How to Cure Your Back Problems From Sitting All Day
When you sit all day, your back works overtime to support your entire upper body. You may have pressure on your back from an uncomfortable chair and poor posture, and may experience pain and stiffness because of these factors. The back is not meant to be in one position for extended periods of time and muscles need to stretch and flex throughout the day to be relaxed and pain-free.
If you notice that you have back problems from sitting all day, consider a few tips for keeping yourself free from aches and pains.
Stretch as Often as Possible
The muscles often get cramped and sore when blood is not able to flow freely. When you sit, the back muscles are tensed in order to support the upper body and they are compressed, not allowing proper blood flow. To combat this problem, stretch as often as possible throughout the day. Get up from your desk and pace when you are on the phone. Walk to a coworker’s desk rather than calling them, or use your coffee breaks as time to walk around the building or outside. Take a few minutes every hour to stretch your back so the blood keeps flowing and you have less pain.
Mind Your Posture
When you are slouched over, your muscles are contracted and compressed, and they are working overtime to support your body. When you sit up straight, all the muscles of your back work to give you support, but when you are slouched, only certain muscles are being used. Because these few muscles are working on their own, they become more sore and stiff because they are overworked. Sitting up straight means using all those muscles to give you support, and it also allows more blood to flow through your back. Make a habit of checking your posture regularly; do this every half hour and straighten yourself as necessary.
Strengthen Your Core Muscles
If your muscles are stronger around your midsection, your back will get more support and your back muscles will be less overworked and in turn, less stiff and sore. Pilates is a great way to strengthen your muscles and can also help to improve your posture. General exercises like sit-ups can build your ab muscles which in turn supports your back muscles. This will help with muscle stiffness.
Relax Your Muscles
When muscles are tense, they become sore and stiff. Relaxing them will help with this pain. Try yoga and other simple exercises that are meant to gently stretch and relax your back. You can also relax your back muscles by taking pressure off them throughout the day. Lie down on a comfortable surface and put a pillow under your knees; this alleviates pressure on your back. You might also lie down on your stomach with a pillow under your upper body to relax the back. Use a massager for your back or run hot water over the back muscles in the shower.
A sore back also needs supportive surfaces. Check your mattress and invest in a waterbed or memory foam. Use a posture pillow on your chair at work, or request an ergonomic chair. These things will relax the back and give you the support you need for less pain and discomfort throughout the day.