You have a pinched nerve when the surrounding muscles, tendons, or joints puts pressure on the nerves in certain areas. Nerve compression can be extremely painful; in fact, people with pinched nerve can't sit and develop tingling and numbness in the limbs. It is common to have a pinched nerve in your back, neck, and other areas of the body, such as your arm or wrist.
How Are Sitting and Pinched Nerve Related?
Prolonged sitting can cause serious health issues because your body is mainly designed to stand, as this helps your spine maintain its natural curve. Sitting in a wrong position can exert pressure on your nerves and lead to a pinched nerve. Sitting with your legs crossed or having a poor overall posture can lead to nerve compression. People with pinched nerve can't sit and often experience numbness and tingling in the affected area. There may also be a burning sensation along with sharp pain in certain areas of the body.
Most people develop nerve compression in the peripheral nerves, but the truth is that any nerve can get affected, including the sciatic nerve, which can cause serious lower back pain. You can also have a pinched nerve in your legs, neck, wrists, and elbows.
How to Sit with a Pinched Nerve
It’s possible that people have pinched nerve can’t sit. You are likely to feel pain while sitting when you have a pinched nerve in your back or neck. Disk problems, arthritis, and other bone conditions can contribute to pinched nerve syndrome. Here is what you should do to make sitting less uncomfortable:
- Always sit in a chair with a back. A backless stool can make your pain worse. Also, ensure that the chair you choose comes with a back high enough to provide your back with good support. It is better to buy a chair that comes with adjustable height.
- Always keep your shoulders back and your back straight while sitting in a chair. It is important to maintain a proper posture because it helps relieve pressure off your lower back.
- Try whatever you can to increase back support. If the chair does not come with a high back, you may want to use a small hand towel to provide better support to your back. Simply roll the towel and place it in between the chair and the small of your back. It is also a good idea to keep your feet on a small stool – do not leave them hanging in the air.
- Do not sit for too long. Be sure to take short breaks to stretch your legs a bit. Prolonged sitting can make sciatica worse and cause serious pain. Ideally, you should take a 5-minute break after every hour of sitting. Be sure to stand and take a walk for 5 minutes to help your body stretch.
Simple Exercises to Relieve Pinched Nerve
The biggest problem with a pinched nerve is that it causes pain on the site of damage as well as anywhere on the path of the affected nerve. People with pinched nerve can't sit but can improve their condition by using simple exercises. For instance:
- Side Bends: Stand in a comfortable position with your hands by your side. Ensure that you are maintaining a correct posture. Now, lean to your sides to stretch your lower back. You should do five bends per side.
- Twist: Get in a comfortable sitting position while making sure that your legs are at shoulder width. Now, put your right hand on your left knee and gently pull your body forward. Feel the stretch in your back muscles for about five seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat the same on the other side.
- Hamstring Stretch: Get in a sitting position and then slowly lean forward to touch your toes. You do not have to touch your toes in reality, but it is okay to lean forward just enough to feel a stretch in your hamstrings. Maintain the position for about 10 seconds and then return to your starting position.
- Chin Extension: Find a chair and sit in a comfortable position with your fingers interlaced. Now, place your hands behind your head and slowly move your chin downwards and to the right at the same time. Maintain the stretch for 15 seconds and then repeat the same on the opposite direction.
- Shoulder Shrugs: Stand in a comfortable position with your arms at your sides. Now, slowly shrug your shoulders backwards – you should move them in a rotating motion. Do 15 sets with a 30-second break between sets.
- Bench Press with Broom: Lie down on the floor with a broom in your hands. You need to maintain a shoulder-width grip. Now, press the broom up until your elbows are almost straight – you do not need to lock your elbows. Perform 15 reps.
- Aerobic Exercise: You can always try cycling, walking, swimming, and other aerobic exercises to reduce the discomfort caused by nerve compression. These exercises improve blood circulation and help accelerate the recovery of the damaged nerve.
- Pilates: You can enjoy Pilates to help improve muscle development. The exercise also helps you have a stronger core, which plays a role in maintaining a good posture. As it is a low-impact exercise technique, it works great to relieve pain caused by pinched nerves.
- Yoga: Not only does it help relieve pressure from your pinched nerve, it also improves flexibility and keeps you healthy. It is a perfect combination of controlled breathing, classic poses, and deep relaxation. Try it to improve your condition.
- Water Exercises: Just like swimming, water exercises will also help with conditioning and muscle development. Certain water exercises are just perfect for anyone dealing with back pain.