How Sitting In A Chair Could Reduce Your Back Pain
Are you Over 40?
Do you do participate in the following activities:
If you answered YES to any of the options above, please read on and see if this sounds familiar..
When you first move your body you feel like this:
But when you sit down for an hour or two after, and go to get up, you feel like this:
If this is your situation, I’m guessing you would be shocked to find out that the solution to your low back pain could be dependent on what you do while your butt is in the seat. The moments just before your tush leaves the chair can make the difference between rough waters and smooth sailing for your stiff lower back.
Here’s the kicker; it may not be about lower back tightness at all.
When we walk, run, cycle, or swim, we are flexing our hips, shortening our calves and often increasing tension through the deeper muscles in, around and beneath the glutes. We repeat these short, choppy motions thousands of times per workout and then rush back to our jobs, cars or houses where we sit in a deeper flexed hip position to recover and get on with our day.
Here is the problem:
When we attempt to rise up out of the chair, our “now tighter” calves wont allow the shins to move forward, forcing excessive forward lean of our torso, putting increased pressure on the lower back and over loading the already tight and tired quadriceps at the knee as we push. The more pressure that is exerted at the knee joint as we come up, the more pull there is across the hip. This is primarily because one of the quad muscles crosses both the hip and the knee as does the connective tissue around the outside of the thigh muscles. Add in more tight muscles that connect the upper leg bone to lowest part of your spine/pelvis and..Houston, we have a problem.
3 Stretches x 3 Times per day or just before you get out of your chair
- Chair Stretch For Tight Hips:
- Hip/Quad: Move your butt forward and sit on the front/side of your chair, carefully reach same side leg back while *Keeping toes tucked under the back heel (see picture 1), sit up tall and gently lean tall spine backward until you feel a moderate pull in the rear thigh. Hold for 30 seconds per side.
- Glutes: Cross one ankle over the opposite thigh, just above the knee. Sit up tall and wiggle tailbone/butt toward the back of the chair to ensure you are not tucked under. Visualize a string pulling your head up to the ceiling and you should feel a stretch. If not, lean forward slightly. Low back should not round.
- Calf Release: Cross your calf over the top of your kneecap midway between the ankle and knee. Use your hands to pull the calf down onto the kneecap and search around for sore spots (they are usually on the centre/middle or upper outer parts of the calf). When you find a good spot, hold the pressure and gently move your foot up and down. Repeat on 3-5 spots per leg.
*This article is for entertainment purposes only. Use at own risk. Get a proper assessment from a regulated health care professional before starting any physical activity, especially if an underlying pathology of injury or disease exists.