Part 1 of 3: How to Sit to Avoid Back Spasms - The Physio Revolution

Part 1 of 3: How to Sit to Avoid Back Spasms

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If you are struggling to get in a comfortable position for sitting or find it really hard to sit on couches or soft surfaces that leave your back having spasms or pain, then this blog is for you…

A lot of people come to our clinic because they struggle with back pain and want to know how to stop back pain FAST without painkillers or surgery, so they can avoid slowing down.

In this blog series Part 1 of 3, we will cover how to stop back pain while sitting with natural solutions that are practical, and easy to implement in your life.

Why Do I Have Back Pain When I Sit On Couches or Soft Chairs?

Typically, softer chairs have the ability for your bum to sink further down leaving your knees higher than your hips. This puts your pelvis in a rounded position for you to sit on your tailbone. 

When you sit on your tailbone, your spine has to take more pressure & stress to hold in that position and it elongates all your strong back muscles, leaving them hard to support you.

How to Reduce Back Pain So You Can Sit Easily In Chairs

If you struggle to sit comfortably in softer surfaces, there are a number of natural ways to reduce back pain and help you get comfortable.

What To Do To Reduce Back Pain So You Can Sit

A good starting point is to take pillows and build your surface up. Putting cushions or pillows under your bottom in that soft surface will get your hips higher and more neutral to your knee height.

If that doesn't feel steady to sit like that, then the next place to go is to a firmer surface. By getting a firmer surface to sit on, your pelvis can get in better position and the foundation of your spine will feel more secure, leaving you with less discomfort.

Lastly, try a lumbar support at the small of your back or just above your buttocks. You'll want something like a beach towel rolled up, small lumbar pillow folded, or anything that can be of a firm surface to help support you in a better, neutral position.

Remember - try to find a position where your knee and hip are parallel to one another. This will set up your foundation to be in a good position to support your entire spine.

What’s The Best Thing To Do For Reducing Back Pain When Sitting?

Set An Alarm

If you're like everyone else we see, you likely get caught up on the computer or in a TV show and this can make 45 to 90 minutes go by in a breeze. It's often too late when you notice your back starting to spasm or tighten up. 

So, the goal is to stay ahead of the discomfort. In order to do this, you'll just need to set an alarm on your phone to help remind you every 20-30 minutes to get up and move. 

Something as small as just walking to the kitchen and back to get a glass of water or standing and marching in place is a great place to start to lubricate your joints, especially your back. This is going to be very important to do and to remember then to set the alarm again once you come back. Rinse & repeat to stay ahead of stiffness and low back spasms.

An important thing to remember with sitting is to change up positions often. There's no "perfect posture" that exists. If there was a perfect posture that we'd recommend - it'd be one that supported you moving often and frequently instead of staying in 1 position for too long.

Watch the video above to learn more from Dr. Brooke about How to Sit to Avoid Back Spasms.

Brooke Olsen

Brooke Olsen

Co-Founder, Director of Physical Therapy
Brooke is a physical therapist, director of physical therapy, and co-founder at The Physio Revolution. She has worked with professional athletes from Olympic level and recreational weekend warriors to others who are in need of regaining their independence and mobility back in their everyday life. Brooke works extensively with all of the PT’s and spends a vast amount of her time ensuring our treatment plans keep pace with the rapid advancements that make physical therapy so effective and such a ‘go-to’ profession for people aged 45+.
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