Spinal Anatomy Lower Back Pain
For the purpose of this article, it is helpful to envision the lumbar spine as a tube with supporting structures in front of and behind it. The tube represents the spinal canal that contains the cerebrospinal fluid and nerve roots. At each lumbar level, a pair of nerve roots exit the tube through small openings called the neural foramen . Behind the neural foramen are the facet joints that allow for motion at each lumbar segment. The paraspinal muscles attach to the back of the bony spinal column and help stabilize and extend the spine. In front of the tube are the bony vertebral bodies separated by the intervertebral discs that act as shock absorbers.
The alignment of the spinal column, from the skull to the pelvis, is S shaped. The cervical and lumbar spinal segments are lordotic while the thoracic spine is kyphotic . The amount of lordosis or curvature is not static and can change based on body position. Compared to standing, sitting decreases your lumbar lordosis by approximately 50%.
- Changes in lumbar lordosis will alleviate certain forms of back pain and will aggravate others as will be described below.
- Paraspinal Muscles: Prolonged sitting, especially if slouching, can cause overstretching of the paraspinal muscles. Imagine how sore your hamstrings would be if you tried to touch your toes for an hour!
Treatments For Back Pain From A Specialist
A GP, specialist or physiotherapist may recommend extra treatments if they do not think your pain will improve with self-help measures alone.
These may include:
- group exercise classes where you’re taught exercises to strengthen your muscles and improve your posture
- manual therapy treatments, such as manipulating the spine and massage, which are usually done by a physiotherapist, chiropractor or osteopath
- psychological support, such as cognitive behavioural therapy , which can be a useful part of treatment if you’re struggling to cope with pain
Some people choose to see a therapist for manual therapy without seeing a GP first. If you want to do this, you’ll usually need to pay for private treatment.
Surgery is generally only considered in the small number of cases where back pain is caused by a specific medical condition.
Make Sure You Have Proper Support In Every Place You Sit
If you sit at work, your chair should encourage you to have good posture. The American Chiropractic Association recommends the following:
If any of the chairs you use don’t have good support, you can put a small pillow or rolled up towel just above your hips between you and your chair, giving your spine a slight curve.
When driving, make sure your lower back is supported. If it’s not, you can buy a McKenzie Lumbar Roll or even a rolled up towel. It might take a little bit of searching to find something that puts your spine in a good position.
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How To Relieve Back Pain From Standing
Back pain is one of the most pervasive disorders in the United States. Around 80 percent of adults struggle with lower back pain some time in their life. If you have a job that requires you to stand all day, you may develop back pain that ranges from mild pangs to severe discomfort.
Your backs anatomy is designed to support the weight of your upper body while you stand. The back is made up of vertebral bones with round, rubbery pads called discs between each which act as shock absorbers. Add to this the ligaments, tendons and thirty-one pairs of nerves, and theres a lot of different parts that can go wrong and cause pain while youre standing.
Stress on your back from poor posture is the most common cause of back pain for people who stand at work all day. It creates increased pressure on your spine that makes lower back muscles tighten and then spasm, which causes pain. However, your lower back sees a lot of action every single day. From bending to moving around, its the most used part of your spine, making it susceptible to injury and wear and tear over time. If youve developed a spinal condition, standing can aggravate inflammation increasing lower back pain.
Back pain is one of the leading causes of missed workdays. If you struggle with back pain while standing, dont let it make you miss one more day of work. Here are some tips on how to relieve back pain caused by standing all day.
Bad Habits Contribute To Back Pain When Standing Lifestyle Changes Can Help
Parts of your everyday routine may be contributing to the low back pain you experience when standing. These include:
- Not exercising regularly or doing the wrong exercises
- Having poor posture which interferes with proper weight distribution
- Not wearing supportive shoes or, if necessary, orthotics
- Sleeping on an old or unsupportive mattress
- Lifting heavy objects or weight-lifting as a form of exercise
- Being overweight or obese
Some changes are easier to make than others and some require professional assistance. For example, while it may be easy enough to purchase a new mattress, you are probably better off consulting a doctor who understands which type of mattress is best in your particular case. Similarly, purchasing over-the-counter orthotics is rarely wise. Such products should be customized to serve your unique needs.
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How To Prevent Back Pain When Standing
While standing up all day at work can be a real pain, it doesn’t have to leave you in pain.
As by learning and practicing a few good habits you can take the pressure off your back and stand more comfortably.
So here are 10 ways you can prevent back pain when standing.
