Few things are as uncomfortable as sitting for an extended amount of time at work while dealing with sciatica.
Unfortunately, because of our (mostly) sedentary lives more of us are likely to have to fight through sciatica than at any other time in human history. The way we sit (and the less than stellar office chairs we are usually parked in) wreaks havoc on our body, pinches this nerve, and can cause all kinds of pain and discomfort.
You see, our sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the human body – running through our lower back, down into our hips and our buttocks, and then all the way down our legs and into our feet.
Even just a little bit of extra pressure on this nerve can cause shoots of pain and discomfort to zip through your body. Extended amounts of pressure, though, can cause wave after wave of extreme pain to radiate from the small of our back and down our legs – sometimes even temporarily paralyzing us from being able to walk around.
Luckily, though, you can fight back against sciatica with a high-quality office chair designed to alleviate the stress and pressure being put on this nerve in the first place.
The trick is to find a way to alleviate the pain on your piriformis muscle (located at the top of your hips and in your backside). The best office chair for sciatica options are designed to all but eliminate pressure in that area specifically, wiping away pain almost immediately.
Below we break down some of our favorite chairs designed to eliminate sciatica issues altogether and shine a light on the different features you’ll want to focus on to get the best chair for your needs (and your budget).
Let’s get right into it.
Our Favorite Chairs for Eliminating Sciatica.
While some folks might not think this is the prettiest office chair on the planet, when it comes to overall ergonomic flexibility – critical for alleviating sciatica – this design is almost impossible to beat.
Built around a proprietary design concept called Dynamic Variable Lumbar (DVL), this office chair allows each individual component to be adjusted independently from every other. This segmented approach allows you to change the ergonomics in the upper back and headrest area separate from one another, and then adjust the lower back lumbar support totally independent of those previous adjustments, too.
At the end of the day this ends up producing a chair that is super comfortable but one that also alleviates stress and pressure put on the sciatic nerve.
The seat unit itself can recline all the way back to 135° while remaining stable thanks to an extra set of casters on the legs.
Seat depth isn’t necessarily the greatest (and it isn’t adjustable) – with just 16.9 inches of depth available – but the seat width of 19.7 inches leaves extra room in the hip area so that your sciatic nerve doesn’t become compacted over time.
Combine that with a height adjustment range of between 18.1 inches and 21.9 inches as well as a legitimate waterfall front contoured seat that is fantastic for fighting sciatica and this belongs at or near the top of every best chair list!
- World-class ergonomics with a proprietary DVL segmented approach to customization
- Waterfall edge contoured seat eliminates pressure on the thighs and the lower sciatic nerve
- Deep reclining capabilities allows for repositioning that releases tension throughout the day
- Lumbar support is pronounced, taking a lot of pressure off of the sciatic nerve
- Takes almost 45 minutes to assemble on your own
- Not exactly the most aesthetic looking chair on the market today
- Taller and larger people will have a less comfortable time sitting in this chair for sure
Office Star ProGrid
Comfort is critically important when hunting for a good chair, and this mesh-backed unit provides plenty of comforts – and specialized ergonomics – without costing a small fortune, too.
Not quite as ergonomically adjustable as the chair we just mentioned a moment ago, this office chair does have adjustable seat depth and adjustable forward pitching of the seat that helps to alleviate pressure on your sciatica in a big way.
The seat itself is on the oversized end of things (measuring 21 inches wide), and that’s also going to help with sciatica issues by eliminating the potential for your hips to become compressed.
The standard setting for depth is 19.5 inches, though you can move that depth setting 1.5 inches in both directions (elongating and compressing the seat) to find something that’s really comfortable for you.
Three individual recline angles with “locking stops” at each position let you adjust the lumbar support and the posture angle of this chair without much difficulty. Those three positions aren’t quite as flexible as some of the other top-chair options for fighting sciatica, but it’s definitely better than a stationary back position.
Strong, stable, and with a pretty minimalist aesthetic that fits in every office there’s a lot to like with this particular chair.
- Adjustable seat depth reduces pressure on your nerves
- Forward pitching seat angle improves blood flow and circulation
- Waterfall style seat has the right amount contouring for long-term seated sessions
- Mesh material guarantees you don’t overheat when sitting on this chair
- Lumbar support can’t be adjusted outside of the three preset locking positions
- Assembly can be difficult to navigate without a video tutorial
- The armrests are 100% plastic and lack any comfort padding whatsoever
Oak Hollow Furniture Aloria
Though the look of this chair is similar to something from Herman Miller (like the legendary Aeron chair) the price tag is a fraction of what you’d expect to pay for that high-end designer piece – without losing a lot of the performance benefits at the same time.
