If you work in an office and are one of the unfortunate people who suffer from sciatica, then this blog post is for you! I will share with you my research on the best ergonomic chairs that will reduce your pain while sitting at your desk.
There is no reason for you to not have comfortable working hours. Everyone deserves peace as they work hard to progress in life. There’s a lot of information out there about how to deal with sciatica, so let me help save you some time by giving it to you all in one place!
What is Sciatica?
Back support comes from the backbone. The tiny bones in the spine are separated with disks of connective tissue. When these disks become old worn out, or over-pressured, they start pushing outwards. They may put pressure on the surrounding nerves in the process. This includes the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the longest in the body. It runs from the end of the spine to the feet. It hence affects your lower back, hips, legs, and feet.
Sciatica is hence a condition that refers to pain that shoots down the leg.
The symptoms of sciatica usually are:
either mild or severe shooting pains
a burning feeling
a tingling sensation
What causes sciatica?
There are two significant causes of sciatica: damage to the vertebral discs and irritation of the sciatic nerve roots. The most common cause of sciatica is a herniated disc that presses on the nerve root at the lower back, causing pain down one leg. Also, spinal stenosis occurs when spaces are narrowing around the spinal cord due to either bone spurs or soft deposits from aging. This condition has no cure but can be managed through physical therapy, medication, or surgery.
As we mentioned before, the sciatic nerve runs from your lower back down to your feet, so people with this condition generally feel a sharp pain in their legs when they have moved them too much or rubbed against something hard.
Who is affected by sciatica?
Usually, sciatica affects the elderly. However, it may be caused by obesity because obesity puts unnecessary pressure on your spine. In some cases, sciatica is caused by conditions like isthmic spondylolisthesis, which may be triggered by accident or birth. In short, nearly anyone can suffer from sciatica although some people are more prone than others.
Recently a spike has been seen in sciatica cases. This is because more and more people spend most of their time sitting for work. We are not as active as our ancestors used to be. Prolonged sitting can put stress on the spinal tissues and lead to sciatica.
How can I manage sciatica?
Sciatica is usually manageable by some lifestyle changes and medication. Exercise and pain relievers can help manage the condition. Hot and cold compresses may help too. The pain usually goes on for 4 to 6 weeks. This can easily stay longer if no care is taken to prevent the condition.
In extreme cases, one may have to turn to spinal injections or surgery. To avoid this condition, you should keep an eye on your weight, avoid sitting down for too long and improve your posture.
If sitting for long periods is part of your job and unavoidable, you should get a chair suited for sciatic pain and distress. It can help!
What is Piriformis Syndrome?
Piriformis syndrome is a specific type of sciatic nerve pain. It occurs when the piriformis muscle puts stress on the sciatic nerve. The piriformis muscle is the tiniest in the body. It is a deep muscle located behind your gluteus maximus (the most significant muscle in your buttocks). The piriformis helps turn your legs outwards and rotates them inward or brings them together.
Piriformis syndrome is caused by spasms in the piriformis muscle, which sits deep within your buttocks. The pain starts from the lower back and can go down to your leg (sciatica) or buttock. In most cases, it is on one side only. This means that your pain may disappear temporarily if you change sides.
Since the body relies heavily on the piriformis muscle for balance, it may be hard to walk around with this condition.
To avoid dealing with these painful conditions, you need to make some changes for yourself. One of these is getting an office chair for sciatica pain. To help you in the process, we have made a list of the best office chairs for sciatica. Read on to find what suits you the best.
Factors to consider when buying a chair for sciatica
Adjustable Ergonomic Features
One of the most important things that you need to look at is the adjustability features. This will ensure that your pressure points are better addressed. The many adjustable features can help extend the comfort level over a long period.
In addition, chairs with adjustable backs are perfect in this regard as well because they allow for proper support. If your chair can offer side-to-side adjustment, it would be even better than one with just up and down adjustments because those do not cater for lateral movements anyway.
