Back Pain Chair
- 1 Is my chair causing back pain?
- 2 How do I relax my lower back?
- 3 Does lying on the floor straighten your back?
Is my chair causing back pain?
Sitting in an office chair for prolonged periods of time can definitely cause low back pain or worsen an existing back problem. The main reason behind this is that sitting, in an office chair or in general, is a static posture that increases stress in the back, shoulders, arms, and legs, and in particular, can add large amounts of pressure to the back muscles and spinal discs.
See Back Muscles and Low Back Pain When sitting in an office chair for a long period, the natural tendency for most people is to slouch over or slouch down in the chair, and this posture can overstretch the spinal ligaments and strain the discs and surrounding structures in the spine. Over time, incorrect sitting posture can damage spinal structures and contribute to or worsen back pain.
Read more: Posture to Straighten Your Back
What should I sit on with back pain?
What can I do if I have acute low back pain? – The following advice will benefit a majority of people with back pain. If any of the following guidelines causes an increase of pain or spreading of pain to the legs, do not continue the activity and seek the advice of a physician or physical therapist.
Sit as little as possible, and only for short periods of time (10 to 15 minutes). Sit with a back support (such as a rolled-up towel) at the curve of your back. Keep your hips and knees at a right angle. (Use a foot rest or stool if necessary.) Your legs should not be crossed and your feet should be flat on the floor.
Here’s how to find a good sitting position when you’re not using a back support or lumbar roll: Correct sitting position without lumbar support. Correct sitting position with lumbar support.
Sit at the end of your chair and slouch completely. Draw yourself up and accentuate the curve of your back as far as possible. Hold for a few seconds. Release the position slightly (about 10 degrees). This is a good sitting posture. Sit in a high-back, firm chair with arm rests. Sitting in a soft couch or chair will tend to make you round your back and won’t support the curve of your back. At work, adjust your chair height and work station so you can sit up close to your work and tilt it up at you. Rest your elbows and arms on your chair or desk, keeping your shoulders relaxed. When sitting in a chair that rolls and pivots, don’t twist at the waist while sitting. Instead, turn your whole body. When standing up from a sitting position, move to the front of the seat of your chair. Stand up by straightening your legs. Avoid bending forward at your waist. Immediately stretch your back by doing 10 standing backbends.
Use a back support (lumbar roll) at the curve of your back. Your knees should be at the same level or higher than your hips. Move the seat close to the steering wheel to support the curve of your back. The seat should be close enough to allow your knees to bend and your feet to reach the pedals.
Stand with your head up, shoulders straight, chest forward, weight balanced evenly on both feet, and your hips tucked in. Avoid standing in the same position for a long time. If possible, adjust the height of the work table to a comfortable level. When standing, try to elevate one foot by resting it on a stool or box. After several minutes, switch your foot position. While working in the kitchen, open the cabinet under the sink and rest one foot on the inside of the cabinet. Change feet every five to 15 minutes.
Stooping, squatting, and kneeling Decide which position to use. Kneel when you have to go down as far as a squat but need to stay that way for awhile. For each of these positions, face the object, keep your feet apart, tighten your stomach muscles, and lower yourself using your legs. Lifting objects
Try to avoid lifting objects if at all possible. If you must lift objects, do not try to lift objects that are awkward or are heavier than 30 pounds. Before you lift a heavy object, make sure you have firm footing. To pick up an object that is lower than the level of your waist, keep your back straight and bend at your knees and hips. Do not bend forward at the waist with your knees straight.
Stand with a wide stance close to the object you are trying to pick up and keep your feet firmly on the ground. Tighten your stomach muscles and lift the object using your leg muscles. Straighten your knees in a steady motion. Don’t jerk the object up to your body. Stand completely upright without twisting. Always move your feet forward when lifting an object. If you are lifting an object from a table, slide it to the edge to the table so that you can hold it close to your body. Bend your knees so that you are close to the object. Use your legs to lift the object and come to a standing position. Avoid lifting heavy objects above waist level. Hold packages close to your body with your arms bent. Keep your stomach muscles tight. Take small steps and go slowly. To lower the object, place your feet as you did to lift, tighten stomach muscles, and bend your hips and knees.
