Lower back pain affects over 80% of the world’s population, making it a significant health risk worldwide. Studies indicate that prolonged sitting, especially with poor posture, is a major contributor to this condition. Fortunately, improving sitting posture can help alleviate back pain.
But how to sit with lower back pain?
When sitting with lower back pain, it is essential to choose a chair that provides proper lumbar support and promotes a neutral spine posture to minimize pressure on the lower back. Additionally, taking regular breaks and doing gentle stretches can also help alleviate discomfort.
But it is important to note that several factors, such as poor posture, muscle strain, or an underlying medical condition, can cause lower back discomfort. Moreover, it is essential to identify the cause to treat the pain effectively. So, let’s take a look at the sitting postures that alleviate back pain and the ones to avoid in such situations.
Afraid of Lower Back Pain When Sitting? – Try These Sitting Poses
Lower back pain is a common problem that affects people of all ages. One of the most important factors that can contribute to lower back pain is poor posture, especially when sitting for extended periods. Sitting with proper posture can help alleviate lower back pain and prevent further injury. Here are some of the best sitting positions for lower back pain;
1- Sit With Your Feet Flat on the Floor
Keeping your feet flat on the ground helps to reduce the pressure on the lower back. Avoid crossing your legs or propping them up on a stool or chair, as this can cause your hips to rotate forward and increase the pressure on the lower back.
2- Sit Up Straight
Slouching can increase the pressure on the lower back and cause discomfort. Make sure to sit up straight with your shoulders back and your back against the chair. Keep your head level and avoid leaning forward or backward.
3- Use a Lumbar Support Cushion
A lumbar support cushion can help maintain the natural curve of your lower back and reduce pressure on the spinal discs. Place the cushion in the small of your back and adjust it until it feels comfortable.
4- Keep the Knees at Hip Level
If possible, adjust the height of your chair so that your knees are at or slightly below hip level. This can help reduce pressure on the lower back and improve circulation in the legs.
5- Take Breaks to Stand and Stretch
Sitting for extended periods can lead to stiffness and discomfort. Take regular breaks to stand up, stretch, and move around. This can help alleviate lower back pain and prevent further injury.
Tips for Lower Back Support
Lower back pain can be caused by various factors such as poor posture, injury, or medical conditions. One common trigger for lower back pain is sitting for prolonged periods in the wrong position, which puts pressure on the spine and muscles. Here are some tips to help provide lower back support and reduce pain;
- Avoid Sudden Movements: It’s important to note that standing up from a sitting position can be a common trigger for lower back pain. To avoid this, try to stand up slowly and use your legs to lift your body weight, rather than relying on your lower back muscles.
- Adopt a Comfortable Sitting Posture: While sitting up straight can help maintain good posture, it can also cause discomfort for those with lower back pain. It’s important to find a sitting position that is comfortable and supportive for your individual needs. Experiment with different positions and see what works best for you.
- Use a Chair With Proper Lumbar Support: Chairs with built-in lumbar support can help maintain the natural curve with proper spine support and reduce pressure on your lower back. If your chair doesn’t have built-in support, you can use a lumbar cushion.
- Consider Adjusting Your Sitting Position: Sit in a position that allows your feet to be flat on the ground and your knees at hip level or slightly lower. Avoid crossing your legs, which can increase pressure on your lower back.
- Take Breaks: Stand up and move around every 20-30 minutes to avoid sitting in one position for too long. This can help improve circulation and reduce pressure on your lower back.
- Strengthen Your Core: Strong abdominal and back muscles can provide additional support for your spine and reduce the risk of lower back pain.
- Use Proper Lifting Techniques: When lifting heavy objects, use your legs instead of your back to lift the weight. Keep your back straight and avoid twisting your spine.
- Use Proper Footwear: Wearing shoes with good arch support can help maintain proper posture and reduce pressure on your lower back.
Causes of Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain is a common problem that affects many people worldwide, and it is important to consult a medical professional if you experience persistent or severe lower back pain. Moreover, diagnosing the root cause of this severe pain can help treat the aching effectively. Here are some of the primary reasons of lower back pain;
- Poor posture: Poor posture while sitting, standing, or walking can put unnecessary strain on the lower back muscles and lead to pain.
- Muscle or ligament strain: Straining or pulling the muscles or ligaments in the lower back due to overuse, sudden movements, or lifting heavy objects can lead to pain.
- Herniated or bulging discs: The discs that cushion the vertebrae in the spine can become damaged, causing them to herniate or bulge out and put pressure on the nerves in the lower back.
