How to Sit with Lower Back Pain

By Calvin Allison •  Updated: 01/01/23 •  8 min read

It may not sound astonishing, but the real world stats show around 3/5 Americans complain about back pain. The human body is a drum of flesh and fat posing tremendous pressure on your spine. But due to hectic routines and lousy sitting and sleeping habits, your spine suffers from postural stress. Thus, you form an affair with terrified back pain.

In this scenario, the sitting and standing positions become a heated hell for you. As we humans mostly spend half of our lives while sitting, we’ll be digging some insightful solutions about how to sit with lower back pain.

Your spine mostly gets affected with postural stress, or in the worst scenario, the Sciatica hunts you down. Both make sitting a damning hell. Nonetheless, the solution for both conditions is somewhat the same, but there are also some significant differences while dealing with these two.

Let’s jump onto the causes of back pain, the difference with Sciatica, and back pain resolution through some easy steps.

How to Sit With Lower Back Pain – Bring Comfort to Your Life:

Your spine contains the vertebrae (spinal columns). Stress mostly rejoices between the vertebrae number 1 to 5 (medically known as L1-L5). But what causes the stress? And how is it different from sciatica? Let’s have a brief discussion.

Cause of Back Pain and Difference with Sciatica:

The symptoms may be identical, but causes can vary. Most of the time, a poor sitting and sleeping posture does the damage. Otherwise, aggressive weight lifting in the gym, road accidents, athletic injuries, extensive bending, uneven body alignment, and overall weakness brings back pain in your life.

Secondly, contrary to sciatica, you can relieve pain in less duration. Back pain predominantly affects your back due to structural stress and only affects the back part. In parallel, sciatica distresses the whole lower body in the worst cases.

Now, the solution is a bit different. What you consider the best sitting positions for sciatica may not be the best cases here with typical back pain. As a result of this, first, do consult with your physician about the problem you are facing.

Fix Your Sitting Posture First:

I have mentioned some useful tweaks for sciatica in my last post. As the lower back is a different thing, so you should go the other way.

First of all, bring an excellent ergonomic chair with proper lumbar support. Without lumbar support, the C-arc curve of your back remains unsupported and gets easily prone to stress during longer sittings.

Moreover, an adjustable lumbar cushion will be a bonus for your back as you can manage it according to your body dynamics.

What’s more crucial here, and despite listening to it everywhere, you should less adopt a 90-degree upright angle sitting. Whether you are in your office or home, try to sit at an angle of 100-110 degrees.

Along with this, cross leg posture is a bad call; instead, make both feet flat to the ground.

This should make your thighs fully parallel and legs vertical to the ground to counter the stress. Beyond a 100-degree angle, you can practice 135-degree sitting for a good counter against back pain, but that makes you a little casual and unproductive at your office desk.

But during breaks or spare sessions, you can relax your back at 135-degree angle chairs.

Onto the head section, you should make a nice and straight 90-degree angle here. Your head averagely weighs 8% of your body weight. Making it simpler, your head weighs around 10-11 lbs.

Continuously tilting or bending your head forward will more likely produce strain to your upper back, which will lead to tenderness.

If you are a gadget lover and mostly spend your time on your phone or laptop, fix the usage height so it won’t trouble your posture.

Frequent Shuffle of Your Positions:

Whether you are a victim of back pain or not, Prolonged sittings are bad for overall health. Well, we can divide the sitting postures into 4 categories, and you should travel in-between these sessions by session to keep you active and productive.

Don’t Stretch Unnecessarily:

If you are working on an office desk, be very organized and keep your peripherals or frequently used items near your hand. Additionally, don’t create needless distance between your elbows and your body. The wider the elbows will be, the more stress will travel to your shoulders, neck, and back.

So, keep your elbows intact.

To save yourself from any avoidable stretch, keep all your notes, office documents, gadgets, and all other office stationary at a distance of 15-17 inches from your sitting. It saves you from leaning forward, which is ultimately a cause of back stress.

Always Use a Well-Ergonomic Chair:

Your chair also plays a crucial part here. Own a chair that is smooth enough to swivel and roll over on any surface. It prevents you from using extra force to move or rotate during your office hours. Swiveling is something that should keep your body connected with its mechanism. Rotating side-by-side creates tension in your lower back, ribs area, and thighs.

So, smooth swiveling only keeps your body well connected with the chair.

Heat and Ice Therapy:

Some magic lies in these inexpensive therapies. While the cramps and soreness don’t let you breathe easily, you can use Ice and Heat pouches for temporary relief.

Heat is an effective agent to improve blood supply, loosen the tight or cramped muscles, and remove soreness. Whereas ice will counter the Inflammation.

Bringing a 10-15 minutes session twice a day into your routine will eventually benefit you.

Some Bad Sitting Habits Which’ll Keep Bringing Back Pain into Your Life:

That’s really a piece of good news if you have taken over your back pain issue. But I know you probably have had some bad habits that caused this anarchy in your life. Let’s assume how to counter some bad sitting habits:

Always Sit Straight: Sitting with curvy back and forward rolled shoulders isn’t the main culprit behind the back pain. Specifically, the rolled forward shoulder put pressure between chest and back muscles, thus trapping in the cage of back fatigue.

Keep your Head Upright: I perfectly know the latest advancements in mobile technology, and the boom in social media has brutally caught the human being. While using a mobile phone, people keep their head/neck bent for hours and hours that directly stresses the back.

Unnecessarily Leaning Forward: Maintain an optimal distance between your desk and chair, so your elbow, neck, shoulder, and back remain in an intact position leaving no room for cramping and soreness.

Less Usage of water: Low water consumption leaves muscles dehydrated, resulting in cramping and back pain. Ideally, you should consume 1-2 liters of water daily to keep your body hydrated and flexible.

You stick to your Couch too long: Prolonged sittings are generally bad for overall health. Sitting in the same posture and position for long hours will only create more chances for the development of back pain. Instead, bring some exercises or Yoga to your life.

The Bottom Line: Wrapping Up the Story:

Back Pain is a common issue in our daily life, and one can’t guarantee the safest ways to avoid back pain. However, these steps can ensure the fastest recovery and counters against back pain. Hopefully, you know now how to sit with lower back pain.

Moreover, you can watch some other best sitting posture for lower back pain on YouTube for better practice.

Bust the Myths, Not Your Mind – FAQs:

Is it better to sit or lay down with lower back pain?

Laying down is the better approach. But the right idea is not to stick with your bed. Make intervals of resting and movements. Keep your muscles active for better blood flow throughout your body.

What is the fastest way to relieve back pain?

There are various methods to counter back pain in which exercising and stretching make your muscles flexible and away from soreness. Apart from these, chiropractic sessions or physiotherapies save you big time. 

What to do when your back hurts so bad you can’t move?

It happens mostly when your muscles get extremely cramped or soared. To bring them in a flexible position, first, take heat therapies to relieve them. Then start with light stretches and exercises to get yourself in a movable condition.

Calvin Allison