Use a foot stool or chair to bring yourself up to the level of what you are reaching. Get your body as close as possible to the object you need. Make sure you have a good idea of how heavy the object is you are going to lift. Use two hands to lift.
Sleeping and lying down
Select a firm mattress and box spring set that does not sag. If necessary, place a board under your mattress. You can also place the mattress on the floor temporarily if necessary. If you’ve always slept on a soft surface, it might be more painful to change to a hard surface. Try to do what’s most comfortable for you. Use a back support (lumbar support) at night to make you more comfortable. A rolled sheet or towel tied around your waist might be helpful. Try to sleep in a position that helps you maintain the curve in your back (such as on your back with a lumbar roll or on your side with your knees slightly bent). Do not sleep on your side with your knees drawn up to your chest. When standing up from a lying position, turn on your side, draw up both knees, and swing your legs on the side of the bed. Sit up by pushing yourself up with your hands. Avoid bending forward at your waist.
Other helpful tips
Avoid activities that require bending forward at the waist or stooping. When coughing or sneezing, try to stand up and bend slightly backward to increase the curve in your spine. Sleep on your side with your knees bent. You can also put a pillow between your knees. Try not to sleep on your stomach.
If you sleep on your back, put pillows under your knees and a small pillow under the small of your back. Get useful, helpful and relevant health + wellness information
Is it better to sit on the floor or in a chair or sofa for back pain?
Chair Exercise For Low Back Pain
Editor’s Note: The views expressed in this commentary are solely those of the writers. CNN is showcasing the work of The Conversation, a collaboration between journalists and academics to provide news analysis and commentary. The content is produced solely by The Conversation.
- The Conversation — For thousands of years, humans have rested on the ground using variations of a squat, cross-legged or a kneeling position.
- And despite the availability of chairs and things to sit on, sitting on the floor is still common in many cultures,
- According to reports, many English-speaking people refer to floor sitting as “Indian style,” though it’s also known as “Turkish style.” In Korea, it’s called “Yangban style” – named after the traditional ruling class.
While in Japan, the formal way to sit is called “seiza,” which involves sitting on the heels with the knees resting on the floor. In yoga, sitting cross-legged on the floor is known as “sukhasana” or lotus – claimed to have been designed to stretch the muscles, improve posture and bring peace of mind,
Some people claim that if you sit in this position while eating it helps digestion, These cross-legged, squatting and kneeling positions stretch your hips, legs, pelvis and spine helping to promote natural flexibility and movement. Given that people now spend increasing amounts of time sitting during the day, should we be opting for the floor over a chair in the interest of our health and well-being? READ MORE: How to make sure your mask maximizes protection, according to a nurse Anecdotal and clinical evidence have shown that different ways of sitting place different physical stresses on our bodies.
Sitting for a long time in the same position normally affects the structure of your low back, called the lumbar region of the spine and the movement characteristics of your pelvis. And it’s believed this might lead to health problems in the long run, such as arthritis.
- This is why people are normally advised to make use of appropriate supports or assistive devices and to switch positions often when sitting for a long time.
- Researchers and doctors have looked at the ergonomics of sitting on chairs and have provided a variety of tips on sitting upright and how to avoid long-term health problems.
But there is actually little scientific evidence on sitting on the floor. Despite this, health professionals are increasingly advising that sitting on the floor helps to maintain the natural curvature of the spine and so helps people sit more upright and improve posture.
It’s also claimed that sitting on the floor helps to improve strength and flexibility and can help you avoid lower-back pain. READ MORE: 3 reasons you have neck pain – and why ‘bad posture’ probably isn’t one of them Though there is limited research on floor sitting, there may be some truth to these claims.
This is because the spinal structure shows an inward natural spine curvature at the lower back called lumbar lordosis. When sitting on the floor, the lumbar lordosis is relatively low, which is closer to our natural position and posture. Sitting cross-legged could also bring about the natural and correct curvature both at the upper and lower back, effectively stabilising the lower back and pelvis region.
- But that said, certain sitting postures rotate the pelvis backwards and the lumbar lordosis is more flattened than it is when sitting on a chair, which can cause problems.