Multiple Seating Options
Along with adjustments, your chair should offer multiple positions for you to sit in. This will ensure you can always find a comfortable seating position for you, even if there are some changes to your body or physical condition.
Chairs that have reclining backrests are also great because they provide all-around comfort whether you prefer sitting straight or leaning back (when you take breaks) depending on what your body feels like doing.
It is even better to have chairs that offer additional features such as an optional footrest or dynamic, proprietary support systems, as these will further help your condition out.
Seat Design & Padding
Comfort is essential when it comes to managing sciatica pain.
Seats that are too hard will be uncomfortable and cause you more pain, while too soft centers won’t offer sufficient support. The aim is to look for chairs that have a cushiony surface.
Seat depth should also be considered – shallow seats can cause extra pressure on your sitting bones as not only do they not ‘give’ much, but the thighs tend to press into the seat edge resulting in discomfort. All the chairs we have added to our list are great for comfort, so you don’t need to worry.
If a chair is too large or too small for you, it won’t matter if it’s the most comfortable chair with the most features. Your chair should hence be the ideal size and height for you to help you be at your most comfortable
Best Office Chairs for Sciatica in 2023
Here are our top picks for office chairs for Sciatica.
Three recline options, upright, mid, and full recline
Adjustable seat angle
It comes in 3 sizes to accommodate different people
Breathable and flexible mesh design
ships fully assembled
This is by far the best office chair for sciatica pain on the market. It wins on almost all ends and leaves very little room to complain. This chair will not be an expenditure, but rather an investment; It will make you more comfortable and hence, more productive.
This product has been boasting its place in the company’s product lines for over 20 years. But that does not mean it is outdated. It is constantly remastered to fit more and more in today’s modernizing world. Even today, this chair is one of the best options for managing your sciatica. Let us look into what makes this chair so unique.
Despite not being too unique, the design of this chair is simplistic and can seamlessly complement any office arrangement. You could put it almost anywhere with any color scheme, and it would just look nice. It has a mesh back, which we found to be breathable and flexible. The flexibility of this mesh material gives room for the chair to adhere to the curvature of your back, making it more comfortable than usual.
Some customization is offered with the mesh and base of this chair. These options are
Carbon mesh/carbon base
Graphite mesh/graphite base
Graphite mesh/polished aluminum base
Mineral mesh/polished aluminum base
None of these is better than the other; it is just a matter of your personal preference. This chair may not give you too much customizability with appearance, but it sure does with size. That brings us to our next point:
Unlike most chairs available on the market, this chair is available in 3 sizes, A =, B, and C. The A, B, and C sizes are basically ‘small, medium, or large. They not only cater to increasing heights but also to increasing weights. You can refer to their sizing charts and take a few measurements to determine which size is best for you.
Since office furniture is no joke for your bank, you will have to be careful with these measurements. A chair that is too big or too small for you can compress your sciatic nerve further and prevent you from recovering.
Sizes: 28.2” x 28.2” x 43”
Weight: 43 Lbs.
Maximum Weight: 325 Lbs.
Vertical Movement Range: 16″ to 20.5″ (A: 14.75″ to 19″, C: 16″ to 20.5″)
Recline Angle Range: 90 to 135 degrees
While most competitors on the market feature chairs that are one-size-fits-all but for chairs. They have a great deal of range for height adjustment of the chair. Instead of that, this chair is divided into three separate models, which we love. It is just not possible to make everyone comfortable with one chair.
Therefore, this chair is excellent at being comfortable for any person if bought right. Moreover, this chair also supports a higher weight range than many others on the market. We want to commend it for that!
The mesh that this chair feature is a double-edged sword. It is incredibly comfortable while still missing some comfort points. Wait, let me explain!
The mesh is flexible and breathable. This means that one does not sweat or feel hot when sitting for too long. This will also prevent any sores or rashes from developing on your skin from sitting too long. On the other hand, the chair has no cushioned padding. This may not be an issue for some, but this model may not be ideal for you if you like your chairs all soft and squishy. That all being said, we considered this chair to be very comfortable. The mesh would fit right with my back, owing to its flexibility. It would also help me with the long hours of the job.
