Tips for the prevention of back pain for sitting posture are priceless and is not expensive. Every day, there are countless opportunities to adopt sitting posture, whether it’s eating, driving, working, watching TV. Seated posture, although more restful than standing posture or walking, is often maintained prolonged and can cause injury or pain in the back or other joints, such as herniated discs. Indeed, the pressure applied to the lumbar discs is greater when sitting than standing. Several adaptations of sitting posture can minimize pressure on discs and other biomechanical phenomena that cause back pain. Here are some of them.
In general, when sitting, apply the following tips:
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- Avoid asymmetrical sitting postures at all times. Seated postures maintained for Long periods of time cause back twisting and severe joint stress that can lead to postural imbalances and pain.
- Avoid sitting upset. In this posture, the spine is in maximum flexion. Thus, your intervertebral discs experience excessive stress and in the long run you may suffer from disc degeneration or a herniated lumbar disc .
- Sit frankly on your buttocks and tightly leaned to the bottom of the chair so that your spine is straight, your back comfortably pressed to a backrest, keeping the lumbar lordosis (lower back hollow) and keeps the pelvis in a neutral position. You can add a rolled towel or a small cushion to preserve the hollow in the lower back. Lumbar rollers are specially designed for this purpose. But, not all professionals use the same rollers or in the same way. If in doubt, consult.
- Align your head and neck with the rest of your back. Thus, the head and neck should be between the shoulders and not forward.
- When you measure less than 5’4″, your feet do not touch the bed. Use a footrest.
- Avoid working on the end of your chair. Sit comfortably in your chair.
- For reading, use pillows to press your elbows, forearms and wrists to put your book at eye level. If you read while holding your book on your knees, you force your neck into a prolonged bending posture and you may cause disc degeneration or cervical disc herniated .
- To watch TV, sit comfortably in front of your device, with your head leaning on the backrest or a pillow. The TV must be in front of you, eye height. If you need to turn your head (TV to the side) or extend your neck (TV too high), you should redesign your environment. Avoid lying on your couch, your head turned to one side. Vary your postures.
Static lumbar self-extension exercise (the sphinx)
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Vary sitting posture alternating with standing or lying activities. If you watch TV or read, why not do it in the sphinx posture?
- Take a seat in the car by sitting first and turning your back in block. Get out of it in the reverse movement. Regardless of your size, car adjustments should allow you to drive safely and relaxed.
Read our series of articles on back pain, postures in everyday life, lying posture, choosing a mattress and choosing from a pillow. Check out our next article for more ergonomics tips for sitting posture at the computer.
Ask back pain prevention advice from our rehabilitation professionals. We can help you.
jf Duranleau, Pht, D.O.
In collaboration with:
Marie-Eve Campeano, FRT
Marie-Pier Boivin-Desrochers, Pht, D.O.
Véronique Leblanc, massage therapist