The Importance of Seated Stretches for Relieving Back Pain at Work
As we live in a sedentary world, more people are forced to spend the majority of their workdays seated at a desk. While this lifestyle may seem productive, it can cause several health problems, including lower back pain. If you’re experiencing back pain from sitting for long hours, multiple remedies can be taken to alleviate your discomfort. However, the most effective one is incorporating seated stretches into your work routine.
Experts at SitBetter have stated that the type of chair used can contribute heavily to back pain. If employees are using chairs that do not provide spinal support, it can further increase the chances of developing back pain. Therefore, companies should consider providing ergonomic chairs to reduce the risk of back pains among their employees.
In the meantime, if you’re experiencing lower back pain, there are stretches you can do to alleviate it. Performance Based Ergonomics have created a video displaying stretches you can perform at your desk. These stretches are straightforward, and include hip stretch, spinal twist, and seated hamstring stretch.
Hip stretches specifically target the hip flexor muscles responsible for connecting the hips to the lower back. When these muscles tighten, they tug on the lower spine which consequently contributes to lower back pain. Thus, by performing hip stretches, you loosen those muscles, reducing tension on the lower spine, and effectively diminishing your lower back pain.
The spinal twist, as the name suggests, focuses on loosening the spinal column by rotating. This movement stretches the muscles and joints of the spine, which ultimately eases lower back pain.
Another great stretch is the seated hamstring stretch. This stretch targets the hamstrings, the muscle group responsible for bending the knees and extending the hips. Tight hamstrings can contribute to lower back pain by pulling on the lower spine, therefore, loosening these muscles through this stretch can assist in easing back pain.
The Mayo Clinic also recommends different stretches, including seated spinal stretch, seated piriformis stretch, seated hip stretch, and seated hamstring stretch. These stretches have a profound effect on reducing lower back pain in office workers.
The seated spinal stretch is similar to the spinal twist but performed in a different position. It can provide relief to both upper and lower back pain as it focuses on stretching the spinal column from bottom to top. The seated piriformis stretch targets specific muscle regions in the buttocks that can cause lower back pain. The piriformis is responsible for external rotation of the hip when tightened, which can cause compression of the sciatic nerve that leads to pain in lower back, hip, and buttocks. By performing this stretch, tension is released from the sciatic nerve, ultimately easing lower back pain.
The seated hip stretch helps loosen up the hip joint and further decrease the tension on the lower spine. And again, the seated hamstring stretch aims to stretch the hamstring muscles to release tension on the lower spine.
In conclusion, preventive measures are better than cure. Reducing the risk of developing lower back pain should be the focus of companies, responsible for ensuring their employees’ health and safety. By providing ergonomic chairs, companies can reduce the risk of lower back pain among their employees. However, if you’re already experiencing back pain, stretches can be performed during the workday to ease that pain. Incorporating simple stretches mentioned in this article can effectively decrease lower back pain in office workers, ultimately boosting productivity and overall well-being.