Do you have back pain when reading or watching your favorite TV program? Is your back tight and stiff once you stand after long periods of sitting? Do you dread long car rides or sitting in meeting after meeting?
Sitting too long can cause pain in your legs, back, hips, knees & lots of other places in the body! It’s not just because you’re not sitting up straight or have tight muscles, either. Sitting causes blood flow restriction and this lack of movement causes our fascia/connective tissue to tighten up over time. When you see someone walking around in the community all hunched over and looking like their body is stuck in the shape of a chair, this is not by chance, their body has tightened up and gotten stuck in this position!
The good news is that we help people with these problems from sitting, to loosen up the fascia and connective tissue and to restore proper posture and movement so you can feel your best and not worry about dreading sitting at work anymore. You don’t need to suffer through any more aches-and pains at work or at home by taking some quick action today. Here are five ways to help ease your lower back pain with sitting.
How Posture Helps Back Pain While Sitting
Sitting up straight can be uncomfortable, so you might want to try a lumbar support cushion or wedge, which will help your back stay upright and take the pressure off. If possible, also make sure that your chair has an adjustable height for better comfort.
If you have pelvic pain, find the right cushion, you may have to try different kinds until you find one that works for you. The right cushion will help you sit up straight and keep your posture in a comfortable position. Not sure where to start? Give us a call and we can help!
Moving Positions Every 30 Minutes at Your Desk To Help Back Pain
This is a great way to keep your muscles and connective tissue loose, and it’s also a good way to keep our blood flow moving too. When you’re at work, try to get up and move around every 30 minutes or so. Doing a few squats or push ups against a wall are a great way to move and sneak in a little exercise. If that’s not possible, then make sure you do some stretches at your desk.
Additionally, you can try to move your chair closer to or farther away from your desk, and you can also try changing the chair’s height every 30 minutes or so just to help change positions. You should also alternate between sitting and standing every once in a while.
Why does cold feel worse for back pain?
If you’re feeling cold, it can aggravate the pain in your back and in the rest of the body. When it’s cold out, there is nothing worse than trying to concentrate on your work when your legs and feet are cold and your back is achy. Cold also makes tight and stiff muscles & connective tissues tighten up even more. Make sure to dress warmly when you’re going to be sitting for a long time. You might also want to try a heating pad on your lower back or feet.
Keeping your muscles and legs warm is another important way to cope with pain while sitting. You can take a hot shower or bath before you start your day and apply some lotion afterward. But also know that if cold is making your pain worse, it’s likely because these muscles and connective tissues are tight; releasing these and loosening things up usually gets things feeling back to normal again without having to worry about temperature control so closely. 🙂
What are some stretches I can do for back pain while sitting?
Stretching is one of the best things that you can do to help with your pain. It’s a good way to loosen up your muscles, and it feels great too! There are lots of different stretches that you can do at your desk or even in bed before you go to sleep.
If you’re looking for some easy stretches to help with your pain, Dr. Megan demonstrates three exercises that you can do from the comfort of your own home.
- Cat Yoga: Start on all fours. Round your back up and drop your head forward. Tuck your tail (bottom) under – Like a cat arching its back. Remember to breathe throughout. Hold this pose for a few seconds and then do the opposite. Lower your back down and move your pelvis forward while lifting your head up. Hold this pose for a few seconds and then repeat for about 20-30 seconds.
- Hip flexor stretch: Start by kneeling – if this is painful, you can put a pillow under your knee or do this stretch in the standing position. Start on both knees, lift one leg into a bent position. Keep your tail tucked in and your chest up. Hold this position for a good minute or two and you should feel a good stretch in the front of your hip area. Switch sides to feel the same stretch. Remember to keep your back straight and breathe through these stretches.
- Sitting Chair stretch: This stretch is done in a chair. Bring your ankle up and lay it on your opposite knee. You may feel a great stretch with just movement. If not, you can hinge forward a bit. This should provide a nice stretch in your lower back and buttock
Taking breaks during the workday to help with back pain
Even if you can’t get up and move around, you should still take breaks from your computer. Get up and walk around the office, or drink a glass of water. It will help keep your circulation going and prevent any pain from building up.
Make sure you take breaks away from your computer, too. We suggest setting a timer on your phone or a reminder on your computer every 30-60 minutes to get up for 1-2 minutes. It’s tough to remember to do this when you’re engrossed in your work so an external reminder is super helpful. This will keep the muscles in your legs and back loose so that when you’re sitting for a longer time again, you’ll be more comfortable.
You can help yourself cope with back pain while sitting by working on your posture, moving positions every 30 minutes, keeping warm, and stretching regularly. Doing these things will decrease the amount of discomfort you feel and increase how long you can sit before needing a break.
However, these are all tips to simply help manage stiffness and discomfort and make things easier on you. Once stiffness and pain has set in, this is a message from your body that things have gotten too tight and stiff and that the mechanics are off in this region. If you’re finding yourself overly relying upon stretches, breaks and that you’re not tolerating any coldness, these are all signs that your body is asking for some help from a specialized Physical Therapist with Myofascial Release training to loosen up these tissues, help you learn how to keep things nice and loose and limber on your own, and get these root causes addressed so that managing your back pain and discomfort while sitting is no longer ruling your life so you are able to get back to your favorite activities.
We have a great resource for you to begin dealing with your back pain. Our 9 Quick and Easy Tips for Eliminating Lower Back Pain and Staying Pain Free Guide is designed with you in mind.
Don’t sacrifice the activities you love over problems that can be fixed. Our back pain guide is a great place to start.
This guide will give you helpful tips you can start doing immediately to help ease your aches and pains so you can enjoy relaxing sitting down and not have back pain rule your day at work.
If you would like to get a copy of it, CLICK HERE to request your report and we’ll arrange that for you.
Or if you are in pain right now, and want more than free health tips, arrange a FREE phone consultation where you can speak to one of our back pain specialists so you can find out what’s going on and what can be done to get you feeling better from the comfort of your own home.
If you’re NOT the one currently suffering – we know that there’s a very good chance that you’ll know someone who IS.
Think – which one of your friends, family or work colleagues needs to know about this special information report?
Perhaps you could send them this link and tell them about it?
We know that so many people are living needlessly with lower-back pain.
We know how to help people live with less of the restriction and pain that comes from low back pain and sciatica and this is one of the simplest ways we could think of to help as many people as possible.
Click below to claim your free report or send this to someone who needs to see it. You might just change your life or their lives for the better!