Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.

Prolonged Sitting Could Be Ruining Your Back

Prolonged Sitting Could Be Ruining Your Back

You spend hours behind a desk each day or in a seated position, and your back is becoming increasingly achy. There are many reasons why prolonged sitting can lead to back pain (and more), and it pays to take a few simple steps to protect your spine.

As our name suggests, the highly qualified team here at Spinal Diagnostics specializes in the spine, and we see many patients who complain of back and neck pain due to prolonged sitting.

Here’s a look at what happens to your body when you’re seated for long periods, as well as a few tips to help keep back pain at bay.

The effects of prolonged sitting on your back

There’s nothing like taking a load off when you’ve been standing all day, but the effect of sitting all day can be equally as damaging and painful.

When you’re seated for long periods, several things can occur, including:

While your spine may feel the brunt of prolonged sitting, you can see that this position isn’t doing your neck, shoulder, hips, and buttocks any favors, either.

The bottom line is that your body is made for moving, and when you’re sedentary, muscles can tighten, soft tissues can shorten, and your overall musculoskeletal system can weaken. All of these events can also set you up for other problems, such as a herniated disc or arthritis.

Tips for preventing back pain when you sit

While there may be little you can do about the number of hours you need to sit each day, there are steps you can take to minimize the impact of this position on your spine.

First, you should outfit yourself with a proper, ergonomically designed chair. This is more important than ever as many people find themselves working from home thanks to the global pandemic, and they may be perched on dining room chairs or couches.

No matter how well your desk chair is designed, however, you must use it properly. To achieve a good sitting posture, make sure your buttocks touch the back of the chair so that your spine is well supported along its entire length. Also, make sure that your shoulders are back and that your weight is spread evenly on your two hip joints. Lastly, place both feet on the floor and resist the urge to cross them while seated.

A great technique for achieving a good sitting posture is to sit down and arch your back. Now release this arch by about 10%, and you’ll achieve a straight position for your spine.

Finally, we urge you to get up at least every hour, stretch out your back, and walk around. Simply bending down to touch your toes can relieve the pressure on your discs and stretch your muscles. 

If you’ve developed back pain as a result of prolonged sitting, we urge you to contact one of our two locations in Tualatin or Newberg, Oregon, so that we can treat your pain and set you up with some great prevention techniques moving forward.

You Might Also Enjoy...

When Telehealth Is the Best Choice

While not much good came out of the COVID-19 healthcare crisis, the rise in telehealth services may prove the exception. From health concerns to saving time, receiving top-notch healthcare in your home has its benefits.

How to Know If You Have Spinal Stenosis

There’s bad news and good when it comes to spinal stenosis — 20% of adults over the age of 60 in the United States have the condition, but 80% don’t have symptoms. For those with symptoms, here’s what to look out for.

A Closer Look at Pelvic Pain in Women

Incredibly, about 15% of women of childbearing age in the United States experience pelvic pain for six months or more. Not only is pelvic pain common, but it can also be frustrating to diagnose and treat, which is where we can come in.

Healthy Habits That Can Help Relieve Neck Pain

Having a literal pain in the neck can cast a shadow over your day and make everything you do more than just a little uncomfortable. For long-term relief of neck pain, here are a few tips you might consider.

How Weather Changes Are Related to Migraines

Changes in temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure have all been reported as migraine triggers. While there’s still much that we don’t understand about migraines, the weather plays a role.