- READ MORE: Is telehealth as good as in-person care? How to get the most out of remote health care Previous research has shown that when sitting on the floor, the changes in the lumbar lordosis mostly occur at a vertebral or the segmental level at the lower end of the spine.
In this respect, sitting on the floor can easily aggravate lower back pain. To avoid this, sitting with a lordotic lumbar curve is important. Studies also claim sitting with your legs crossed on a chair induces a greater load on the intervertebral discs and spine – especially when in a slumped position as this can further increase disc pressure and aggravate chronic low back pain.
This is why it’s very important to use the correct sitting posture. The exact relationship between sitting posture, how and which muscles work and low back pain still needs to be established. But scientific research shows that some lumbo-pelvic muscles, the muscles in our hip regions, play an important role in postural stabilisation.
There is also some evidence that sitting on the floor with folded legs is less harmful when compared to other sitting postures, such as squatting and sitting on the floor with stretched legs. Indeed, one study found that squatting along with cycling were both risk factors for knee osteoarthritis.
While high-quality scientific evidence is still lacking on the benefits of floor sitting, it is becoming a growing trend – particularly among people choosing to adopt more minimalist or furniture-free lifestyles, So what’s the best way to sit? While a comfortable sitting position will probably vary from person to person, the key to good sitting is regular movement and changing your position often,
These changes could be as simple as moving side to side in the chair or standing up and stretching every now and again. Basically, listen to your body, it will tell you what it needs. READ MORE: Is bar soap as gross as millennials say? Not really, and we’re all covered with microbes anyway Nachiappan Chockalingam is a professor of clinical biomechanics and Aoife Healy is an associate professor of human movement biomechanics at Staffordshire University.
How do I relax my lower back?
10. Seat Forward Bend – Tight hamstrings are thought to contribute to lower back pain, which is why the seat forward bend is a great stretch to perform. Here’s how you perform a seat forward bend stretch:
Sit on the floor with your legs in front of youWrap a bath towel around the soles of your feetGently bend your hips forward, bringing your stomach down to your thighsThe towel will help you bring your stomach closer to your legsStretch until you feel a bit of tension in your lower back and legs
Hold this stretch for 30 seconds, rest for 30 more, and then repeat 3 times. You can grab the towel closer or further from your feet in order to increase or decrease the tension of the stretch.
Why does my back hurt after sitting?
3. Muscular degeneration – The muscles in your lower body need consistent exercise and movement to keep their mass and ability to support your weight. Sitting for long periods can lead to muscular atrophy, where muscle groups like your glutes and leg muscles become unable to support their own weight.
How long sitting is too long?
When you sit, you use less energy than you do when you stand or move. Research has linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns. They include obesity and a cluster of conditions — increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and unhealthy cholesterol levels — that make up metabolic syndrome.
Too much sitting overall and prolonged periods of sitting also seem to increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. Any extended sitting — such as at a desk, behind a wheel or in front of a screen — can be harmful. Researchers analyzed 13 studies of sitting time and activity levels.
They found that those who sat for more than eight hours a day with no physical activity had a risk of dying similar to that posed by obesity and smoking. However, unlike some other studies, this analysis of data from more than 1 million people found that 60 to 75 minutes of moderately intense physical activity a day countered the effects of too much sitting.
Other studies have found that for people who are most active sitting time contributes little to their risk of death. Overall, research seems to point to the fact that less sitting and more moving contribute to better health. You might start by simply standing rather than sitting when you have the chance.
Or find ways to walk while you work. For example:
- Take a break from sitting every 30 minutes.
- Stand while talking on the phone or watching television.
- If you work at a desk, try a standing desk — or improvise with a high table or counter.
- Walk with your colleagues for meetings rather than sitting in a conference room.
- Position your work surface above a treadmill — with a computer screen and keyboard on a stand or a specialized treadmill-ready vertical desk — so that you can be in motion throughout the day.
The impact of movement — even leisurely movement — can be profound. For starters, you’ll burn more calories. This might lead to weight loss and increased energy. Also, physical activity helps maintain muscle tone, your ability to move and your mental well-being, especially as you age.