Try to implement a few of them into your daily routine and see if it helps you.
Exercises To Help Lower Back Pain
The exercises below are meant to strengthen and improve flexibility in your muscles to support your lower back. Lower back pain may be recurring or a one-time experience. Doing these back strengthening exercises daily will ease lower back pain and prevent future episodes by strengthening your abdominal, hip, and back muscles.
Knee to Chest Stretch
This stretch is an easy way to warm up for your workout.
âStep 1: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
âStep 2: Use both hands to pull one knee into your chest.
âStep 3: Tighten your abdominals and press your spine to the floor. Hold for 5 seconds.
âStep 4: Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
You can repeat this stretch 2 to 3 times in the morning and at night.
Lower Back Rotational Stretch
This is another easy stretch to get your muscles ready to move.
âStep 1: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
âStep 2: Keep your shoulders firmly on the floor, roll your bent knees to one side and hold for 5 to 10 seconds.
âStep 3: Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
You can repeat this 2 to 3 times in the morning and night.
Glute Bridges Exercise
This exercise aims to strengthen your glute and abdominal muscles.
âStep 1: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
âStep 3: Hold the position as long as you can, starting with 3 deep breaths. Then return to the starting position.
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Who Gets Back Pain
Most people have back pain at some point in their lives. Its one of the most common medical problems. Youre more likely to experience back pain as you get older.
Many people hurt their backs when they lift, push, or pull something that’s too heavy.
You may also be at risk for back pain if you:
- Are pregnant
- Have poor posture
- Arent physically active
- Fall or have an accident
- Have a health problem that can cause back pain
How Prolonged Standing Can Lead To Feet & Leg Problems
Prolonged standing puts stress on the lower part of the body, hence straining bones, tendons, ligaments, and muscles in your body. It can also cause low blood supply to the lower part of the body, leading to soreness. Blood accumulation in your leg may also result from prolonged standing, increasing your risk of developing edema, varicose veins, and flat feet.
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Stand On A Sloped Surface
The other cows never understood how Daisy managed to stay standing longer than them.
Now I’m not convinced with this one personally.
Because from my own experience I know that my back starts screaming after standing on an uneven surface, even for just a short amount of time.
But there is science to back up the benefits of standing on a sloped surface so I thought I’d include it and you can make up your own mind!
For example one study tested how small groups of workers would react to standing on a sloped surface rather than a flat one.
And they found that the workers using the sloped surface had:
- Different pelvis and spinal postures while they stood which reduced the load on their lower back.
- Less hip and trunk muscle co-activation .
Both of these factors had a positive effect on the workers and they had less lower back pain afterwards.
In fact, many requested to keep using the sloped surface afterwards.
So there might be something in this!
And while I won’t be rushing to try this out for myself, if you do fancy investigating further then the sloped surface they used in the study was the eQuilibrium Almond.
Managing Low Back Pain
Manage back pain with regular exercise and professional help as requiredIf you have an attack of lower-back pain that is severe, continuous and not improving, assessment and treatment by a health care professional who focuses on the back or other musculoskeletal problems may help. These practitioners may use both active and passive techniques to help you feel better. Examples of passive techniques that may be used to get you moving include:
- Heat or ice
An active approach, like walking or water aerobics is usually the most effective. Exercise is often the best way to relieve lower-back pain.
Check with your health care provider before starting an exercise program.
Work with an expert. It may help to work with a health professional who can explain which activities are right for you.
Choose exercises you enjoy. Many activities can help relieve back pain. Try to include activities that strengthen the muscles around your trunk, your abdominal muscles as well as those in your lower back. Studies show the following activities help relieve back pain:
- Lifting light weights
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Buy An Ergonomic Chair And/or Standing Desk
In most cases, sitting down for an extended period is unavoidable. In these situations, choosing an ergonomically friend chair preferably one with lumbar support can help diminish the risks of developing back pain. Its also crucial to buy a desk that can work with your setup, and relieve some of the pressure you normally experience when sitting down.
Keep in mind that simply buying an ergonomic chair isnt enough: you need to make the necessary adjustments to fit your entire setup. You can consult an online guide about how to set up an ergonomic chair though consulting your doctor is still the best option.
Home Remedies For Lower Back Pain When Sitting
In addition to improving your posture when sitting, try these at-home remedies for lower back pain:
- Change your position. Consider a standing desk or one thats ergonomically designed to help you maintain good posture by allowing you to adjust the height of your monitor.
- Apply ice.Cold helps reduce inflammation that may be affecting your back. Leave the ice pack on for about 20 minutes, and then remove it. You can do this every hour or so.
