak of because the success rates are very poor for this sort of treatment. About 1/3 get worse, 1/3 have no change, and 1/3 get some improvement. Very bad odds in my opinion. So bad in fact, that in my back pain practice I will be very frank about the data out there, and I tell folks that have gone through this that my normally high success rate with back pain will go down significantly in back fusion cases.

The reason why the success rate goes down is because with a back fusion rods are implanted into the lower back. It physically cannot move, and in general terms that’s how I heal backs is by moving them in certain directions.

So that brings us to the topic of today, using chairs to fix sciatica. This goes back to my specific approach in fixing back troubles. I fix backs by moving them in certain directions, and I combine this with altering postural stress to not only treat but fix back pain for good.

Today we’re going to dig into some chair modifications I use from time to time with clients. Learning these postural tweaks can be game changing when it comes to keeping back/sciatic troubles away for good.

One common postural stress folks can have is a forward bent back. They have it in the car, at work, and even at home. While this stress is in most cases extremely small; if its repeated over the years it can add up to full blown sciatica that doesn’t go away.

So, a single strategy to combat the flexion stress would be raising the height of chairs. By raising the height of a chair, the hips are rotated less, and this results in less curvature in your lower back.

Simple ways to modify this is to pick out the highest chair to sit at when at get togethers of friends/family members. Another approach could be to raise the height of your car seat electronically or through the use of a pillow under your rear end.

Even better, when shopping for furniture in the first place its wise to pick chairs and sofas that are taller. This will produce the same positive effect to the hips and back.

While simple, these are actually some high level adjustments to make for back issues that can produce some great results. 

These adjustments should help reduce back pain and get anyone started on the journey to curing back issues. But will likely not resolve the issue 100%. To get full resolution you need to experience a thorough exam, so a more tailor made movement and postural strategy can be used for your particular case.

That’s it for today everyone, remember movement is medicine!

P.S. Have sciatica and worried a back fusion may be around the corner? Let me help you avoid that! If you’d like to get a full exam at our back pain practice, then shoot us a call at (804) 493-0002 or click here. During the call we can determine if you’re a good fit. If so, we’ll give you a detailed diagnosis and prescription to fix your sciatica for good!