How can I sit all day without back pain?
Preventing Neck and Back Pain When Sitting – Here are some important guidelines to help make sure your work area is as comfortable as possible and causes the least amount of stress to your spine to avoid neck and lower back pain from sitting :
Elbow measure Begin by sitting comfortably as close as possible to your desk so that your upper arms are parallel to your spine, Rest your hands on your work surface (e.g. desktop, computer keyboard). If your elbows are not at a 90-degree angle, move your chair either up or down. Thigh measure Check that you can easily slide your fingers under your thigh at the leading edge of the chair. If it is too tight, you need to prop your feet up with an adjustable footrest. If there is more than a finger width between your thigh and the chair, you need to raise the desk/work surface so that you can raise your chair. Calf measure With your buttocks against the chair back, try to pass your clenched fist between the back of your calf and the front of your chair, If you can’t do that easily, the chair is too deep. You will need to adjust the backrest forward, insert a lumbar support or get a new chair. Lower-back support Your buttocks should be pressed against the back of your chair, and there should be a cushion that causes your lower back to arch slightly so that you don’t slump forward as you tire. This support is essential to minimize the load (strain) on your back. Never slump or slouch in your chair, as this places extra stress on your spine and lumbar discs. Eye level Close your eyes while sitting comfortably with your head facing forward. Slowly open your eyes. Your gaze should be aimed at the center of your computer screen, If your computer screen is higher or lower than your gaze, you need to either raise or lower it. If you wear bifocal glasses, you should adjust the computer screen so that you do not have to tilt your neck back to read the screen, or else wear full lens glasses adjusted for near vision. Armrest Adjust the armrest of your chair so that it just slightly lifts your arms at the shoulders, Use of an armrest allows you to take some of the strain off your neck and shoulders, and it should make you less likely to slouch forward in your chair. While this article is about traditional chairs, some people prefer more active chairs, such as a Swedish kneeling chair or a Swiss exercise ball. Traditional chairs are designed to provide complete support, but a kneeling chair promotes good posture without a back support, and an exercise ball helps develop your abdominal and back muscles while you sit. It is advisable to first talk with your doctor prior to using one of these types of chairs if you have an injured back or other health problems. Finally, no matter how comfortable you are at your desk, prolonged, static posture is not good for your back, Try to remember to stand, stretch and walk at least a minute or two every half hour, Moving about and stretching on a regular basis throughout the day will help keep your joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons loose, which in turn will help you feel more comfortable, more relaxed, and more productive.
Should I sit or lay down for back pain?
How to relieve the pain – If you’re experiencing back pain when sitting, your impulse may be to lie down and then try to slowly progress back to sitting, says Dr. Atlas. But this is the wrong approach. 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.
Why does my lower back hurt when I sit but not standing?
Mechanical lower back pain – Because it represents 97% of cases, mechanical low back pain deserves to be discussed first. To determine the factors that bring out the pain, the doctor will consider the following causes of mechanical low back pain:
Muscle strain. Spondylolisthesis (slippage of one vertebral body on the next). Herniated disc (the discs, or pads, that act as shock absorbers between the vertebrae can bulge into the space containing the spinal cord or a nerve root and cause pain). Osteoarthritis (a common form of arthritis in which the cartilage that cushions the joints breaks down and bony spurs form in the joint, causing pain and swelling). Spinal stenosis (caused by a narrowing of the bony canal and predisposes some people to pain related to pressure on the spinal nerves or the spinal cord itself).
Low back pain that gets worse with sitting may indicate a herniated lumbar disc (one of the discs in the lower part of the back). This is because certain positions of the body can change the amount of pressure that an out-of-place disc can press on a nerve.
Does lying on the floor straighten your back?
The benefits of sleeping on the floor tend to be more anecdotal than clinical. People may find that they can derive the benefits that some say sleeping on the floor brings by opting for a firmer mattress instead. Many people say that sleeping on the floor helps them get a better night’s sleep, improves their posture, and reduces their back pain.
- However, there is little evidence to suggest that sleeping on the floor is any better than opting for a medium firm mattress.
- It is important to note, though, that many cultures across the world regularly sleep on thin cushions or mats on the floor.