Ergonomic features also contribute to the chair’s comfort.
The backrest is ergonomically shaped to give your spine proper support and alignment. The upper and lower mesh area on the back moves independently. This is to fit the curvature of your spine without causing any gaps in between that can lead to pain. Moreover, you can adjust this feature to make a shape that fits your spin perfectly. This will mean no gaps, and no gaps mean no pain! This will help you keep good posture and avoid unnecessary leg, shoulder, or back pain due to lessened sciatica symptoms.
This is the best feature for all those who love to lean back when taking a short break from work. You can easily tilt your chair back to 135degrees. This is enough to give your back a break and prevent any more nerve pain in most scenarios.
The chair swivels smoothly and quietly too! The movement is easy and smooth; no jerking at all! When coming back from a break, you don’t have to shake out your knees first like some other chairs’.
Last but not least, the chair features armrests that are highly customizable for height. They can quickly go from 6.8 inches to 10 inches. Not only this, but the armrests also tilt backward or forwards depending on how you are in it.
This chair has to be one of the best out there. We do agree that it is not perfect. But really, what is? This chair will give you a lot of comfort and pain relief and make your days better. The only people that this chair won’t be suitable for are people who prefer cushion padding in the chair seats and not the mesh. Apart from that, it is almost perfect! We just with the company would add more customizability options.
This chair is downright the best for sciatic pain on the market right now; It has excellent features for almost anyone who needs an office chair. It bodes well, especially for those facing some sort of back distress. Trust me; your back will thank you for this purchase.
The design on this chair is a mix of simple, modern and essential. We do not mind the basic approach to the plan because it gives off a professional vibe that can make itself at home in any office. The design can fit in a wide range of office environments, making it a great option for most.
It comes in many different colors to suit your taste and the theme of your office. We have Black, Burgundy, Alpine, Blue, Cyan, Gray, Sable, Camel, Coconut, Graphite, Nickel, and Navy. Isn’t that wonderful? No longer will you have to bear with the plain old black chairs lying around in your workplace
For the finish, you have options too. These are Black, Platinum, Midnight, and Polished Aluminum. The customizability to the design that this chair provides doesn’t directly help with sciatic pain. Still, it is always better to have something be helpful and beautiful rather than helpful and ugly.
The Leap line features many models to fit different needs. There is a leap chair with a headrest. When you buy the standard chair, you can add in the headrest to get that model, which will allow you neck support, if not anything else.
Specifically for people dealing with sciatica pains, adding on the ottoman that doubles as a footrest may be convenient. A footrest takes some pressure off your backbone, hence relieving pain and reducing the chance of your sciatica pain worsening.
The leap chair is one of the most customizable options you will find and hence, is a great pick. Before looking into its customization features, let’s give its specifications a look
Size: 24.8” x 27” x 43.5”
Weight: 48 pounds
Max Weight: 300 pounds
Recline angle: 90 to 120 degrees
depth: 15.75″ to 18.75″
height of sear: 15.5″ to 20.5″
Lumbar Support Height: 5.25″ to 10.25″
The armrest movement range: 30 degrees
We have rarely come across a chair model that offers the customizability that leap does—both in terms of features and appearance. You can even take the armrests off if you want!
We have been going on and on about this chair but haven’t offered you what you are looking for yet. You may be wondering, how is this all going to help my back? Well, these ergonomic features will sweep you right off your feet.
This is perhaps the most innovative feature that the nay chair model could have offered. The back of the chair changes according to tot the pressures you apply. So basically, it will move and adapt to whatever position that you are sitting in.
It will automatically bend and bow with the curvature of your back. This is great for periods of prolonged sitting because you can’t expect yourself to sit in one position. Well, no worries, your chair will adapt to whatever you throw at it.
Adjustable Back Firmness
Some people like the back of their chairs to be flexible, while some prefer a more complex support system. Both of these are fine! There is no reason that you shouldn’t get the level of support that you require.
