Is Sitting Bad for my Back?

Is Sitting Bad for my Back?

Is Sitting Bad for my Back?

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Lately,  there has been many articles on the bad side effects of sitting too long.  Due to lack of activity,  there is weight gain,  body shape molding,  increased cardiac risk,  and even some studies show higher mortality rates for people who sit for prolonged times on a frequent basis.

As a spine specialist, there is also another potential problem with constant sitting.  It may contribute to more back pain.

For some time,  scientists have know that sitting and posture will effect the height of the disks to the spine.  Last year,  a study stated that prolonged continuous sitting will change the height of the L4-5 Disk,  but if you intermittently change positions,  the disk will not undergo that change.

Other studies show that prolonged sitting will cause a stiffness of the spine,  and reduced range of motion.

Some anatomic studies also show advantages to certain types of sitting chairs.

We do not completely understand why prolonged sitting  is associated with back pain,  but data collected  about work related incidence of back pain  shows a trend  for more back pain with more sitting activities,  including driving.

If you must sit here are a few suggestions to decrease your chances of developing back pain:

  1. Sit upright,  with restoration of the small curve to your lower back  (maintain lumbar lordosis).  Do not over compensate with excess lordosis!
  2. Use a firm chair,  that allows you to maintain optimal posture.  Too soft a chair will not allow you to maintain proper form.
  3. Position your computers,  files,  etc., so you are not hunched over them,  or gazing at them at a steep angle.
  4. Make sure you get up and take a few steps every 45 minutes.
  5. Stretch your feet,  hips,  knees,  while in the chair every 30 minutes.
  6. Consider standing while making phone calls.
  7. Instead of sitting in the chair,  maintain a squatting position for a few minutes,  a few times a day.
  8. Exercise and stretch on a regular basis.
  9. Do not eat at your desk!

Citations

  • Poulard D, Subit D, Donlon JP, Lessley DJ, Kim T, Park G, Kent RW. The Contribution of Pre-impact Spine Posture on Human Body Model Response in Whole-body Side Impact. Stapp Car Crash J. 2014 Nov;58:385-422. PubMed PMID: 26192961

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Author and Contributor to www.Spine-Health.com – July, 2015

www.Spine-Health.com/author/john-h-shim-md-facs

Chief of Surgery, Mease Countryside and Mease Dunedin Hospitals, Safety Harbor and Dunedin, Florida. 2014-2016.

Orthopaedic Section Chief Mease Countryside Hospital; Safety Harbor, Florida Mease Dunedin Hospital; Dunedin, Florida.2008-2013

Board Member Morton Plant Mease Research Council

Co-Director of Mease Neuro-Ortho Spine Center Mease Dunedin Hospital; Dunedin, Florida.

One of “6 Spine Physicians Ranked #1 on Google” – December 2016

Top Ten Most Liked Spine Surgeons on the Internet – July 2016

2016 Spine Surgeons to Know list – January 2016

2014 Spine Specialists to know list – September 2014

One of Ten Leaders of Certified Spine Programs – December 2011

 

The Best Orthopedics in Tampa

The information provided on this website does not provide or should be considered medical advice. It is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment of any condition. The information provided is for informational purposes only. You should not rely solely on the information provided on this website in making a decision to pursue a specific treatment or advice. You should consult directly with a professional healthcare provider.

As a condition of using the information on this website, ShimSpine and its physicians are not responsible for any advice, diagnosis, treatment or outcome you may obtain.

ShimSpine.com is completely self-funded. No outside funds are accepted or used. This website does not utilize paid advertising as a source of revenue.
Outpatient Spine Surgery Considerations. www.Spine-Health.com. January 2016.

What is Spinal Stenosis? www.Spine-Health.com. October 2015.

Surgeon insights on the Changing Landscape of Orthopedic Care. OrthopedicToday. June 2014

Chapter 33: Interspinous Spacers. Shim JH, Mazza JS, Kim DH Published in Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Spinal Techniques. Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Published 2011)

Chapter 35: Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Lumbar Fusion Technique.Shim JH, Mazza JS, Kim DH Published in Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Spinal Techniques. Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Published 2011)

March 2010 Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting New Orleans, Louisiana February 2010

February 2010 A Review of Dynamic Stabilization in the Lumbar Spine Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

November 2009 Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Community Based Lecture; Tampa, Florida

September 2009 Instructor/Proctor Minimally Invasive Lumbar Cadaver Lab; Tampa, Florida

February 2009 New Spinal Technology: Cervical Disc Replacement and Interspinous Spacers. Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

February 2008 The Degenerative Spine: The Role of Dynamic Lumbar Stablization and Interspinous Spacers Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

October 2008 Emerging Technology and Techniques in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

September 2007 Emerging Technology in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

October 2006 Emerging Technology and Techniques in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

May 2005 The Role of Kyphoplasty in the Treatment of Vertebral Compression Fractures Mease Neurosciences Symposium; Clearwater, Florida
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