Sitting, a seemingly innocent act, has stealthily become a contributor to the rising epidemic of lower back pain.
The prolonged hours we spend seated, whether at work or during leisure activities, take a toll on our bodies. In this blog, we’ll uncover the connection between sitting, the psoas muscle, and lower back pain, while emphasising the importance of movement in combating and preventing lower back pain.
So, What is the Psoas Muscle?
Deep within your abdomen lies the psoas muscle, a key player in hip flexion and posture. Originating from the lower vertebrae of your spine and inserting into the top of your thigh bone, the psoas is essential for optimal movement and stability.
What is the Connection between the Psoas Muscle and Sitting?
Unfortunately, our modern lifestyles are conspiring against us. Sitting for prolonged periods tightens the psoas muscle, trapping it in a shortened state. This tightening can gradually pull the lumbar spine forward. The result? Added stress and discomfort in the lower back, which, if left unaddressed, can escalate into chronic pain.
Sitting exerts significant pressure on your spine compared to standing or moving. When you sit, your spine bears the weight of your body, burdening the discs and surrounding structures. To counteract the negative effects of sitting, movement is your best friend.
How can we Help Prevent Lower Back Pain Occurring?
Incorporating regular physical activity and stretching into your routine works wonders for your lower back health. Specific exercises such as lunges, leg raises and hip stretches can help strengthen and loosen the psoas muscle and improve the strength and mobility of your lumbar spine.
While sitting may be an unavoidable aspect of our lives, we have the power to mitigate its impact. Take regular breaks from sitting, even if only for a few minutes, to stand up, stretch, and walk around. Integrate movement into your day, whether through short walks, active breaks, or exercises tailored to your lower back.
Remember, it’s far easier to prevent lower back pain than to treat it. Prioritize your lower back health by incorporating movement breaks, practicing proper posture, and considering ergonomic solutions such as an adjustable chair or standing desk. Investing in your well-being today can spare you from future discomfort and limitations.
The consequences of long periods of sitting on lower back pain demand our attention. By recognizing the tightening effect on the psoas muscle and the strain sitting places on our spines, we empower ourselves to act.
Movement is the key, enabling us to combat lower back pain and prevent its onset. So, make conscious choices to sit less, move more, and give your lower back the care it deserves. Your future self will thank you for the relief and vitality that follows.
If you are experiencing lower back pain and not sure what to do, book an appointment now with one of our team members and let’s get you back to being pain free and doing what you love most.
Written By Nicholas Dimos (Physiotherapist)