This chair features a dial on the side to control the firmness of the back. You can lower or heighten it according to your needs. It is also great for managing sciatica as it may make you prefer a more flexible back to avoid pressure on your spine.
This is where the Steelcase leap is not as good as many of its competitors. It offers a tilt angle from 90 to 120 degrees which is not that great. However, this is a minor feature that bears no weightage in our feelings for this product.
Adjustable Lumbar Support
Adjusting the support on your whole back is different, but being able to do it for your lower back alone makes a lot of difference. Since sciatica attacks your lower half, everyone knows how important the management of that part is. The Steelcase leap will prevent any gapping between the chair and your back and give it the amount of support you require, making sure that your lower back is in the best of its conditions.
Waterfall Edge Style Seat
Some people may point out that the Steelcase leap does not have much padding, but trust us, padding is not everything when it comes to comfort. The real hero is the shape. The Steelcase Leap has a waterfall-styled seat that lets your legs comfortably hang down. It prevents the cut of blood flow to the legs and prevents them from going numb. This is especially important for those with sciatic nerve pain as it will allow them to prevent further discomfort in their legs.
All in all, this is my favorite office chair for sciatica on the market. It barely has any cons, and its pros are off the charts.
Here comes perhaps the most stylish chair out of all, the Herman Miller Embody. It has a sleek and futuristic design that is different from all you see in the market. With that, it has unmatched features that are bound to make your life just a little easier.
Embody is the kind of design that you either love or hate. Usually, it’s the former. The design is sleek, elegant, and screams modern. It may not bode well for some people because it does not look as professional as they liked. It can be easily mistaken for a gaming chair ( which I am sure it is also used as)
Despite that, we absolutely loved the design. We think it is no unique and that every office needs a bit of spice to it. The era of the bland old chairs is over. This is the future!
In the design, we would also like to mention that the padding in this chair is not too thick. You won’t find yourself sinking into the cushion. However, as we have stated before, padding is a minor aspect when it comes to comfort. If you want some extra padding goes with the Balance upholstery option. Read more about it below.
To provide maximum customizability to fit your personal needs, EMbody provides two upholstery options. They are both fabrics called Rhythm and Balance.
The rhythm variant is lighter and more breathable. You won’t find yourself sweating through it, and neither will your skin experience any rashes or discomfort. Balance, on the other hand, is thicker and more padded. While it may not be as breathable, it managed sciatica pain better due to the added padding. However, the balance variant costs a bit more. But that is not a big deal when the increased comfort is concerned.
This chair offers a lot of colors for you to choose from. You can quickly get one that matches the theme of your office. The Balance fabric has more colors to choose from than the other one. Even so, the range of colors in Rhythm is enough too.
Balance comes in Berry Blue, Black, Carbon, and Iris, while Rhythm Fabric comes in Berry Blue, Black, Charcoal, Mink, Mulberry, and Twilight
Dimensions: 28” x 27” x 38.2”
Weight: 51 pounds
Maximum Weight: 300 pounds
Seat Height: 16.5″ to 22″
Recline Angle: 90 to 135 degrees
Depth: 15″ to 18″
Can change armrest height
The customizability that this chair offers is hard to second. Its recline range is better than most competitors at 135 degrees, allowing you to rest more.
The back of this chair is perhaps its most valuable feature. Not only does it recline, but it also has a web of equipment on the back that allows it to move with your back and its curvature without reason as to why. This technology has been named the “BackFit,” and this chair is one of the only chairs to have.
You can even customize the functionality of the back with a float and rigid. Mode If you select float, the chair will activate its backlit technology and help you relieve your sciatica pain. You can also keep it in rigid mode and not have it move every time you move. It is all up to you!
We must mention here that the EMbody does not have separate adjustments for the lumbar support. This is a minor inconvenience in terms of customizability, but otherwise, we don’t mind it because the feature is not needed anyway. The Backfit technology works so well that you will forget that you need to adjust any settings whatsoever.
