It's no secret that sitting at a desk all day can be tough on us. In some rare cases, people can become affected by an ailment known as piriformis syndrome, which presents with sharp pain in the thigh and lower back region. It is caused by the sciatic nerve being stimulated or pinched by the piriformis muscle, which can be exacerbated if you're sedentary for prolonged periods, such as during your daily 9-to-5 routine. Thankfully there are ways to manage and reduce symptoms through simple modifications you make during your typical workflow so that you can continue working without feeling unwell!
Why Does Sitting Make Piriformis Syndrome Worse?
Sitting for long periods is the perfect recipe for disaster if you want to avoid a severe case of piriformis syndrome. People who feel pain in the buttocks might be suffering from what's commonly known as wallet sciatica or fat wallet syndrome. That's because it usually happens when people have something in their back pocket and sit down, causing more pressure on their sciatic nerve, resulting in piriformis syndrome and buttocks discomfort.
Sitting, on the other hand, also changes how we hold our core muscles. Those who spend most of their day seated tend to hunch over, curve their backs and keep their hips flexed. It can hurt spinal alignment, which causes symptoms of piriformis syndrome to occur in certain people.
How to Sit with Piriformis Syndrome
Learning to sit correctly is the first step in managing the hip, leg, and lower back pain that comes with piriformis syndrome. Take a look at this guide for what you can do to relieve pain and regain mobility.
Sit with a Good Posture
The key to sitting down with good posture starts with using a great ergonomic chair. The right chair will help you sit straight and alert, but if you have an uncomfortable chair, then it can really cause any number of issues, so once you get your hands on the ideal chair, make sure to take note of these steps to help guide you towards sitting with good posture.
- If you are looking at a computer screen, adjust it so that the top third is at your eye level.
- Keep your shoulders back.
- Don’t let your hips sink further down than your knees.
- Keep your feet flat on the ground. Use a footrest if necessary.
- Sit upright as possible.
Herbal heating pads are ideal for soothing pain when sitting. If you're experiencing aches in your hips, lower back, and upper thighs or just generally itchy piriformis syndrome, applying heat to these areas can be helpful during your recovery period - heating aids blood flow and alleviates discomfort.
Use a Lumbar Support or Seat Cushion
Many people don't always keep their backs supported whenever they're sitting, which strains the muscles and nerves in the lower back. So what if you could use extra cushioning to help relieve that pain? There are a few options out there! For example, sitting pads and seat cushions are a great way to go. Your posture will also be improved when wearing one.
Take Frequent Breaks
When you have to stand for prolonged periods, you must take regular breaks to ensure you don't develop aches and pains. For example, when out in the field making sales calls all day long, after 30 minutes of standing, it's essential to stretch your legs by getting up from your desk and walking around the office for a few minutes. It'll also do you good to engage more often in activities that require movement. The body craves activity, as opposed to being stationary every day. Some people find light stretching effective at relieving tight muscles, while others find a short walk outside helps ease tension.
Do you work a desk job? Invest in one of these great accessories for your office. They help provide users with the option to stand or sit while working; many are even programmable, so they can be adjusted throughout your day depending on whether you need to use them while standing or sitting. Give it a shot! It's good for your body, so you don't burn out, and it feels better that way too!
Stretching your piriformis muscle can help loosen it up and relax the different parts of your pelvic region, like your gluteal or leg muscles. Stretch by working the lower back and hamstrings because connected to the piriformis is a sciatic nerve that goes through your gluteus maximus, lower back, and then down to both legs. So even with stretching alone, you're getting work done in three separate places simultaneously! Of course, you should always seek advice from a professional if you have trouble finding the proper stretches for each area so that the tension in your back doesn't end up in one spot when it needs to be spread out evenly.
Reduce Sitting Pain
Sitting is a part of our everyday lives. For some people, it's an unavoidable facet of their job description. If you add piriformis syndrome into the equation when it comes to sitting for long periods, there will be a pain. To reduce sitting pain, we recommend modifying your sitting position to ensure that your posture is perfect and appropriate for this specific situation. Use lumbar support if necessary, frequently stretch throughout your day if possible and take breaks from time to time whenever you think about it. In doing so, you will prevent premature fatigue from developing and stop yourself from encountering any physical discomfort associated with sitting for too long in one place.