By: Monica Mai PT, DPT | Therapydia Beaverton
Do you remember your parents or teachers telling you to sit up or stand up straight? There’s a reason and here’s why. Spinal problems aren’t new. In fact, low back pain is the second most common cause of disability and also the culprit of lost work days.
Having a sedentary lifestyle has become more normal in our society. According to a 2012 study from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, as many as 70% of people spend six or more hours each day sitting down. Did you know that sitting puts more load on your spine than standing? Slouching can put even more load on your back, ouch! Also, the longer you stay seated, the more likely you are to let your posture literally slide. Poor posture such as slouching can cause the spinal ligaments and tissues to stretch beyond their healthy limit and put extra stress on spinal discs in your spine. Here’s a chart that shows relative pressure changes in varying daily positioning from laying down on your back, to slouching, and lifting with different techniques.
Do you relate to one of these postures?
What does this mean?
Try to reduce the amount of your sitting throughout the day by varying postures for your back and neck. This doesn’t mean go do to the opposite extremes of never sitting or always standing. Mixing up sitting, standing, and moving throughout your day is ideal to reduce strain on your body.
Tips for reducing back pain:
- Get up periodically throughout the day to relieve pressure
- Incorporate exercises into your daily routine
- Strengthen the core to provide support
- Add a rolled up towel behind your back when sitting
Schedule a consult or an initial evaluation today with a Physical Therapist to assess your pain and ergonomics. Your PT will talk to you about your history and take you through a series of tests and measures to determine the source of your issues. Based on your presentation, your PT may use different techniques to relieve your back pain. Talk to a PT today!