It is very normal for working mums to sit for very long hours at their office, while travelling or during meetings. This prolonged sitting can sometimes extend to home when watching cartoon with the kids or Netflix after the kids go to bed. It may not be a very uncommon scenario to experience pain in the lower back when you stand up after prolonged sitting and it can even take a little while for you to actually stand up straight. There are three common reasons why this can happen. Let's discuss these in this blog.
Firstly if you have a herniated or slipped disc it can be painful for you to stand up and straighten your spine after sitting down for more than a few minutes or hours. When you have a herniated disc your pain gets aggravated when bending forwards (bringing your legs towards you in sitting is similar to bending forwards from the spine as the torso and legs are coming closer in both these positions). In addition to this, when you sit for more than 20 minutes the stresses on the disc starts to build up. The longer you sit the more the stress on the disc and the more difficult it is to stand up straight from a sitting position.
The second reason is sciatica or sciatic nerve pain. This can be caused by various reasons one of which is a herniated or slipped disc. Sciatica can manifest as tingling, numbness, pain, discomfort or burning sensation anywhere from your lower back to your bottom, to the back of the thighs and legs and down to your toes. When you suffer from sciatica prolonged sitting can aggravate your sciatic nerve, thus flaring up your sciatica. When you try to stand up it can take a while for the nerve to stop hurting and for your body to adjust to the new posture.
The third reason is if you've had a back strain (sprained muscle or ligament). This is usually seen with people who do forceful or repetitive movements such as repeated twisting, bending or lifting. It is also seen in people who have a sedentary lifestyle and they do some sudden activities. The muscles in the area go into a protective spasm, making it painful to stand up after prolonged sitting.
Our bodies are not made for static postures, sitting or standing. A simple solution to manage these three issues is to not sit for more than 20 minutes at a time. Here are some simple desk based exercises that you can do to introduce movement while still sitting in your chair and preventing back pain, specially when sitting for long hours. You can do these exercises in under 2 to 3 minutes depending on how many repetitions you're doing. I have made a video for these exercises which you can get HERE. (This will ask you for an email but that’s only because I send the video to you over email).
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