- This seems to cause no obvious side effects or problems.
This article looks at the risks and possible benefits of sleeping on the floor and offers advice on how to do it safely. Although there is little research to suggest that sleeping on the floor helps with back pain, many people claim otherwise. Advocates for floor sleeping say that it can reduce back pain, improve posture, and result in a better night’s sleep.
- There is plenty of research to suggest that using a medium firm mattress promotes sleep comfort, boosts sleep quality, and improves spinal alignment.
- All of this can help reduce back pain, as one 2015 systematic review suggests.
- Although sleeping on the floor has not undergone the same level of research and scrutiny, it is possible that the firm support it offers the spine may have a similar effect.
However, it is also possible that without sufficient cushioning around pressure points on the body — such as the hips, tailbone, shoulder blades, or back of the head — sleeping on the floor could increase pressure and discomfort. This could result in poor sleep as well as further pain.
As outlined above, many people report that sleeping on the floor reduces back pain. However, being sure of the specific benefits when compared with choosing a firmer mattress, for example, needs more research. It is possible that sleeping on the floor may improve posture. Indeed, the spine is more prone to curving on a soft surface, so sleeping on a firmer surface may help align and straighten the neck and spine.
One aspect that people can be confident of is that sleeping on the floor is often cooler. People who tend to overheat at night may prefer the cooler temperatures when sleeping closer to the ground. However, it is important that people with underlying health conditions speak with their healthcare provider before sleeping on the floor.
Just as many people report reduced back pain after sleeping on the floor, others say that it can cause, or worsen, back pain. A lack of zoned support under specific pressure points, as one may find in a mattress, may cause discomfort to people who experience joint pain or arthritis. Also, being closer to the floor means that proximity to dust and dirt increases, thereby increasing the risk of allergic reactions.
People with allergic conditions may find that the following symptoms increase with floor sleeping:
sneezing and an itchy, blocked, or runny noseitchy, red, or watering eyeswheezing, coughing, or difficulty breathingrashes
It may be necessary to vacuum and clean the floor more frequently to avoid irritation. Mattresses and bedding that people use on the floor have an increased risk of bedbug infestation. To reduce this risk, it is better to have the mattress raised slightly and to ensure that no bedding touches the floor.
Mattresses need adequate air circulation to prevent mold from developing. A lack of air circulation around the mattress can increase the risk of sweat being trapped inside, with mold and unpleasant odors developing as a result. Just as hot sleepers may prefer the cooler experience of sleeping on the floor, people who are more likely to wake up chilly may find their sleep more disrupted with floor sleeping.
Also, people with underlying health conditions that affect blood circulation, such as anemia or diabetes, may find that sleeping on the floor makes them feel much colder. Sleeping on a harder surface, such as a floor or a firm mattress, can sometimes reduce circulation further.
This is because the extra pressure on some areas of the body — such as the buttocks, shoulders, and lower legs — may limit blood flow. Furthermore, getting in and out of a bed on the floor can be difficult for people with decreased or limited mobility, such as older adults, pregnant people, and individuals with obesity.
The following tips may help people who are sleeping on the floor for the first time:
Ensure that the sleeping area of the floor is clean and free from clutter that could cause injury or accidents. Experiment with layers of bedding, such as blankets, pillows, thin cushions or mattresses, mats, or pads.Try out some different positions to see what suits best and where someone may need extra support, such as more bedding or a pillow. Pregnant people may prefer to support their bump when lying on their side, for example.Start by sleeping on the floor for short periods, such as by napping there or only sleeping there for part of the night. Gradually increase the length of time as the body grows accustomed to the firmer surface.It may help to place plywood under a mattress to increase the firmness level. People who are thinking about sleeping on the floor could try this first to grow accustomed to the firmer feel.Be sure to air any mattresses and bedding that touch the floor whenever possible. This can prevent mold from forming.
Although there is not much evidence for the benefits of sleeping on the floor, many people say that it reduces their back pain, improves their posture, and results in a better night’s sleep. People with underlying conditions, allergic conditions, or limited mobility should always speak with their healthcare provider before sleeping on the floor.