Lower back pain from sitting all day is common among adults. According to the American Chiropractic Association, 31 million U.S. citizens experience low back pain at any given time. For some people suffering with this condition, getting relief is vital; a way to keep working and maintaining their livelihood. For others, it’s a minor annoyance. However, the challenge for individuals in both categories is finding a remedy right for them.
Static posture, the act of being in the same position for a long time, spurs on lower back pain. Why? It puts extra pressure on the spine, joints, and muscles. In addition, when static posture is coupled with medical conditions such as arthritis or environmental stressors that create and imbalance in the body, lower back pain worsens.
Symptoms of lower back pain vary. Depending on the source of discomfort, they range from a mild ache to an intense jolt. Below are three examples of this truth. Each diagnoses is linked to lower back pain, but affects the human body differently.
Sciatica occurs from irritation of the sciatic nerve. Individuals suffering from sciatica traditionally have radiating pain from the lower spine to the buttock and down the back of a leg.
Piriformis Syndrome is a neuromuscular disorder arising from the sciatic nerve being compressed by the piriformis muscle. Often referred to as pinched nerve in layman’s terms, it sends a tingling sensation and numbness to the buttocks, lower thigh and adjoining leg.
A herniated disc occurs when the ‘soft’ nucleus of a vertebral disc pushes through the outer ‘hard’ exterior. This type of injury causes pain and numbness to one side of the body extending from the arms to the legs. There is also the presence of unexplained muscle weakness.
Relief from lower back pain usually involves a multifaceted approach. A cure may involve both medication and lifestyle adjustments. Fortunately, there are a few proven ways to alleviate lower back pain available to individuals looking for a solution.
For males and females sitting for long periods, stretching is a necessity. By extending the arms, legs and back, tight muscles loosen up reducing the chances of trauma. A popular stretching exercise for individuals contending with lower back pain is the cat stretch. This technique involves getting on all fours and arching one’s back while tucking the head in.
According to medical studies, one extra pound adds three times more pressure to a human’s joints. For this reason, losing 10 pounds dramatically effects right lower back pain and left lower back pain, areas where ‘love handles’ tend to rest. Shedding this amount of weight is doable. By exchanging fried foods for their baked equivalents or drinking less soda, 10 pounds easily falls off the body within three months. These dietary changes coupled with exercise also helps.
Good posture not only makes a person appear more youthful, it also prevents back pain. So, whether standing up or sitting down, everyone should practice keeping the upper back straight, abdomen pulled in and arms hanging loosely to the side. Slouching or twisting into odd sitting positions only increases the risk of developing lower back pain.
Limit Bed Rest
The natural inclination for lower back sufferers is to lay down, especially on one’s side. Unfortunately, this type of activity only further aggravates sore muscles making them more stiff. A better option is to remain active. Walking and exercising the body helps reduce pain. Bed rest should be limited only to the amount of time regulated for eight hours of sleep.
Increased Water Intake
Surprisingly, dehydration is a root of back pain. Inside the disc area of the human vertebrae lies a gelatinous material made mainly of water. When properly hydrated, this substance supports body movement with less friction along the spine. When dehydrated, it does just the opposite. As a result, as recommended, people should drink eight glasses of water daily ensure their body moves fluidly without aches or pains.
The perfect office chair should fit like a glove. Chronic lower back pain can be eliminated by switching to an ergonomic chair, seating designed to offer optimum comfort and reduce the risk of injury. These days, most companies provide this type of equipment to their workers. The challenge lies merely in acquiring an ergonomic chair of the appropriate width and height. A rule of thumb: the size of a seat should accommodate the sitter so his or her feet don’t dangle and knees stick up.
Feet are the foundation for the body. When they aren’t properly taken care of, nothing on top works well either. For this reason, it’s important to wear shoes with proper arches and low heels. This combo is the surest way to keep the body aligned and, as a consequence, fend off lower back (and hip) pain.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, (NSAIDs) such as aspirin or Ibuprofen effectively treat chronic back pain. This medication works by sending a message to the brain that blocks pain. Users of NSAIDs should take them throughout the course of a day according to the manufacturer’s instructions in order to reduce their risk of incurring liver damage.
Surgery is a solution for lower back pain after other non-evasive treatments fail. As with any surgical procedure, manipulating the spine in this way is serious. Only after consulting with a reputable practitioner should anyone consider back surgery.
In summary, lower back pain is commonplace in America. Because of the sedentary lifestyle of the general populous, it’s unlikely to disappear. Yet, there are ways to deal with lower back pain effectively. By manipulating one’s environment, changing dietary habits and taking over-the-counter medication, this type of ache can be diminished or even eliminated.