Ease of usage
Well, chairs are easy to use. But what we mean with this section is how easy setting up and customizing the product was. The Embody came assembled entirely, so that’s a win. Moreover, Its Backfit technology led it to be one of the most straightforward chairs that customize themselves to fit you on their own.
If you are tired of how normal office chairs look and want something different but even more comfortable, just click the order button now, and you won’t regret it. We barely have any negatives for this chair.
When we talk about solid builds that will last you, well, forever, this chair in specific comes to mind. It not only has an innovative design but the durability that will keep you from worrying about buying another chair for years. Did we mention that it has a lifetime warranty? Well, to our pleasant surprise, it does! The company it is made by may not be as renowned as some of its competitors, but the quality they are providing stole our hearts and helped this chair climb our charts.
Size: 26.5″ x 29″ x 46″ to 52″
Vertical range: 18.5″ to 22″
Chair Weight: 64 pounds
Maximum Weight: 350 pounds
This chair is exciting when it comes to design. It is not an item that you would usually see in a furniture store. But, we believe that its shape is one of the reasons that it is so comfortable. It is divided into many sections to cater to different parts of your body. The upper and lower back have other areas, too, to accommodate any posture. A significant part of its design is the headrest on top. It will help you heave a sigh of relief when work has you stressed out.
It is made of a mesh design that is very breathable and will not leave your skin red and hot. However, it also does not have any padding, so do not expect a cushiony-soft chair. It is available in a series of colors to match your theme and personal style. The colors are Black, Blue, Green, Gray, Burgundy, and copper,
The design is a one size fits all type of thing and can accommodate heights ranging from 5’2 to 6’5. Even the max supported weight is more than most competitors.
This chair’s lumbar support is by far the best for sciatic nerve pain than any of its competitors. The gap in the seat may be somewhat annoying to some, but we think that it serves in favor of the functionality.
The chair features three tilt modes that will allow you to lean back in peace to give your back some rest. The angle of recline is more than most competitors, at 135 degrees.
Ergohuman simply wons in this regard. While other brands offer god warranty packages, they are no match for Ergohuman’s robust lifetime warranty. Yes, you heard us right.
Some companies do offer extras with their chairs, but the ones ergohuman offers are amazing. They offer an articulated arm that can hold your laptop in front of you as you work. Who needs a table now anyway?
It also offers an ottoman that can both help as a workspace or simply a footrest! There is a lot more they offer that you should check out.
Like most products in the market, this chair comes unassembled. Even so, it is a piece of cake to set up. The instruction manual is straightforward to read and understand, and there are not a lot of pieces that you need to put together to get your final product.
All in all, we think that this chair is one of the best ones you can find for back pain. It is not only comfortable but also durable. Do give it a go if you never want to repurchase a chair!
Well, you might think that we are into this chair for the looks but wait, it is the perfect definition of beauty with brains. It is not only classy and elegant but also soft, supportive and comfortable. It is different from what we are used to seeing in offices.
Size: 30” x 28” x 40.75” to 46.5”
Weight: 45 Lbs
Maximum weight Supported: 250 pounds
Recline Angle: 90 to 135 degrees
Seat Height Range: 18.9″ to 23.25″
Seat Width: 20″
Let us point out that while this chair provides much range for tilt and height, it is not inclusive in terms of weight and has a lower maximum weight supported compared to most of its competitors.
The upholstery of this chair is premium. It is made of fine leather that will catch your eye. It is the kind of chair that a CEO would have in his office. Yes, it looks THAT good. However, there are some downsides to having leather in the office.
One problem that you may face is that leather is not breathable at all. You might find yourself sweating or feeling itchy as the moisture develops over a few hours. Moreover, leather is comparatively more fragile compared to other fabrics or mesh. It is prone to cuts, creases and wrinkles. Despite that, the leather in this chair seems very high quality and will probably last us a very long time.
