Back pain is a common issue that people of all ages and backgrounds experience. It can appear acutely (suddenly) or worsen gradually over time (chronically), and for some people, back pain worsens when sitting down for prolonged periods of time.
The modern-day lifestyle is sedentary, and most people sit at a desk all day for work, drive home in a car, and relax on the sofa in front of the television all night. Leading a mainly sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of back pain development and can worsen pre-existing pains.
Luckily, there are steps you can take to relieve back pain when sitting down, and we have covered four of the most effective pain-relieving methods that you can try below. If you would like more advice about reducing back pain severity while driving, check out Snugl’s guide.
Maintain Proper Sitting Posture
When sitting down, keep your shoulder and back resting against the backrest of the chair. Aim to sit with your hips at a right angle to your torso and your knees at a right angle to your shins. Your feet should be flat on the floor.
If you’re sitting at a work desk, your elbows should remain close to your body when typing on a keyboard. Your computer screen should be at eye level to avoid straining your neck and causing further back pain.
Purchase an Ergonomic Chair
Ergonomic chairs are designed with good posture in mind. They are unique in that they offer great lumbar support and help to maintain the nature curvature of the spine.
Make sure to adjust the height of the chair accordingly to maintain the ideal sitting posture, as mentioned above. With proper lumbar support and good posture, you can avoid back pain even when sitting down for longer periods.
Whether you’re sitting down at work for several hours or you’re stuck on a long-haul journey, you should aim to stretch regularly. While there’s little you can do to avoid prolonged sitting if this is what your job or travel plans require, you can reduce the risk of back pain by taking breaks to stretch your legs.
If you can, take a short walk around the block every hour or so at work. Pull over to the side of the road if you’re on a long drive so you can walk around and stretch your legs before returning to the car.
Perform Seated Stretches
Consider doing some seated stretches when you’re stuck in a chair for a while and start to experience back aches. Try a seated hamstring stretch, spinal twists, and shoulder or head rolls to keep your body mobile throughout the day.
Regular stretching will prevent muscle stiffness and soreness, and help to improve your flexibility. It also increases blood flow to your muscles while you’re sedentary, which can keep aches and pains at bay, and even improve your ability to concentrate.