Will a kneeling chair help? or hurt?

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Will a kneeling chair help? or hurt?

Post by Dfranklin » Sat Jul 07, 2007 8:46 pm

Because I'm convinced the downfall of my back is the years of sitting in a chair at work, I bought a kneeling chair. It seems to be of some help. After a week, I prefer sitting in my $80 kneeling chair over my expensive office chair.
However, I have a common forward tilt (described in the RYB book) and the kneeling chair seems to exaggerate it. The kneeling chair seems to feel easier on my back, but I can't help but wondering - is it counter-productive in correcting my forward tilt?
I'd appreciate any advice. - Dfranklin

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Post by Paul » Thu Jul 12, 2007 12:08 pm

Interesting question. I wish I knew the answer but I've never tried those kneeling chairs for longer than a few minutes in the store. One thing I do is keep an exercise ball in my office and I sit on that for 20 minutes instead of my usual chair. Doing that once or twice a day while maintaining correct posture really helps shore up the muscles. Don't try sitting on one all day though. It will leave you very sore the next day.

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Post by randolph » Sun Jul 15, 2007 9:33 am

Perhaps part of the benefit you're getting from the kneeling chair, Dfranklin, and the benefit you're getting from sitting on the exercise ball, Paul, is the simple change in sitting positions. Our genetic endowment of big butts would seem to indicate were well-adapted for sitting. The problem may be the relatively recent development the last 200 years, of forcing ourselves for industrial efficiency, to remain in that C-position for hours and hours without taking a break. (Watch 3rd world, pre-industrial folks work - they "goof-around" a lot while working - lots of frequent breaks)

So I'm wondering how much of the improvement you're experiencing is related to the new thing you're sitting on, and how much is because you're beginning to take more breaks from sitting too long in one position.

I sit for many hours everyday driving my big truck, and after years of problems with stiffness, etc., found the simple addition of more frequent breaks to stretch and exercise like Dean recommends, and remembering to wiggle around into different positions while driving, made a dramatic, positive improvement. Some drivers, however, swear by their little doughnut cushions or wedgie or whatever.

Whatever works.




Post by dfranklin » Fri Jul 27, 2007 8:41 pm

Randolph, thanks for your posts. Not just mine. I think you've helped lots of folks.

You mention you drive a lot. Riding or driving is by far the worst activity I do to get the sciatic pain cranked up. I've noticed that on the weekends when I stay out of a car, it's not as bad. But driving to work is un-avoidable. I've tried a lot of stuff in the car - pillows, large lumbar supports, small inflatable ones, back belts, reclining way back, sitting straight up, loading up on anti-inflam drugs. Nothing seems to help. Tell me what you do when your in the car for awhile. If I could figure out a way to suspend my weight off the seat just a little with a harness & a tether strap or something, I thing I'd try it.

By the way - I've been on the PT exercises for a while now and I'm currently off the nasty unmanagable pain. But it's not exactly gone away. If I could only stay out the car....

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Post by randolph » Wed Aug 01, 2007 6:02 am

Hi DFranklin

It's helpful to remember: first, that your present condition is temporary and you will most likely continue to get better, back to your normal, pre-sciatica condition ... or better. During the acute stages of sciatica, one of my strong fears was that I was always going to remain a cripple of some sort, with some chronic pain issue. It might take a while (for me, almost 2 years to get back to my normal) but you'll most likely continue to gradually get more pain-fre, more flexible, and stronger as you do the PT.

Second, healing seems to happen in response to doing the PT ... and the body seems to respond best by doing slightly more stretching and exercising than you're comfortable with. That is, pushing yourself enough to push back your limits, but no doing so much that next day you can't do a bit more.

I say all that to answer your question about driving. Eventually, you'll be driving comfortably again .... but for now, you're looking for anything you can do to lessen the pain while driving and doing all the other things you have to do. For a while it's going to be a REAL challenge to do just the things you HAVE to do. So you get real good at eliminating doing anything unnecessary and also being very faithful to doing your exercising.

I'm not too crazy about using NSAIDs to mask the pain. I tended to do too much when I was relatively numb ... so the next day was more achy than usual. But some days, you just need the help ... just take it as easy as possible.

Use of a back belt was, by far, the most helpful crutch I used to help me drive during the acute stages of my sciatica. It was also helpful, while driving, to frequently move around and stretch as much as the driving seat allowed. Because of the high ceilng in the big rig, I was able to grab above me and pull myself up off the seat frequently which provided blessed relief. And very helpful to stop driving, and take frequent breaks to do a few cobras and other stretches.

If you can't find things to do to lessen the pain ... you might have to drastically reduce the amount of driving you do (my wife drove me around for a while when I was in too much pain). I couldn't drive for 3 months ... and waited an additional month before I attempted to drive my big truck.

So for the time being .... maybe someone (work buddy? friend?) could assist you with the driving for a while so you wouldn't have to drive so much until you can again in a month or so.

Hope this helps some. Randolph

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