Pain in Legs When Sitting
Pain in legs when sitting may sound like something impossible, given that most people think that sitting is a form of resting. However, prolonged periods of sitting adds all kind of pressure to the section of the lower back that connects to the legs and then sitting suddenly becomes painful. In fact, for people suffering from this problem, the pain may immediately stop as soon as they stand up and intensity increases upon sitting.
The pain usually starts from the lower back to the buttocks and then down to the legs. In some cases, it may affect one leg more than the other and may extend to the knees and feet or keep only to the thighs. The intensity can range from burning, electric, sharp, to a simple discomforting pain. As with all pain, it too is subjective and it will depend on the person.
There are a number of reasons why someone would experience pain in legs when sitting, but they are all common to people who sit for long periods of time such as people with desk jobs and spend majority of their days in sitting positions. Here we go:
• Sciatica, which is the compression of the sciatic nerve that connects the lower back to the legs. Due to over sitting, certain muscles in the buttocks or lower back may swell and put pressure on the nerve causing it to start radiating pain. Since the cause is too much sitting, the intensity of the pain is at its highest whenever the person takes a seat.
• Herniated discs, where the inner part of the disc is protruding and putting pressure on the nerves in the lower back. The condition is aggravated by sitting as the discs protrude more and compress nerves running to the legs causing more pain when one sits down.
• Prolonged sitting also causes spinal disc erosion turning making them become compressed permanently. The smaller space between vertebrae results into infringement on the nerves, while more sitting, especially when the back is not supported, causes more compression of the discs. All this will combine to cause great pain when one is sitting.
Having found out what is likely to cause you pain in legs when sitting, it is now time we found out how to reduce that pain and make it possible for those with desk jobs to work in relative peace without pain.
• Exercising, but with low impact exercises which do not put pressure on your legs is a good start. You can try swimming and training on non-impact elliptical trainers which will support your knees and keep your weight off your legs as you make them stronger.
• When sitting, get yourself a chair that can support your back fully and avoid bending forward when seated. A well supported back ensures reduced pressure on the muscles and nerves in the lower back so they are less likely to become compressed and cause you pain.
• There are some pain medications and anti-inflammatory medications you can take but these will not deal with the core problem and while you may not feel the pain, the situation will not be improving, but only getting worse.
• Other remedies include weight reduction if you are overweight, hot or cold therapy for your legs and lower back, analgesics, stretching, and physical therapy.
• In certain cases, the patient may require surgery if a herniated disc gets worse or there is a complication and the pressure to the nerves needs to be alleviated immediately. This is only done if the other forms of medication are not working after a six week period.
As always, please go see a doctor if you suffer from intense pain in your legs while sitting. You never know what it could be and it is always better to be sure that it is nothing than to regret not having been able to save your legs. They ensure your movement, accord them the proper care.