Don't take Back Pain Sitting Down
Some conditions can be aggravated by sitting, so after the initial pain subsides, aim to move more, not less.
Sitting down is supposed to be a way to relax after a long day on your feet. But for many, sitting for any length of time is painful. It aggravates pain in the back instead of relieving it.
If this sounds like you, the problem could be one of several common conditions.
One condition involves one of the discs that act as pads between the vertebrae in your back. A disc can become herniated, meaning it develops a bulge that can pinch a nearby spinal nerve, causing pain.
Disc problems can cause back pain alone, but when the pain moves into the legs, this may be the nerve pain known as sciatica. Sciatica sometimes occurs when a herniated disc pinches one of your sciatic nerves. These are the longest nerves in your body, running from the lower back into each leg. People with sciatica typically report a burning pain that involves the lower back, the leg, and sometimes the foot.
Although the specific reason for back pain often cannot be identified, muscle spasms are probably the most common cause, people often report tighter and more painful back muscles with prolonged sitting.
How to relieve the pain
If you're experiencing back pain when sitting, you should lie down to relieve the pain, but the goal should be not to return to sitting, but rather to regain your ability to stand and move.
Treating back pain
If you can't manage your back pain yourself and opt to see a doctor or chiropractor and they can make recommend a course of treatment.
A typical course of treatment starts with activity modification, progressing to exercise. For patients with severe symptoms, the first line of therapy might be manual treatment, such as massage, chiropractic, or physical therapy.
Movement is the best way to ward off back pain. Regular physical activity can make the back stronger to reduce future episodes of pain. Exercises should focus on increasing strength and improving range of motion — as well as ensuring balance on both sides of the body, as some back pain can start when one side of the body is stronger than the other.
In addition, whenever possible, avoid prolonged sitting. If you sit at a desk in the office all day, get up periodically — at least every 30 minutes — and walk around. Walk to get a drink of water or to pick up your mail. Take breaks throughout the course of the day to prevent future bouts of pain.
Parkway Foot & Back Clinic can help you relieve lower back pain without surgery, through chiropractic adjustment, or acupuncture techniques.