We spend most of our days sitting in front of a computer for work, eat, and rest. Sitting is a great position in order to rest and work long hours but it might also cause tension in your lower back also called lumbar area as our bodies were not designed for this position. This is the reason why almost 80% of adults have to deal with lower back pains; these can be Sciatica, Muscle strain, Degenerative disc disease, Herniated disc, or many more issues. According to a Harvard Medical School study, the pressure on your lower discs is higher when you are in a sitting position than when you are standing. So there is no surprise if this area of your body which will be painful if you sit for too long.
These pains are annoying and go all the way down to your legs or feet. This is the reason why we will provide easy tips in order to prevent them or manage the pain but if they last for a long period of time, we highly recommend you to visit your Physiotherapist or Ostheopath (Do not make your own medical statement with what you just read on online forums...) Everyone is different, so everyone has different needs and different ways to solve their pains make sure you find YOUR way to solve your lower back issue.
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Change your sitting position
As sitting is the cause of your lower back pains, changing your sitting position is obviously the first thing to do. Our bodies are not made to remain sit for long hours.
As we mentioned above, sitting increases the pressure on your lower back discs so it is preferable to use a chair with a nice cushion so the pressure on your lower back discs will be reduced by a lot.
Now, you are sitting on a comfortable chair, it is important to adjust the height of your monitor. Make sure your monitor is set up at eye level while your back is straight and your head sitting well aligned with your spine, not lower and not higher. If it is set up too low, you will look down for hours and hours, you back will be rounded and create tensions. If it is set too high, you will need to extend your neck leading to compressing your cervicales and might lead to higher back pain or even headaches.
If the inflammation starts to be more painful despite your new sitting position, you can also apply ice pads for 20' every 2 hours. The cold ice pad will reduce the inflammation and the pain.
At Ahera, we work on standing desks, it means we can either work in sitting position or standing position. The standing position is the most natural position for the human body and allow us to change position frequently or use different muscle groups.
Now, you have a perfect position at your office, a lot of pressure on your back will be released and you will feel better quickly. In addition to this, we highly recommend you to exercise or stretch at least every 90'. These exercises or stretches are only a couple of minutes long and they are a great way to reduce the tensions and pains.
It is important to take small breaks in order to change position, exercise or stretch. These micro breaks will be pure relief for your lower back. When you are at the office, the exercices can be as simple as walking to the coffee machine, washroom, fill up your bottle of water - NO SODA - or do a couple of squats or lunges.
If the pains remain despite your new sitting position and your micro sports breaks, it MIGHT mean your abdominal belt and glutes are not strong enough. So once you go back home the list of exercises is way longer - check our article about the different exercises possible but make sure they do not cause extra pain. The most recommended exercises are:
Squats - Any kind as long as your back remains very straight;
Lunges (Front, reverse but avoid the side and crossed ones);
Front and sides planks;
And abs crunches.
Once again, make sure you do them properly, they are supposed to help the relief of the pain and not make it bigger. Start by making small amounts of repetitions and increase them as you get stronger and stronger. A workout doesn't have to be an hour long to be efficient, and a ten-minute workout is more useful than a zero-minute workout.
Stretches or Yoga
Doing yoga and stretches will help in multiple ways. First of all, it will force you to move away from your chair, then you will be exercising so increasing your blood flow in charge of bringing nutriments around your body while removing toxins from painful places.
In addition, back pains are most of the time due to muscle tensions, stretching them will help to reduce the tension all across your back and body. Stretch with care on your favourite Yoga mat - see article on the Essential fitness equipments you need for future great workouts - and listen to your body. Do not try to reproduce exactly what your instructor is doing, she or he has multiple years of experiences.
Hips are a place where strong muscles - Glutes, lombars, hamstrings, psoas, ... - meet so they are always under a lot fo tension. Your hips might be the painful part of your body but it is important to find where the issue comes from with your Physiotherapist or Ostheopath - Joint Dynamics Hong Kong in our case.
The most recommended stretching exercises are:
Downward facing dog;
Knees to chest;
Ankle over knee.
One more time, it is highly recommended you visit a specialist before starting any routine in order to reduce your back pains especially if you have experienced them multiple times and if they last longer than a couple of weeks. We have only given you general advices in order to help you to prevent these issues.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact our teams. They will be very pleased to share their knowledge and additional tips with you.
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