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3 Ways to Overcome Sciatica Pain While Standing

sciatica pain while standing

This was a question I was asked recently by one of my patients who was suffering with sciatica pain while standing after a short period of time, as opposed to most sufferers who get sciatic pain after being seated for a period of time. It turned out that they worked at a local supermarket and spent long periods of time standing on a hard floor.

As I also, at one time during my working life, had to stand in one place working a machine for hours on end, I fully empathised with their situation. Do not underestimate how much impact walking or standing on a hard surface can have on low back-related leg pain. In fact, most large joint pains, such as hip pain or knee pain. Places with really hard floors tend to be the worst to walk around such as shopping centres (malls) and airports.

Sciatica pain commonly results from nerves being trapped in one of three places: –

  • the lower lumbar vertebrae.
  • the sacroiliac joint.
  • where the nerve passes through the gluteal muscles (buttock) and is commonly referred to as ‘piriformis syndrome’.

Sitting can cause sciatic pain to occur when pressure is applied to the sciatic nerve in any of these three locations. However, for pain to occur only whilst standing, it is likely that the pain is stemming from either the lower lumbar vertebrae or the sacroiliac joint.

So, what can you do to help relieve sciatica pain while standing?

  1. Invest in some well cushioned shoes and regularly move rather than standing on one spot.
  2. If your occupation involves standing in one location, i.e. behind a customer service desk or at a machine for long periods of time, approach your employer with a request for cushioned matting.
  3. Stretch as often as possible, and the simple stretch shown here can be done anywhere; if done regularly throughout the day it will relieve the pressure on the sciatic nerve.

Stretch for sciatica pain while standing

The full details of how to perform this stretch are explained in a previous blog called, ‘The Easiest Stretch for Sciatica’.

With regard to comfortable shoes for standing and waling; apart from good comfortable trainers and walking shoes, of which there are many various makes, it can be difficult to find well cushioned, smart business shoes. I can personally recommend Hush Puppies, Clarks and Rockport. My wife recommends Paver and Hotter brands. Alternatively, gel heel inserts can be of great benefit.

Once again, I hope this has been helpful in reducing sciatica pain while standing.



  1. Kiran on October 3, 2020 at 2:45 pm

    Dear Sir
    I am having backpain since 40 days now it has moved to hip and bum not able to sit down

    • SPRC on October 3, 2020 at 4:09 pm

      Sounds like sciatica symptoms Kiran. Seek help from a healthcare professional and read the blogs on our website. You may find some useful information that can help you. Best wishes.

  2. Stefan on September 7, 2020 at 2:18 pm

    I am having symptoms due to cycling mostly. Yet cycling is my mode of transport to work and back. I am currently feeling discomfort and slight pain down the back of my left leg/thigh. I try to stretch but this doesn’t do much. I have used Max strength Deep heat too. I am not really wanting to go in to taking lots of painkillers as they don’t go well with me, especially while i’m at work.

    • SPRC on September 7, 2020 at 9:16 pm

      Dear Stefan,
      The symptoms you describe sound like sciatica symptoms. Best thing to do is get an accurate diagnosis for your symptoms then you will be better placed to know what to do about it. Best wishes

  3. Larry Huffman on August 31, 2020 at 4:34 am

    My pain starts from my lower back, it goes down my right leg all the way to my foot. It occurs when I stand but as soon as I sit down it goes away. I’m looking for some type of stretching technique to help me. Or should I consult a physician?
    P.S. My foot start tingling and numbness sets in from standing but as soon as I sit down, it goes away.

    • SPRC on August 31, 2020 at 9:16 am

      Dear Larry,
      It would be a good idea to consult your physician to check out your sciatic pain symptoms. From what you describe it sounds like nerve root irritation in the lower back that is aggravated when you are weight bearing, which is pretty common. Getting a physician to asses you would be the best thing to do, then you will have a better idea of what you need to do to get better.

      • Larry Huffman on August 31, 2020 at 11:34 pm

        Thank you for replying. I will definitely do that.

  4. Morna L. Rogers on April 26, 2020 at 9:37 am

    My pain lately have increased it go all way to my neck and side of my head. I can’t sleep I can’t seat no more than 6-8 min. can’t stand for to long my right leg at times give up on me.

    • SPRC on April 26, 2020 at 11:40 am

      Dear Morna,
      If symptoms are increasing then it is important to seek medical advice from a healthcare professional. Neck and head pain can be related to spinal issues like sciatica, but they are not necessarily linked to sciatica. Go and seek help. Someone will be able to help you. Best wishes.

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