When you sit all day, your lower back takes the majority of the brunt and can suffer from a general soreness, tightness, and acute pain. If you find yourself in this situation, you don’t have to live with the chronic discomfort and can work on maintaining a healthy lower back. In this article, we’ll explore the root causes of sitting-related lower back pain and provide you with actionable ways to alleviate it.

Root Causes of Low Back Pain When Sitting All Day

Muscle Shortening and Deactivation

Sitting for extended periods of time can cause muscles to shorten and weaken, leading to lower back pain. Muscles surrounding the spine, hips, and glutes tend to be the most affected. Particularly, prolonged sitting can lead to tightness in the hip flexors and deactivation of the glute muscles — the two main stabilizers of the lower back.

Distortion of the Spinal Structure

When sitting for too long, the body tends to slouch and round the spine, causing the discs between the vertebrae to flatten and compress. As a result, the vertebrae move close to each other, creating conditions for friction and inflammation of the nearby tissues and joints.

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Decreased Blood Circulation

Sitting for too long reduces circulation to the structures of the lower back, making them more prone to injury. Lowered blood flow also reduces the intake of essential nutrients in the spine, leading to potentially lower bone density and weakened muscles.

5 Ways to Reduce Low Back Pain When Sitting All Day

1. Make Regular Use of a Lumbar Support

Lumbar supports are special cushions designed to help promote a natural positioning of the spine while sitting down. Using one on your chair can help you keep the lower spine in the right posture and minimize the pressure on the muscles and discs.

2. Move Around Whenever You Can

Taking 1-3 minutes break each hour and walking around can help improve blood flow to the lower back and reduce the chance of developing muscle and joint pain. If you don’t have the chance to get up, try stretching your arms and legs in your seat instead.

3. Try Incorporating Core Strengthening Exercises to Your Routine

A stronger core helps maintain the naturally curved shape of the spine and reduce compression on the lower back’s discs and muscles. Incorporating exercises like crunches, planks, and yoga poses to your regimen can be key to keeping your core muscles strong and healthy.

4. Consider Using a Standing Desk

Although it’s not always possible, switching to a standing desk can help you lower the risk of getting lower back pain from sitting all day. Stand up desks provide the flexibility of sitting and standing, allowing your to move between the two positions throughout the workday.

5. Improve Your Sitting Posture

Having a good posture helps keep the lower back in its natural position and reduce the risk of developing pain. Sitting with a straight back and feet remotely on the floor can significantly reduce the chance of suffering an uncomfortable lower back.

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People Also Ask

Does sitting all day cause lower back pain?

Yes, sitting for too long can cause muscle soreness, tightness, and acute pain in the lower back. Prolonged sitting can lead to tightness in the hip flexors and deactivation of the glute muscles, distortion of the spinal structure and decreased blood circulation.

What are the effects of sitting all day?

The effects of sitting all day can include muscle shortening and deactivation, distortion of the spinal structure, decreased blood circulation, neck and shoulder pain and loss of flexibility.

What’s the best way to reduce low back pain from sitting?

The best way to reduce low back pain from sitting is to make regular use of a lumbar support, take regular breaks to move around, incorporate core strengthening exercises into your routine, use a standing desk, and improve your sitting posture.

Can I undo damage from sitting too much?

Yes. Taking regular breaks and stretching, doing core strengthening exercises, and improving your sitting posture can help undo the damage of sitting too much.

Is standing better than sitting?

In some situations, standing can be better than sitting, as it can help reduce lower back pain and improve blood circulation. However, it’s important to keep in mind that both standing and sitting have their own pros and cons.

Final Words

Sitting all day has become the reality for many of us, and it can take a considerable toll on our lower back if not managed properly. In this article, we’ve explored the root causes and potential risks of sitting-related lower back pain, as well as 5 actionable steps to help you reduce the discomfort. Taking regular breaks, stretching, engaging in core-strengthening exercises, and ensuring good posture are just some of the measures you can take to reduce the risk of lower back pain from sitting.