Sedentary work mode and back pain. How to deal with it?

Low physical activity, i.e. sitting for many hours and avoiding movement, causes the peri-spinal muscles to atrophy or be weakened. When the back and abdominal muscles do not support the posture properly, significant stresses are placed on the vertebrae and discs of the spine. Hence the reason why back pain is so common in people who spend most of their time behind a desk.

Check out why your back hurts and how to deal with spinal disorders!

Back pain – most common causes

Usually bad habits are the reason for back pain? Which one? 

  • Excessive strain on the spine when we lift heavy objects and lift incorrectly.
  • Incorrect and prolonged sitting – on the wrong chair or with putting one foot in front of the other, crooked sitting posture (e.g. supporting the head with one hand).
  • Standing still for too long – it is better to change position frequently when standing.
  • Incorrectly selected mattress and cushion.
  • Wearing shoes with high heels.
  • Carrying weights with the load on only one side.
  • Degenerative diseases of the spine, i.e. deformation and damage to the joints and vertebrae. The cause can be primary or acquired.
  • Spinal trauma – fracture of vertebrae, damage to the back and abdominal muscles, changes in the structure of the spine.
  • Incorrect posture, i.e. sitting in the wrong position, hunching over, often keeping the head pointed downwards.
  • Spinal defects.
  • Stress – causes excessive release of adrenaline, which leads to constant muscle tension. This causes pain in the spinal region, as well as headaches.
  • Diseases, e.g. tumours, located in the spinal region, tumours in the spinal cord.
  • Unbalanced diet with too little calcium and phosphorus.
  • Infection and inflammation – not only of areas related to the spine.

Symptoms of back pain: 

  • If you have pain in your lumbar and thoracic region, it may be a sign of degenerative changes caused by the destruction of joint cartilage and the formation of bone growths. Older people in particular complain of this type of pain.
  • Pain in the lumbar region may be indicative of discopathy. In this case, there is a herniation of the nucleus pulposus, which irritates or damages the nerves. People who work for long periods at a computer, even young people, usually complain of this type of back pain.
  • Lumbago, which manifests itself as pain in the lumbar region, occurs as a result of an injury resulting from spinal strain. It is a common ailment in people who work physically.
  • Osteoporosis can affect many sections of the spine and is caused by declining bone mass, weakening of the bones and their vulnerability to damage. Osteoporosis is a disease that affects older people, especially postmenopausal women.
  • Sciatica is a sharp pain in the lumbar region that radiates to the buttock, thigh, calf and even the foot. It results from pressure on the sciatic nerve and is characteristic of people with spinal degeneration.

Why does the back hurt when we sit for too long? 

Every human searches first for comfort and it’s why we chose a soft sofa instead of a hard chair, going by car instead of walking and sitting instead of walking. Also while sitting we don’t pay attention to what we sit and how we sit and that’s the reason why we have back pain after spending a few hours on a chair. 

Bad posture caused by a sedentary lifestyle. 

Sitting properly requires the spine to exert a lot of effort and tone the muscles called extensors. It is best to sit on something that forces you to maintain the correct posture and tone your back muscles, as this strengthens the corset and reduces the risk of spinal pain.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to imagine sitting during 8h at work on a ball or on a balance disc. We often choose chairs. More comfortable it is, the more time we want to sit on it. Nobody is capable of sitting properly for more than 20 or 30 minutes. Therefore the back needs a backrest all the time otherwise we hunch over, prop ourselves up, put one foot in front of the other.

The results of a sedentary lifestyle.

The human body is adapted to movement, yet modern lifestyles forces people to sit. This disturbs the function of the circulatory system, especially the venous system. When we sit for too long, the blood flows, but not as effectively as when we move, so toxins and metabolic products are not pumped through quickly enough, leading to a change in the chemical environment in the tissues and, later, to degenerative changes.

The venous plexuses that are part of the vertebrae, spinal canals and spinal cord mean that the spine can remain in good shape, provided, however, that we move.

Ways to relieve back pain

Back pain can have very different origins. The cause of back pain can be stress, overloading, illness of any of the internal organs. Therefore, you should never underestimate the pain or postpone visiting the doctor, especially if the discomfort lasts longer than two weeks or if it has appeared suddenly, has been very violent and prevents you from moving. On your own, you can try tried and tested methods for relieving back pain.

Beneficial effects of massage on the spine

A skilfully performed massage of the spine and the back muscles that support it helps to relieve tension, reduce pain, eliminate orthopaedic problems, and additionally relaxes the body and mind, which contributes to a better overall wellbeing.

Massage techniques such as Balinese, Thai or relaxing back, shoulder, neck and head massage are recommended for back pain. However, it is important that the treatment is carried out by professionals.

You can go for a safe massage to prevent back pain in Thai Bali Spa salons in six Polish cities: Krakow, Gdansk, Wolomin, Legionowo, Anin, Łomianki and Piaseczno!

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