Truth be told, you’ll get about 80% of the same benefits a Herman Miller would deliver with this Herman Oak piece without ever threatening to blow up your bank account on a single office chair.
Intelligently engineered and designed, this chair is available in a couple of different configurations. All of them are built to fight back against sciatica, back pain, and nerve damage, though.
The major difference between the three options available today are the type of materials that the frame and cushioning have been wrapped in. You have a leather option (the most expensive), a mesh material (super comfortable), and a fabric option (the budget choice) to pick from.
No matter which one you choose, though, you’ll enjoy high-level ergonomics with multi-point articulation that eliminates back pain and sciatica almost completely.
The seat height is fully adjustable (pneumatically), giving you the option to change the height from 16 inches to 21 inches from the floor so that your feet are always laying flat and your posture is perfectly dialed in.
Adjustable lumbar support allows you to move the support slides around (up and down your back) until you find something really comfortable. We recommend dropping them to the lowest position, though, if you’re looking to open your hips and prevent any pinching of your sciatic nerve.
Adjustable tilt and recline capabilities (as well as overall tilt tension) can all be adjusted from the handle beneath the seat as well. The seat itself is generally pretty deep (variable between 20 inches and 22.2 inches of depth) and wide (measuring 21.5 inches wide), and it’s also contoured with that waterfall front necessary for fighting back against sciatica, too.
Even the armrests have 3D articulation points and are wrapped in comfort foam!
All in all, this is just a really solid chair that looks and feels far more expensive than it actually is. It’s a really solid value and one of the best options for sciatica money can buy.
- Almost every component of this chair can be modified and adjusted to fit most body types
- Borrows a lot of design and engineering aspects from significantly more expensive chairs without the price tag
- Seat is somewhat oversized to alleviate pressure and wide enough to avoid pinching of the sciatic, too
- Aluminum construction materials keep this chair lightweight without sacrificing strength or durability
- Tightening the recline tension (and loosening it, for that matter) takes a lot longer than expected
- Assembly is pretty involved and can take an hour or more when putting the chair together alone
Amazon Commercial Ergonomic
Amazon has really hit a homerun with this ergonomically designed chair, making it one of the good office chair options on the market right now.
Adhering to all industry ergonomic design standards (including BIFMA G1 as well as ANSI/HFES 100), there’s a lot of dynamic posture potential in this chair that helps you push back against back pain, hip pain, sciatica, and “dead leg” issues.
A lot of that dynamic posture is made possible thanks to fully adjustable chair height, lumbar pad, and tilt capabilities on this chair.
Adjustable seat height guarantees your feet stay firmly planted on the ground no matter how tall you are, and a lumbar pad that is fully reversible lets you adjust your posture positioning to open your hips and avoid pinching of the sciatic nerve.
The reclining and tilt capabilities of this chair not only let you gently rock to reposition yourself when you are getting uncomfortable, but you’re also able to lock in recline angles (between 105° and 123°) that adjust your posture and open your hips, too.
You also get an elevated headrest, fully segmented padding and upholstery that is contoured with bolsters to support proper posture, and a waterfall-style seat edge that improves circulation while reducing fatigue and alleviates pressure on your sciatic nerve.
At the end of the day, that’s a perfect recipe for a fantastic chair to spend hours in at the office each day!
- Built to very rigorous ergonomic design standards
- Offers dynamic adjustability in all of the core areas to alleviate sciatic pinching
- Sturdy design and adjustable height accommodates all different body types and sizes
- 360° of mobility thanks to the five-point base with overbuilt casters and a smart reclining system
- Build quality over the long haul is still a little hit or miss
- Chair does require a break-in period of about six weeks until it releases some stiffness
- Assembly is required and the instructions aren’t as clear as they could or should be
The overwhelming majority of office chairs out there use the same material on the seat that they use on the back of their chair. For example, if the back has mesh then the seat is usually made of mesh as well, and if the back is leather or synthetic material then the seat usually is, too.
Not this chair, though.
No, this chair understands how easy it is to get overheated sitting in a chair with a fabric or leather back – but also understands how important it is to keep your lower body warm to avoid sciatica flareups, too.
An end result is a hybrid option that uses a mesh backing material and a fabric seat and overstuffed cushion to create dual temperature zones to guarantee your comfort all day long. That extra bit of warmth in the seating area definitely helps to push back against sciatica in a big way!
Of course, there are other elements of this chair that help to fight back against sciatica issues.
For starters, the seat itself is a little bit on the wider side of things. Measures 19.9 inches wide and has a waterfall front contour with no bolsters on the side that eliminates hip pressure points while improving your circulation at the same.
Seat depth can be adjusted from between 18.9 inches all the way up to 21.6 inches, again alleviating pressure while allowing your hips to roll and your thighs to stay off of the very front edge of the seat. You won’t have to worry about “dead legs” any longer since the nerve and arteries are going to be compressed like they would have been otherwise.
