Sitting posture is a significant factor in lower back pain. Good sitting posture prevents it, while improper posture either causes or exacerbates the pain.
The chair on which you sit is a critical player in determining posture. You, therefore, want to go for the best possible chair for your back.
Causes of Lower Back Pain
Back pain is one of the leading causes of disability in the world. It is also one of the main reasons people miss work and go to see a doctor.
A significant percentage of those who complain of back pain experience it in their lower back. The following are some of the causes of lower back pain.
· Disc Injury
These injuries occur when discs in the vertebral column slip or rapture. The cartilage around the disc then presses against the spine or surrounding nerve roots. The pain that results from this situation can be excruciating and can last for up to three days.
Discs usually rapture due to heavy lifting. Older people are more likely to suffer from ruptured discs.
· Back Strain
Back strain occurs due to excessive activity. You can tell you have a strained back if the pain is accompanied by stiffness in the lower back.
This pain is usually cured through rest. In more extreme cases, physical therapy might be necessary.
Arthritis is one of the leading causes of lower back pain, especially among senior citizens. It is caused by inflammation of the joints.
Other causes of lower back pain include sciatica, spondylosis, spinal stenosis, abnormal spinal curvatures, and many more.
The Importance of Posture
The back is an intricate part of the body, and good posture is vital for its health. Posture is especially critical for people who spend most of their time seating or standing.
People who work in offices all day fall under this category.
People tend to slouch forward or backward when sitting.
Slouching puts pressure on your spine and puts too much pressure on some spinal discs instead of having the weight evenly distributed on the back as a whole.
If you continue to have poor posture for a long time, the spine might curve in unnatural ways causing severe back pains. Other consequences of poor posture include strained blood vessels and constricted nerves.
Bad posture causes exacerbate back pain, headaches, sustained fatigue, and other symptoms. In extreme cases, it may destroy vital organs such as the lungs.
The chair you sit on is a critical determinant of your posture.
You should, therefore, endeavor to get the best chair that caters to your posture.
How to Choose the Right Office Chair for Back Pain?
As life becomes more and more sedentary, the chair takes on greater responsibility to support the back and the whole body.
It would be best if you endeavored to get the right chair to support your back. The following are some of the factors you should consider.
Choose a chair that fits- There are some recommended measurements for your seat. One of them is that there should be a space of at least one inch between your body and the armrest. You should also be able to rest on the back of the chair while still leaving a one-inch gap on your calf.
Adjustable height- You should choose a chair whose height you can adjust. The ideal height of the chair is where the pan of the chair is level with your knee when you are standing. A chair with tilt adjustment is an excellent option as it allows you to stretch your back from time to time. Moving the seat pan downwards when working helps stretch the lower back while an adjustable backrest stretches the upper back.
The right-back height- For a chair to effectively support you, its back should end just above your shoulders when you are seated. Manufacturers usually make chairs with oversized backs because they don't know the size of buyers. Oversized backs are okay, but a chair whose height is equal to or below your shoulder height is unhealthy.
Lumbar support- A good seat curves inward at the lower back position. The curve allows your back to stay in its natural position. This takes care of the problem of posture. If your chair doesn't provide lumbar support, you can use lumbar rolls, D-rolls, or lumbar cushions for support.
Backrest angle- The reclined seat posture is an excellent way of relieving pressure on your back. Your backrest should allow you to recline at least 165 degrees.
How should I Sit when Suffering from Lower Back Pain?
Sitting can be an ordeal when you have lower back pain. Therefore, the best option when dealing with back pain is to avoid sitting as much as possible.
You should only sit for periods not exceeding fifteen minutes at a time.
During these short sitting periods, you should always provide lower-back support. You can improvise the support at home, such as a rolled towel, or purchase a lumbar cushion, a lumbar roll, or a D-roll.
Keeping your knees and hips at right angles when sitting is another way to support your back. Don't cross your legs, and ensure your feet rest flat on the ground.
It would help if you always tried to sit on a stiff high-back chair with the right curves for support.