If sitting creates back discomfort you have a highly sensitized back, or tissue damage, or both. Avoiding this pain trigger will reduce the pain sensitivity.
Sitting causes the low back to flex which is normally not an issue. But modern life has increased sitting time at work, on the road, and at home. Soon sitting at the computer becomes uncomfortable. We call this the flexion intolerant back. Specific low back tissues become stressed and sensitized, in particular the spine discs and ligaments. Sitting upright to restore the natural curves to the spine relieves this stress. But it “costs” in terms of muscle work resulting in those muscles to tire and allow the spine to slouch. This increases disc and ligament stress. Reducing stresses in the back associated with sitting not only makes sitting more comfortable, but it helps build more capacity for pain-free movement throughout the day. The objective is make sitting a dynamic activity with frequent posture change and support the natural curve of the low back.
Make Sitting a Dynamic Task. The ideal sitting posture is one that continually changes. Back rests and fancy chairs simply cannot provide the advantages of dynamic change in position. Those who have back pain exacerbated from sitting generally are able to reduce disc annulus stresses with the following exercise (shown in picture).
Stand up out of the chair, reach for the ceiling, then push for the ceiling with the hands, then fully and deeply inhale. This process should take about half a minute. Gentle and progressive extension of the lumbar spine is achieved dispelling the accumulated stresses.
Consider these other simple techniques to help reduce your pain in regards to over-sitting:
- Set a timer on your computer every 30 minutes or so to remind you get up and do one lap around your office.
- Consider an adjustable and dynamic desk so that you can move from a standing working station to a sitting working station.
- Complete some simple sitting stretches at your desk throughout the day (see image below).
If you are already taking these actions and still not seeing results we welcome you to give us a call. Our medical office assistant is available throughout the day and will happily schedule a free 10 minute consultation with one of our Practitioners. There’s absolutely no obligation and we are happy to help. Give us a call today at +1 604-526-5196.