Seat height can be adjusted from between 18.1 inches to 21.5 inches, the backrest can be adjusted to add or lessen lumbar support, and even the headrest can be adjusted from between 7.2 inches high to 9.6 inches high from the backrest itself.
Fully articulating armrests can be 3D pivoted in almost every direction and are wrapped in comfort foam (just like the seat) to alleviate pressure points on the nerves in your forearm and elbow, too.
All in all, this is a super well-designed option that shouldn’t break your bank account. It is far and away for sciatica options you’ll find anywhere right now.
- Hybrid material choices keep your upper body cool and your lower body warm while you are working
- A lot of points of articulation in all of the main chair components to customize the fit and posture settings of this chair
- Forward pitched (3°) waterfall contour chair opens up your hip joint, releases stress on the sciatic nerve, and improves blood flow and circulation
- 3D articulating armrests and a five point recline limiter give you even more options to customize the comfort of this chair
- Included casters are pretty noisy and start to squeak soon after you use this chair
- The padding on the armrests can be a bit “much” and even become too warm over time
- Chair can be somewhat difficult to dial in when you are sitting on it
The Serta brand name is synonymous with comfort, even if most people think of mattresses when they hear Serta well before they think of office chairs.
Still, though, you can expect fantastic comfort when you slide into this office chair – a chair built to support your body ergonomically, built to alleviate pressure points, and built to get rid of sciatica issues altogether as quickly as humanly possible.
Just like with their mattresses, the material and design choices made with this office chair are engineered to cradle your body so that you feel like you are sitting on a cloud without sacrificing your short or long-term health prospects.
Everything about this chair starts with the inclusion of “Smart Layer” technology found in the cushioning on the back and the front of the chair itself.
This technology has been perfected over the years by the engineers at Serta to allow the body to gently sink into the material with just the right amount of resistance to keep you stable and comfortable.
Combine that with the waterfall front design of the seat, the bolstered lumbar regions throughout the back of the chair, and the ergonomic adjustable components you can play with to make this chair your own. It’s going to become a favorite of yours for sure.
The seat measures 20.25 inches wide and has just a bit of gentle contouring on the sides that float towards the waterfall front to release your hips and to decompress the sciatic nerve.
The seat height is fully adjustable from between 19 inches and 21 inches to give a custom fit depending on your height – but it also means that your knees won’t be locked in your circulation will improve throughout your lower body.
The lumbar support on this chair can’t be custom dialed in (it has been permanently designed by the engineers at Serta), but you can tilt and recline the chair and lock the reclining angle in place with just a couple of twists of a knob.
Sure, the price tag is a little steep compared to some of the other options that don’t have the Serta brand name. But overall, this still is a solid value.
- Unbelievable comfort cushion material on par with the best Serta mattresses ever made
- Waterfall design seat contours and encourages better posture automatically, improving circulation and releasing pressure
- High-quality build materials throughout, it’s obvious this is a chair built to last and last
- Adjustments can be made easily from the seated position (even throughout the day) to change things up and maximize your comfort
- Lacks adjustable lumbar support components that would have been nice to see
- Headrest isn’t adjustable, either
- Armrests are cemented in place in the cushioning on them is a little tall and a little stiff
Flash Furniture Mid-Back Office Chair
Don’t sleep on budget-friendly office chair options when you’re looking to clear up sciatica problems.
This chair – the Flash Furniture office chair – is super affordable, but it’s also one of the great chair for sciatica contenders, going toe to toe with chairs that cost two or three times as much as it does.
A lot of that is made possible thanks to the extreme focus on lumbar support, a padded seat with a more extreme waterfall design, and tilt and tension lock systems that “just work” a lot smoother than most anything else out there today.
Let’s start with that lumbar support component, though.
As we have highlighted already, lumbar support is critically important for opening up your hips and eliminating a lot of excessive pressure on your sciatic nerve in the first place.
By offering plenty of customizable lumbar support (especially in the middle and lower back regions) you’re going to be able to improve your posture, eliminate back pain almost completely, and roll your hips a little bit so that your sciatic nerve is unencumbered.
Pair that with the waterfall style chair that has gently sloping contours on your hip areas (again alleviating pressure that can pinch that nerve were trying to avoid) in a system that self synchronizes when you adjust the reclining and tilt of the chair and it’s not hard to see why this is such a popular option.
It would have been nice to see adjustable seat depth options as well, but again this is a chair that costs two or three times less than what you might spend on something with that feature built right in.
At the end of the day, this is certainly a chair you don’t want to overlook just because of its more affordable price point.
