How to Sit in a Recliner with Sciatica ‍

Pain from a sciatic nerve can make sitting for long periods difficult. But you don’t have to give up your favorite chair because of it. With a little adjustment and some special considerations, you can get much more comfortable in your recliner and even reduce your sciatica pain as a result. 

If you’re reading this, then you probably spend quite a bit of time in your recliner. Below, we’ll go over several tips on how to sit in a recliner if you have sciatica so that it doesn’t flare up again as soon as you stand up after sitting for a while.

I do advise that you consult your doctor if sitting in a recliner with sciatica for long durations is harmful or not. 


If you want to buy a recliner for back and hip pain, please click on the link to learn what would suit you.

If you’ve had shoulder surgery recently, please read our guide to the best recliner after shoulder surgery.

What is sciatica?

Sciatica refers to the pain that occurs near the sciatic nerve. Sciatica can be quite painful for people as the pain radiates around the hip bone. 

Sciatica most commonly occurs 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.

Source: Mayoclinic

Make sure your recliner is the right fit

If you spend a lot of time in a recliner, it’s important to make sure that it fits you. What do I mean by this? 

If the chair is too small for you, your legs will be forced to fall slightly inward as you sit. This can put an undue amount of stress on your sciatic nerve, especially if you have a larger build.In addition, if the chair is too small, you’ll end up slouching forward as you try to fit into it. This can cause your upper back and shoulders to put some strain on your sciatic nerve, which may lead to pain as you go about your day. 

On the other hand, if your chair is too big, you won’t be able to get close enough to the table or desk in front of you. This can be frustrating and cause you to slouch forward unintentionally. This can also put some stress on your back.

Add a lumbar support cushion

If the chair is the right size for your body, then adding a lumbar support cushion can help you maintain an upright posture and relieve some of the pressure on your back as you sit. 

This type of cushion is designed to apply gentle pressure to your lower back as you sit, and is particularly useful if your sciatica pain extends into your lower back rather than just the leg. If you have a lumbar support cushion that is built into your chair, even better! If not, you can buy one that attaches to your chair with velcro or another type of fastener.

Add a pillow for better spinal alignment

If your sciatica is on the right side of your hips, using a pillow to tilt your body weight on the left side can help. This can be particularly beneficial when you’re in a seated position for a long period of time. If your sciatica is on the left side of your body, you can use a pillow to tilt your head to the right.

This should gently take pressure off of your sciatic nerve, but in this case, on the right side of your body.

Get an ergonomic chair pad

If the chair is the right size for your body and you’re still struggling to find a comfortable position, an ergonomic chair pad can help. This type of pad has deep grooves in it that cradle your body, providing support where you need it.

This can help you sit more upright and keep your back from slouching forward. You can also consider investing in an ergonomic chair that tilts, swivels, and moves with you as you work. This type of chair is more expensive than a regular one, but it is designed to reduce stress on your body and increase your comfort.

Don’t forget to stretch and breathe!

Finally, don’t forget to take some time to stretch your legs and back every now and then. And when you’re done with that, take a few moments to breathe deeply and focus on relaxing.

All of these tips can help you sit in a recliner with sciatica pain and be more comfortable.

I am adding a really good video related to sitting in a recliner with sciatica.

If you liked reading this article, you can check How to Adapt a Recliner for Right Arm Surgery.