Sitting Posture: As it relates to your Back

back-pain-pmrSitting posture is a simple everyday part of life that it is often overlooked and can contribute to your back pain. When we are sitting, there are more compressive forces through our backs. This is simply because we do not have our legs underneath us to displace some of our weight. In fact, some studies have found that the compressive force in the L4-L5 vertebrae is 40% greater in sitting than in standing. Now imagine how often you spend sitting everyday. Many of my patients are sitting upwards of 40 to 50 hours every week at their jobs. That is a lot of time to spend in one position week after week and over time, it can really add up.

The first thing that many people do when they have to sit for a long time is slouch. Slouching is easy to do because we just sit back, relax, and turn off all our muscles. However, what you are actually doing is hanging on all the passive structures in your back including your spinal ligaments, which can become overstretched or injured as a result. Also, the slouched posture can also place undue strain on our discs and surrounding structures. This can further exacerbate your back pain and continually aggravate it.

A trained physical therapist can evaluate your sitting posture and work station so that you are getting the support that your back needs. Identifying everything from how the armrests are positioned to the distance of your computer monitor. Physical therapists can analyze these problems and give you recommendations on how to improve them. Furthermore, we can then provide you with exercises that you can perform right at your desk to help relieve and reduce your pain. So think again to how much time you spend sitting every day and the impact that physical therapy can have on you and your back.

Posted in: Low Back

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