- Spinal stenosis: This is a condition where the spinal canal narrows, putting pressure on the spinal cord and nerves and causing pain.
- Arthritis: Arthritis can affect the joints in the lower back, leading to pain and stiffness.
- Osteoporosis: This is a condition where the bones become weak and brittle, increasing the risk of fractures in the spine and leading to pain.
- Scoliosis: Scoliosis is a condition where the spine curves to one side, leading to pain and discomfort.
- Obesity: Being overweight or obese can put extra strain on the lower back muscles and lead to pain.
- Psychological factors: Stress, anxiety, and depression can all contribute to lower back pain.
Sitting Postures to Avoid With Lower Back Pain
Sitting for prolonged periods of time can worsen lower back pain, especially if poor sitting postures are adopted. And to prevent worsening of lower back pain, it is important to maintain good posture and avoid these sitting postures. Here are some sitting postures to avoid with lower back pain;
Slouching puts excessive strain on the lumbar region of the spine and can lead to poor posture, which can contribute to lower back pain.
- Sitting on a Soft Couch or Chair
Sitting on a soft couch or chair can cause the body to sink in and cause the lower back to round, leading to increased pressure on the lumbar region.
- Crossing Legs
Crossing the legs when sitting can cause the pelvis to tilt, leading to an uneven distribution of weight on the spine, which can contribute to lower back pain.
- Leaning Forward
Leaning forward when sitting can place additional pressure on the lumbar region of the spine, leading to lower back pain.
- Sitting on a Stool
Sitting on a stool can cause the lower back to round, which can put additional pressure on the lumbar region of the spine.
Ergonomic Chairs for Lower Back Pain
Investing in an ergonomic chair can be a valuable tool in managing lower back pain, as these chairs are designed to provide proper support to the body, reduce strain and alleviate pain. However, it’s also important to also incorporate movement and stretching throughout the day to prevent stiffness and further pain. Here are some features to look for in an ergonomic chair;
- Lumbar support: Look for a chair with an adjustable lumbar support to maintain the natural curve of your spine and reduce pressure on the lower back.
- Adjustable seat height: Choose a chair that allows you to adjust the height so that your feet are flat on the ground and your knees are at a 90-degree angle.
- Adjustable armrests: Armrests should be positioned so that your shoulders are relaxed and your elbows are at a 90-degree angle.
- Seat depth: An adjustable seat depth allows you to sit back in the chair with your back against the lumbar support.
- Reclining function: A reclining function can help to reduce pressure on the lower back and allow for a comfortable sitting position.
- Material: Look for a chair with breathable material to prevent sweating and discomfort.
- Swivel base: A swivel base allows for easy movement and reduces strain on the back when reaching for items on your desk.
So, how to sit with lower back pain? To sit with lower back pain, choose a chair with lumbar support and maintain a neutral spine posture to avoid pressure on the lower back. Also, regular breaks and gentle stretches provide relief from such discomfort.
If not treated properly, lower back pain can even make it difficult to carry out daily life activities like sitting on a working desk, standing up right, etc. However, diagnosing the cause for this issue, treating it properly, and using an ergonomic chair can do miracles in relieving the aching back. So, take care of your back to enjoy your working hours at fullest!
Why is sitting up straight uncomfortable?
Sitting up straight can be uncomfortable because it requires the back muscles to work harder to maintain proper posture. Poor posture habits, such as slouching or leaning forward, can also make sitting up straight feel uncomfortable at first. Over time, however, practicing good posture can help improve muscle strength and alleviate discomfort.
Where to put lumbar support?
Lumbar support should be placed in the lower back region, specifically in the hollow of the lower back, to maintain the natural curve of the spine and reduce pressure on the lower back. It can be placed on a chair or a car seat and adjusted to fit the individual’s body shape and size.
Where is lumbar support supposed to go?
Lumbar support is supposed to go in the lower part of the back, specifically in the area of the lumbar vertebrae. The lumbar support should be positioned in a way that it fits snugly against the lower back, providing adequate support without causing discomfort.
Is crossing your legs bad for your hips?
Yes, crossing your legs for long periods of time can lead to hip problems over time, especially if you do it frequently. Typically it causes imbalance in the pelvis and contributes to hip pain. So, it’s important to change positions regularly and take breaks from sitting to avoid any negative effects.
A chair enthusiast and expert in ergonomic design, is dedicated to helping you choose the ideal gaming or office chair. With a keen eye for comfort and a passion for optimal seating, I will provides insightful guidance for an enhanced seating experience.