- Very comfortable, especially for longer durations of time
- Smart ergonomic design right out-of-the-box doesn’t need a lot of adjustability
- Waterfall seat definitely helps with circulation and eliminating pressure on your sciatic nerve
- The price is difficult to beat
- Does lack some ergonomic adjustment options available on more expensive chairs
- Can’t support any more than 250 pounds (somewhat limited)
- Folks that are particularly tall or on the shorter sides of things (outside of the 4’11” to 6’4” tall average user window) might not be that comfortable with this chair
Features to Focus on When Buying an Office Chair for Beating Sciatica
The very best chair for sciatica issues is always going to be a chair that promotes better blood circulation in your lower body.
On top of that, top-tier office chairs that help eliminate sciatica issues are going to have fantastic lumbar support – particularly in the lower back and small of your back region.
As long as you focus on these core aspects – better blood flow and great lumbar support – you’re going to be able to get your hands on a quality chair that feels great to sit in for an extended amount of time and won’t trigger sciatica attacks.
Here are a couple of features that help to improve blood circulation and almost automatically create better posture.
Highly Adjustable Ergonomics
Right out of the gate, it’s important to know that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all office chair that cannot be infinitely adjusted (or at least almost infinitely adjusted, anyway).
Some chairs with static ergonomic features can work wonders for certain people, but a lot of folks that are a little bit too tall, a little bit too short, or the wrong weight and shape are going to suffer squeezing themselves into those contortion chambers.
No, the office chair will always have multiple ergonomic adjustments that can be made.
Lumbar support adjustments are particularly important, but adjustable seat height, armrest positioning, and reclined positioning can all help to take pressure off of the sciatic nerve.
Because the sciatic nerve is buried at the top of your hips and in the meat of your backside the seat position of your chair can make or break the whole experience.
Multiple Seating Positions
Being able to shift and adjust your seated position throughout the day is hugely advantageous, but that’s really only going to be possible with a seat that is slightly wider (so it doesn’t put pressure on your hips) and one that can be adjusted into different positions.
You’ll want to choose a chair that has a halfway decent reclined angle that can “free float” or gets locked into place, depending on your level of comfort. Options with tilt tension control are really advantageous when fighting against sciatica.
As long as you’re able to reposition throughout the day and take some pressure off of the sciatic area you should be good to go!
Generous and Contoured Padding
Seat design is another big piece of the puzzle, with a lot of medical experts recommending that those suffering from sciatica find a chair with a super contoured “waterfall edge”.
Those waterfall edges basically have bolsters on either side of the seat that sort of funnel your body forward, keeping you comfortably in a specific position that almost forces your body not to put pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Not all seats have this contouring for this waterfall edge, though.
In that case, look for seats that have generous cushioning (at least 3 inches of cushion, and 5 inches are even better) and a completely neutral, flat seat that lets you find a seating position that works best.
Adjustable Seating Depth
Seating depth is another core component of finding the office chair for sciatica.
This goes hand-in-hand with the other ergonomic fit features we mentioned earlier. You’ll want to be able to adjust the distance between where the back of your thighs hit the edge of your seat, dialing it in so that you aren’t pinching your sciatic nerve or compressing blood flow in your lower extremities, either.
You don’t necessarily need a tremendous amount of adjustable seating depth, but at least 2 or 3 inches of “wiggle room” to play around with is more than enough.
A (Slightly) Forward Tilting Seat Angle
A seat that sits slightly forward (angled from the back towards the front, maybe 3° or so) also lowers the amount of pressure put on the underneath of your thighs and the sciatic nerve when you are sitting.
This positioning improves blood flow and circulation, reduces stress, and gives you the right kind of ergonomics to feel really comfortable over longer sitting sessions.
Almost Overemphasized Lumbar Support
Seated posture will always have a big impact on whether or not you are putting pressure on the sciatic nerve, even if your back muscles aren’t in direct contact with the nerve itself.
Pronounced lumbar support (almost overemphasized) in the lower back region helps to shape and contour your seated posture in a major way. This seated position allows your hips to roll a little more open than they would have otherwise, and that’s going to eliminate (almost) all potential for your sciatic to get pinched in the hip region.
Obviously, any lumbar support options worth using are going to be highly adjustable. Just make sure that you take the lumbar support to almost extreme levels (without causing discomfort) to get that hip rolling action we just mentioned.
Bonus – A Nice Footrest to Better Distribute Your Weight Evenly
This last feature isn’t 100% necessary, but it is a nice bonus and a lot of the best office chairs for sciatica options include one, too.
We are talking of course about a footrest that you can use to prop your feet up, change the position of your legs and your lower body, and more evenly distribute your weight every now and again.
You might not think that getting your feet up off of the ground for a couple of minutes every hour could have a huge impact on the way you feel, but boy does it!
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