What you may not know about back pain

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What you may not know about back pain

If you spend any amount of time sitting down, whether it be on a long commute, at an office chair, or even in a classroom, you know that the comfort and ergonomics of your seat can have a huge impact on how much work you can get done.  Whenever you find yourself sitting for long periods of time, it is very easy to find yourself in an uncomfortable sitting posture, and this is especially true when your chair is not designed to keep you in the optimal sitting position.  
For anyone who struggles with lower back pain as a result of hours sitting in seats that were not designed with you in mind, this article is for you.  Let’s explore some of the most common causes of lower back pain, how to avoid it, and what seats you can look into for improving your comfort level the most over time.

What Causes Lower Back Pain?
For most people, the symptoms of lower back pain are not brought on by any kind of underlying condition or disease and are most commonly caused by situational posture.  Lower back pain begins below the ribcage and is properly referred to as the lumbar region of your spine.  As long as your lower back pain is not caused by a fall or other injury, you may not need any professional medical advice or physical therapy. You probably just need to change your posture.
How To Improve Posture
In short, if you are looking to reduce back pain caused by posture, there are really two steps that you can take to improve your posture.First, you can just be more conscious of your posture in an effort to relieve strain caused by slouching or sitting improperly.  Some of the negative long-term impacts of bad posture can include:
·  Misaligned musculoskeletal system
·Long-term neck, shoulder, and back pain
·Decreased flexibility
·Weakened balance and increased risk of falls because of weakened core muscles
·Difficulty breathing
·Difficulty digesting food
·Neck pain
·Chronic low back pain

Here are some of the most basic ways to improve your posture organically by becoming more consciously aware of how you sit.
Make sure your work surfaces are at the correct height.  For example, if you sit in a desk chair, make sure that both the desk itself and the chair you’re sitting in are at a relative height that allows you to comfortably focus on what you’ve got going on. 
Switch sitting positions often, making sure that you are not slouching or bending your back the wrong way.
Take brief walks around the room, just to stretch the muscles in your back and increase blood flow.
Gently stretch your muscles gradually throughout the day to relieve pressure and stress.
Don’t cross your legs! Make sure you’re sitting flat-footed and keep your ankles forward of your knees to make sure that you are leaning slightly back into the chair, putting the weight onto the chair back. A footrest might prove helpful in this.
If the chair you sit in is outside your control (especially if it’s provided by the office manager), invest in something like lumbar support to give your back a rest.  

What Is Lumbar Support?
Essentially, lumbar support is extra padding situated towards the small of your lower back, in the lumbar area.  Lumbar support pillows keep you upright and provide support to that lumbar area of your spine to improve comfort and alleviate lower back pain. 
Common lumbar support is just portable lumbar back support like a curved cushion or lumbar roll, which is simply fitted onto the seat back of your chair.  This type can be great because you can place it really wherever you want, at whatever height on the chair is most comfortable for you and your workflow! 
In Summary
Lower back pain is one of the most common ailments affecting working professionals in the twenty-first century.  Because so many people work jobs that either require them to spend hours at a time working at a computer desk or moving, lifting, and twisting their back, low back pain is an extremely relevant issue.
Thankfully, there are solutions available in the form of several different steps.  Start by becoming more aware of your posture, and develop a routine that allows you to experience comfort even in the midst of all the things you have on your busy schedule every day.
Then, move towards either getting a more supportive, ergonomic chair or purchasing add-ins that allow you to customize the comfort and shape of your chair in a way that best supports your body’s natural posture.  Lumbar support, chair seat support, and several other options are all available!
And finally, if all else fails, definitely be willing to go see a doctor.  Best of luck, and feel better soon!    
  1. https://www.webmd.com/back-pain
  2. https://medlineplus.gov/guidetogoodposture.html
  3. https://www.spine-health.com/wellness/ergonomics



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