Design and Ergonomic Features
While the appearance of this chair is gorgeous, its design is innovative. The headrest provides a lot of support for people who sit for long periods and need a few minutes to give their necks a break.
The chair has excellent lumbar support, which can be adjusted. This is great for those with sciatic pain as they will find themselves to be more comfortable. The padding also adds to this in the chair, which prevents pressure on the spine, ultimately leading to lesser sciatic pain.
The seat has a waterfall edge design that will let your legs rest naturally down without cutting off any blood flow. This prevents your legs from having increased numbness and discomfort.
The chair’s seat is adjustable over a high range and is therefore suitable for people of many heights. You don’t have to worry about this one unless you are too short or too tall. The chair tilt is also significant compared to many competitors on the market since it sinks back to 135 degrees.
Like most furniture, this chair is delivered unassembled. However, that is not a big deal since it comes in only six big pieces that you have to put together. The instructions manual is elementary to follow and will leave you with no confusion whatsoever. It barely takes half an hour to get yourself a chair when you first receive it. Even novices like myself had no issues.
The instruction manual is neatly folded and placed in a compartment under the seat. Just poke around the seat, and you will have no problem finding it!
This chair may not suit everyone’s office life, but it is excellent for those who have to sit only 4 to 5 hours at a time or those who do not get sweaty quickly. It is also a perfect pick for those who care a lot about the aesthetic and want this premium furniture piece in their house.
This is by far the best chair for lower back pain relief. It is the kind of chair that screams comfort. It is again a chair that executives usually favor due to its premium leather look. Even if you arent at the job of your dreams right now, that doesn’t mean you don’t get to enjoy the comfort of this chair.
The design of this chair is relatively straightforward with a nice premium look. The padding on this chair is no joke, though. It is so soft that I immediately melted into the chair when I first sat on it. After all, the padding is a whopping 6.5 inches. That is enough to make sure that your bones don’t uncomfortably hit the chair’s metal frame. This is also great for reducing [ressure on your spine and managing your pain.
We have to say about this design that it may be more suitable for taller people. The armrests are at about 7.5 inches which may be too high for shorter people. Plus, they are not adjustable. Moreover, the seat height ranges from 19.5″ to 23.5″, which will leave some people’s feet in the air.
The leather on this chair is very premium and gorgeous. It is smooth and lovely. We love the look of leather. It truly gives a high-end office vibe. However, as with most leather, there is always the problem of built-up moisture. Suppose you sit in a chair for too long on a hot day. You will start to sweat very fast. It doesn= not have the breathability of mesh or fabric.
Leather is also prone to tearing and wrinkling. Despite this, leather is sumptuous because it is easy to clean and maintain a sleek look. If you want a chair for a home office where you have pets or kids, you should opt for leather if your little ones spill something on your chair. As you have understood by now, leather has its pros and cons. It is downright gorgeous but may not be suitable for everyone.
The design on=f the back gives excellent lumbar support and hugs the curvature of your back. This is great for those suffering from sciatic pain. Trust me; there will be no part of your back that is not comfortably resting on the chair itself with this chair.
Moreover, it has an adjustable headrest which will ensure that your neck can have the support it needs as you work away. Another great thing is that the chair is quite broad. Therefore, it is suitable for heavier people. Not only will it support weights up to 350 pounds, but it will also give them room to be comfortable.
The assembly with this one is not too easy. It comes unassembled like most furniture, but it is a little complicated to assemble. Nothing over the top, though. It will just need you to sit down and focus before you start joining it away.
If you are okay with not getting a lot of customizability, this chair may be one of the best options on the market for you. It is comfortable, padded well, and exquisite. It is the perfect chair for an office.
Choosing the best office chair for sciatica pain can be a difficult task, and we’ve reviewed some of the top chairs on the market to help you find one that suits your needs. Do any of these sounds like they would work well in your home or office? We hope this article has helped you decide which chair is right for you- now all that’s left is choosing which color! Leave us a comment below with what type of chair you plan to buy, so others know too. Which color did YOU choose?