In another thread some piano chairs were mentioned and I remembered I always wanted to share something that can be of help to somebody, not exactly related to pianos.
I have a light form of spinal disc herniation leading to sciatica. It started as a sharp pain in my right leg which after a few years became so strong and unbearable to the point of me being unable to work and asking for time off at the office, a few years ago 😢 It made me very irritable too… I had a MRI which confirmed the herniation (possibly caused by a trauma, either from my bike fall or during overly heavy gym exercises) but couldn’t help besides recommending NSAID-s when the pain is too much… Anyway, I discovered it was worst when I’m sitting in front of the computer or playing the piano. I need to lay down on a sofa or bed to stop the pain. Needless to say I still can’t quite convince my wife that’s the actual reason 🤣
Out of frustration and desperation I started experimenting with weird chairs and unorthodox positions in front of the computer desk, including kneeling, standing up but nothing helped. Finally I ordered a kneeling chair and wow, what a relief! In a matter of one week the pain almost fully disappeared. That is, when using the kneeling chair for my main job at the computer. Unfortunately it’s of no use for the piano but since it eases my back for the entire day at the computer, it earns me some comfortable “head-start” of 1-2 hours at the piano before the pain kicks in.
I always wanted to share that since it’s a salvation for me 😀 Hope it helps someone else. Here’s how it looks when sitting:
The brand is Varier and it’s rather expensive Norwegian stuff but I would purchase it again even if it was five times more expensive.
I believe the way it works is to offload some of the body weight from the spine to the legs. Besides, the wider angle between the legs and the back prevents the offending disc from being compressed too much. This particular chair has flexible wooden structure which is really comfortable for the body since you can move/flex your legs slightly while sitting. There are some cheap alternatives made of metal which are non-flexing and they’re very uncomfortable. Mind you, this one needs getting used to since your legs will get some of the weight of your body and you will have to take rest every 30 minutes in the first few weeks.