Any time you twist your upper body to look at someone or something, you’re using your lower back muscles. These muscles are also responsible for supporting the upper body when a person is standing, moving and sitting. However, doing too much sitting at work can lead to pain in the lower back. Here are three tips that can help reduce lower back pain when sitting on the job:
1. Get up and move more
Long periods of sitting at work can lead to an increased risk of lower back pain, because sitting still leads to less blood getting to your back muscles. Decreased blood flow is a problem for these important muscles because blood carries oxygen and nutrients to the muscles. Without them, the lower back muscles lose strength and become tired more rapidly. You can avoid the problem of low blood flow by getting up and moving around more often, and it’s a good idea to move around for at least five to 10 minutes for every hour you sit.
2. Stretch it out
Another way you can help decrease lower back pain when sitting for a long time at work is to stretch every so often. This can be done during your movement time or at another point during long periods of sitting; there are even simple but effective stretches you can do right at your desk. An example is the seated long spinal stretch. You begin this stretch by sitting up tall in your chair with your hands on your thighs. You’ll then bend forward and slide your hands down your legs as far as you can. Hold this stretch for about 30 seconds and then return to the starting position. You should try to repeat this stretch a total of three times to stretch your lower back muscles really well.
3. Move toward a more ergonomic workspace
The posture you have while sitting at your desk could be one reason that you feel lower back pain when sitting. Many people slouch forward toward their computer screen, and this posture is particularly hard on the lower back muscles. One way that you can improve your sitting posture and decrease the likelihood of lower back pain is to make sure your work area is as ergonomic as possible. Ergonomics is the science of molding a workspace to the needs of a specific user. For you, this might include getting an office chair that better supports your lower back and checking the positioning and comfort of your computer monitor, keyboard and mouse.
Armor Physical Therapy can help you treat lower back pain when sitting
People in southwest Michigan who are dealing with lower back pain when sitting may be wondering where to turn for help. One place you can find help for back pain is Armor Physical Therapy. We have five clinics in southwest Michigan, and each of them offers free screenings to help you determine the source of your lower back pain. Our team has lots of experience building personalized lower back treatment plans, which may include therapy methods like:
- Therapeutic exercise
- Manual therapy
- Spine and back therapy
- Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM)
Take the next step to start getting our help with your back pain. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.