Being Seated Hurts My Back

There is a previous post where we talk about where we should sit if we have low back pain. I leave the link because it is complementary to what I will explain today. Today I want to explain why our back can hurt when sitting, especially the lower back.

Usually we have the concept that sitting is a rest position. Somehow it is so but not as much as we think. Some muscles will rest because of the change in posture and the supports offered by the chair, but other structures will not rest.

Being Seated Hurts My BackBeing seated hurts my back there are studies that have been performed measuring the pressure that the inter vertebral disc undergoes in the different postures. When sitting in a chair, the disc undergoes the same pressure as standing. This is so whenever we are sitting erect with the buttocks in the back of the chair, that is, what is usually interpreted as correctly seated. If we lean forward the pressure is higher, as we see in the photo.

At some point we sat without resting our backs on the seat back. This is inevitable if we sit on a stool, for example. In these cases we push forward to balance and this increases the pressure in the lumbar discs. It increases for two reasons. On the one hand, by the posture itself thrown forward that puts more weight on the front. On the other hand, if we try to be more erect we have to contract the abs so we do not fall and this increases the pressure on the disc. This increased pressure on the disc, sustained a long time, can bring problems.

All this gets worse when the chair or stool is very low, because raising the knees will accentuate more tension in the lower back. This is explained well in the post of the link. Also in that post we talked about the advantages and disadvantages of sitting back and how can be a relief for the album, although we have always been told not to sit like that.

In the dorsal column, the pressure on the anterior part of the vertebrae increases when we are sitting. It is very typical that people who suffer a fracture wedging of the vertebra (typical in osteoporosis) have more pain when they sit down. This is accentuated as the muscles that keep us upright get tired.

How can I be sitting in the office?

The person who has a lumbar injury has the uncertainty of what will happen when he joins his job sitting in an office all day. The reality is that there is no good posture that will apply to everything. There are bad postures to avoid and acceptable postures to change between them.

The bad postures to avoid are the high knees and be leaning forward without using the backrest. The acceptable postures could be summarized in three to alternate between them every few minutes. In addition to alternating these positions is recommended to get up every 30 minutes for a walk, any excuse is good (go to drink a glass of water or a visit to the toilet). Let’s see the postures.

– Seated “properly” as they taught us as children. The buttocks glued to the bottom of the chair with the dorsal area well supported in the back.

Being seated hurts my back

– Retracted posture. It is advisable if we can, to support the head when we are in this posture so that the neck does not suffer.

Being seated hurts my back

– We sit on the edge of the chair dropping the knees down while staying as straight as possible. In this way the psoas muscle pulls from the lower back and balances the back in an upright posture.

No position of these is correct, the ideal is to alternate between those who see that we are well.

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