- Use a heating pad. After any inflammation is under control , many people find heat soothing. It also promotes healing by bringing blood to your back.
- Take over-the-counter medication.Pain relievers like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can reduce discomfort and swelling.
- Use a support. Placing a rolled-up towel or special lumbar pillow at the base of your spine while sitting will help you remember to sit up straight and provide you with some stability.
- Get a massage. This can help loosen and relax tight muscles.
- Consider yoga.Yoga is known for its ability to stretch and strengthen the body. Many programs allow for modification of the poses as needed.
There are several exercises that will help strengthen your lower back. Try these three stretching exercises to help make your back stronger and better toned:
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Alternate Between Sitting And Standing
Waitresses, bank tellers, chefs, factory workers etc. often get their jobs done while standing, hence they should alternate between standing and sitting to ensure theres proper blood circulation throughout their bodies. You can sit while receiving a phone call or doing some paperwork.
Take every chance you get to sit down and even raise your legs a bit if thats possible to enhance blood circulation. Remove your shoes to let your feet relax and cool down due to evaporation and as fresh air hits them.
Take advantage of lunch breaks and even break times to relax after prolonged standing. If your workplace has no seats, go for lunch in a nearby mall or food court just to make sure you get a chance to break from standing and sit for awhile.
Aged people are more susceptible to leg injuries and conditions such as varicose veins because their tendons and ligament have lost elasticity. Take any chance you get to alternate between standing and sitting to relieve your feet and legs of pain.
Wear Compression Hose & Socks
Compression hoses are designed to increase blood flow in your feet it works by squeezing them. They help prevent formation of blood clots in your limbs that may arise from prolonged standing. With technological improvements, there are various socks types you can wear to prevent adverse effects of prolonged standing.
Socks designed to use moisture-absorbent technology can absorb moisture from your feet to reduce the kind of discomfort thats caused by wet feet. Copper or anti-bacterial socks can assist in minimizing foot odor caused by bacterial infections.
Anti-friction socks are perfect if you want to protect your feet from developing hot spots and blisters due to prolonged standing. On the other hand, socks with padding beneath heels are designed to help reduce pressure on your heels. Opt for socks with extra stretch material if youre in need of arch support for your feet.
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Straight Leg Calf Stretch
The calf stretch is another good exercise that will strengthen the muscles that support your foot. To do this exercise, place both hands against a wall at chest height, place the injured foot about a step behind the other foot, making sure that both feet are flat against the floor. Then simply leans towards the wall, hold for 15 to 30 seconds, then release and repeat.
What Causes Pains In Lower Back While Standing
The quick answer is if the discs and facet joints become inflamed, they may cause pain in the lower back in standing.
The lower back anatomy is made up of vertebral bones stacked to support the body in an upright position. These bones have a disk between each of them to cushion them and provide stability. They also have a joint on both sides called facet joints, which allow movement between each spine level.
low back pain with standing
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Overlooked Remedies For Lower Back Pain Relief
When lower back pain persists and continues to interfere with your quality of life, multiple treatment options may be needed for adequate relief. Below are some back pain treatments that are commonly overlooked or underused. Try one or more of these remedies to see which one, or combination, works best for you.
Stretches To Help Relieve Backpain From Sitting All Day
Sitting down and becoming inactive is detrimental to our overall health. I can most certainly damage our backsides. This, in turn, leaves us feeling like our backsides are sore all the time. When we use our sit bones a little too often, it creates and puts excess pressure on our lower back, nerves, muscles, and tendons according to Harvard Health. The good news is, there are some exercises to relieve our back pain.
Very Well Fit.com states that The hamstring muscle group is located in the back of your thigh and is responsible for bending or flexing your knee.
- Stand in front of a staircase or low stool.
- Put one foot on the lowest step and lean forward at your hip until you feel a stretch in the back of the thigh in your standing leg.
- Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds. Repeat three times and then repeat with the other leg.
Knee to Chest
The knee to chest stretch helps to lengthen your back, relieving any pain in the area. To perform the knee-to-chest stretch as instructed by Gavin Van De Walle, MS, RD:
To make this stretch more difficult, simultaneously bring both of your knees to your chest for 1520 seconds. Do this 3 times, separated by 30 seconds of rest.
This stretch is something that you can do anywhere and everywhere. To perform the standing plank all you need to do is:
Seat Forward Bend
This exercise releases the tension in your spine. To perform the seat forward bend:
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