How to Sit with Pinched Nerve Syndrome

Pinched nerve syndrome is when nerves in a certain area of your body, most often your neck or back, are being compressed. Bone conditions such as arthritis or disk problems can contribute to pinched nerves. You may feel pain, tingling or numbness in your legs or arms if you've got a pinched nerve. This condition can make sitting very uncomfortable.

A woman pushes an office seat through the office space. (Image: Dave & Les Jacobs/Blend Images/Getty Images)

Step 1

Sit in a chair that has a back to it rather than a backless stool, suggests the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, or NINDS. The chair's back should be high enough to support the full length of your back. A chair that adjusts for height is ideal for tasks like office work, so you can work at a computer without slouching.

Step 2

Keep your back straight and your shoulders back when you sit with a pinched nerve. Proper posture can take pressure off of your lower back, a common location for herniated disks. A disk that's pushed out of place can cause pinched nerve syndrome and the related pain you experience.

Step 3

Provide yourself with more back support to alleviate pinched nerve pain if your chair is not an ideal shape or size to keep your symptoms at bay. Roll a small hand towel and wedge it between the small of your back and your chair. Rest your feet on a footstool, if you can't touch the floor from your chair. These makeshift devices can help you keep a good posture as you sit.

Step 4

Sit for limited periods of time before taking a break to walk or stretch. Sitting for long hours can exacerbate sciatica, the inflammation of the sciatic nerve that runs down the back of your leg, and a classic sign of a pinched nerve. Set a break schedule, such as taking 5 minutes to walk around after every hour of work.

Things You'll Need

  • Chair

  • Towel

  • Footstool

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