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The Low Back Pain Epidemic

Generalized back pain continues to be rampant in many parts of the US and world-wide and does not seem to be decreasing despite many calculated efforts to do so. This particular diagnosis, sadly, has many attributes that makes it very difficult to pinpoint an exact cause. There is a substantial amount of literature on treatments, effects, causes, specific diagnosis and ramifications that is available to anyone that suffers from this ailment. We all know this, but in the 21st century ‘sitting’ is the new ‘smoking.’ Generalized back pain is one of many negative effects from consistent sitting, but it is no mystery that these are strongly correlated. The advent of types of chairs, standing desks, electronic reminders to move and numerous other agents have only mildly tipped the scale in favor of better health. But why?

Causes of Back Pain

Several arguments have been made about the exact cause of back pain stemming from sitting to general inactivity. Researchers have concluded that in a mildly flexed (leaning forwards) sitting position the forces transferring through the low back are significantly greater than in standing. This could certainly lead to back issues, and it is also why certain types of chairs do provide benefit. Sadly, most of us cannot afford the perfect, ergonomically based chair. Most chairs provide lumbar support which also contributes to back issues as your core musculature will no longer be needed during daily sitting. But what do we do? Prolonged sitting can lead to the dreaded generalized back pain, and a great many of us do sit for many hours of the day. 

Get Moving!

Researchers have also looked into different types of exercises and physical therapy to see what benefit a certain approach may have over another. The vast majority of conclusions are quite simple: MOVE. Our bodies are not made to be sedentary for prolonged periods of time in any position. Movement is the key. A brief change in your sitting posture every 30 minutes and routine exercising could negate the negatives of prolonged sitting as it pertains to back pain. Consider these approaches during your next work day.

4 Tips to Healthier Sitting

  1. Every 30 minutes, take a 1-2min standing/walking break.
  2. Sitting in a chair without a back and utilizing core muscles for upright sitting. 
  3. Removing your chair altogether and maintain a lunge position with your knee resting on a pillow. 
  4. Maintaining an exercise routine 3-4dy/wk.

If you have further questions or are suffering from this type of ailment, don’t hesitate to call LSTC at, 703-450-4300. Take care of your pain and start living pain free again!

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