“Why Does My Back Hurt When I Sit?”
For most of you, life calls for long days at a desk working on a computer, an art table, taking inventory or maybe routing calls and organizing files. You get up every couple of hours to stretch your legs or take a quick walk, but as the day wears on the gnawing ache in your back gets worse, maybe even starts to travel down one or both of your legs. Sound familiar? It should. According to one Mayo Clinic study, back pain accounts for 23.9% of all US doctor visits. Although back pain can be grueling, you have a lot of company. Almost 25% of Americans have had back pain in the last 3 months. Most low back pain is mild and disappears on its own, but most acute back pain has at least 1 reoccurrence, and many times that pain worsens and can even spread to both legs. Most non-traumatic diagnoses are not serious and don’t need diagnostic testing to assist with recovery, as X-Rays, CT scans, and MRI’s are often not helpful. (Actually, patients who have an MRI spend $4,793 more on average with similar outcomes.)
There are remedies to your aches and pains. Once you understand why you are ailing with your back and what’s causing the pain, treating your back pain and preventing future outbreaks solely requires a consistent self-treatment plan.
The most common causes of low back pain are postural stresses. Positions including prolonged sitting in a bad position, extended bending in a poor position, heavy lifting, standing or lying for a prolonged time in poor postures can all increase or decrease low back lordosis. Lordosis is the normal inward curve of the low back and neck.
Robin McKenzie, a famous physiotherapist from New Zealand, developed a system of treatment that is based on counteracting the movements that caused the pain and symptoms in the first place. In his book, Treat Your Own Back, McKenzie generally suggests using backward movements to counteract pain during sitting, bending, and slouching, and bending forward to counteract pain with standing, walking and lying down.
If you have pain with bending forward, try these exercises to see if the pain improves:
“The Most useful and Effective First-Aid Procedure for the Treatment of Acute Low Back Pain.”
Press ups: Push your upper body up off the floor using your arms. Push up only as far as comfortable and slowly lower yourself down. Perform 10 repetitions, then continue for another 10 if the symptoms improve.
Press ups should be used to counteract the pain, as a first response and should never increase the pain. Once the pain has decreased, maintenance exercises are necessary to combat any future sitting issues.
“The main Tool in Prevention of Further Low Back Problems”
Extension in Standing: Bend your trunk backwards at the waist as
far as you can, using your hands as a fulcrum. It is important to keep your knees straight, maintain this position for a second or two, then return to the st