Lower Back Pain When Sitting: Causes and Helpful Pain Relief Tips
Have you noticed that back pain appears or worsens when you sit down? Surprisingly, upper and lower back pain in the seated position is a common indicator of a number of more serious health conditions. This is because, when you sit down, your body puts pressure on your spine, squishing disks and causing lingering pain points. At the same time, prolonged sitting can lead to muscle loss and atrophy, which lessens necessary support to the back.
If you experience lower back pain when sitting, you’ll want to help identify the problem and seek out pain relief treatment options so you get back to feeling like your happy, productive self in no time.
Causes of Seated Lower Back Pain
The only way to know for sure what’s causing your back pain is to see a physician, who may refer you to a specialist or order special diagnostic screening, such as a CT scan or x-ray. Lingering back pain while seated is considered a symptom of the following conditions:
- Sciatica – Sciatica is a condition marked by radiating nerve pain along the path of the sciatic nerve (which runs down the lower back, hips, and buttocks and down each leg). Sitting with poor posture can compress the sciatic nerve, triggering pain that feels either dull and persistent or sharp and sudden. One indicator of sciatica is that you tend to experience pain on one side while sitting.
- Strained Muscles – Injury to the muscles in your back can cause pain to persist whether you’re sitting, standing, or lying down. Strained muscles in the back, often referred to as pulled back muscles, occur when they are overused, torn, or stretched during activity. Unlike sciatica pain, strained back muscles usually do not radiate to the legs, hips or buttocks.
- Herniated Disk – A herniated disk or ruptured disk occurs when the spine puts pressure on the disk and pushes it out of place. One thing that may help you determine whether or not this is what’s causing your pain is to take note of when you feel pain. People with a herniated disk may feel pain while coughing, sneezing, driving, bending forward, and sitting down.
- Spinal Stenosis – Spinal stenosis, also known as spinal narrowing, is a condition that occurs when the components of the spinal cord move closer together and compress the nerve, causing pain, weakness, and numbness. It tends to be worsened when sitting down, leaning forward, or lying down, so don’t rule it out if you feel lingering pain while seated.
- Poor Posture – Your back pain may simply be occurring because you’ve got poor posture. Prolonged hunching or leaning can put undue strain on the muscles, bones, and ligaments supporting your whole body, leading to pain, stiffness, and weakness, especially in the lower back.
How to Relieve the Pain
The first thing you need to do on your journey to back pain relief is to consult your physician. He or she will be able to determine if your symptoms are associated with something more serious before working with you to find solutions that work. A medical professional will recommend one or a combination of things to help ease the pain.
For a non-pharmaceutical, non-surgical, and painless option for temporarily relieving minor muscle aches and stiffness in the back, consider trying a Curavi laser light therapy belt. These belts utilize high-tech, low-level laser therapy (LLLT) to modulate pain and inflammation for great results. Additionally, you’ll also want to make sure you’re always practicing proper posture.
The way you sit has a massive effect on how you feel, so try your best to practice proper posture each day. Not only will correcting your posture aid in minimizing back pain, it will also help lower your risk of certain conditions, including incontinence, constipation, slowed digestion, and heartburn. Using posture-correcting devices and properly setting up your workspace to support your back, head, and shoulders can help reduce pain.
Pay Attention to Your Body
The way your body feels during certain activities throughout the day can clue you in to a number of things about how it’s functioning. Be sure to pay attention to the aches and pains you feel throughout the day as you sit, stand, walk, and exercise. Knowing how your body responds to certain movements will help you support it for the long term and ensure that you enjoy a pain-free life.