Suffering From Back Pain? Use a Chair!
Sitting at a desk 8 to 10 hours per day is very unhealthy for your back, most often causing back pain and worsening spine injuries. Prevent any risks by using a special chair for back pain!
Aging is a normal biological process and sooner or later, we all experience sores and aches because of unhealthy lifestyle choices and improper sitting positions. Back pain episodes may be more or less acute or even chronic, depending on their duration. Nine out of ten adults experience lower back pain at some point in their life, and five out of ten have it every year, researchers say. As preventing is better and easier than treating, let us sit together and discuss a few tips on what to look for when choosing a chair for back pain and how to look after your spine.
How to Choose an Office Chair For Back Pain
When it comes to reducing lower back pain, the options for office chairs is extensive. Some have high backs to hold the spinal cord straight, others are mid-height back, with armrests or without armrests. These are available in all sorts of color ranges and materials.
However, when selecting a chair for back pain, you first need to make sure you feel comfortable sitting in it. Since you will be the one using it extensively either doing office work or driving, back support is an important health and comfort factor.
Additionally, there are less conventional office chairs available to satisfy even the most demanding and minimalist tastes and physical requirements, such as the ball chair, saddle chair or the ergonomic knee chair. Actually, the appearance of these chairs hardly resembles that of a chair at all. The ball chair is exactly what its name suggests - a ball. With an original design, this kind of chair forces the user to sit upright by engaging the core muscles for balancing. If you have trouble sitting down due to back pain, a ball chair is what you need.
Similarly, the ergonomic knee chair helps take the pressure off the knees and distribute weight evenly.
Another ergonomic solution for relieving back pain are saddle chairs. Shaped exactly like a saddle seat (hence the name), saddle chairs were designed to encourage proper posture while sitting. Because they keep the spine alignment straight they are sometimes preferred by office workers to other more conventional chairs.
Main Features of Chairs For Back Pain
Some office chairs benefit from an adjustable back feature without being ergonomic. If you use one of those, make sure to adjust the back height so as to curve along your back.
If you are not using an ergonomic chair and do not benefit from any ergonomic-like features such as adjustable back, then portable lumbar cushions are the perfect solution. These products have the advantage of being inflatable so you can perfectly adjust them to your lumbar back needs and place them on the back of your chair. To please the eye, they come in a variety of materials and colors.
Another handy option to prevent back pain if you lack a cushion or an ergonomic chair is to roll a towel or a blanket and put it between your back and the back of your chair so as to curve along your back.
Lower back pain is the most common condition amongst office workers. To maintain your spine healthy and prevent any undesired episodes, try to avoid sitting for more than 3 hours without a break to move around or just stand. For this reason some spine specialists even recommend replacing desks with standing stations.
Another tip would be to change your sitting position after 30 minutes. When you do, be careful how you sit and always try to keep your spine upright and balanced. Don’t slouch!
Wondering how to prevent back pain or impede worsening your condition if you already suffer from it? The key is to preserve the normal curve of the spine by supporting your back hollow. Here are some useful tips:
Sit for short durations (ideally as little as 10 - 15 minutes);
Use back support (rolled towel, blanket or lumbar cushion unless you’re using a chair provided with lumbar adjustment);
Make sure your hips and knees always form a 90 degree angle. Never cross your legs, and hold your feet flat on the floor.
If you are not using any back support or lumbar roll, in order to prevent back pain it is advisable to:
Accentuate your back curve as much as possible by drawing up your torso. Maintain this position for a few seconds, then slightly release and sit in this posture.
Use a high-back, hard chair with arm rests. In comparison to sitting on a sofa or soft chair, the hard chair provides support for your lower back particularly because it’s hard, whilst the soft sofa or chair makes your back round instead of supporting the curvature of your back.
Adjust chair and workstation height so as to be able to sit up close to your work. Rest your elbows and arms on your desk or chair and keep your shoulders relaxed.
If you’re using a chair that can roll and pivot, don’t twist at the waist when seated. Turn your whole body instead. When standing up from a sitting position, move forward from your seat and straighten your legs. Don’t bend forward at your waist!
Why Use a Chair For Back Pain?
An office chair for back pain is often preferable to other chairs because:
It supports your upper torso, taking the strain off your neck and vertebral disks.
It provides support to each vertebral disk in the lumbar area while relieving tension in the spinal cord and relaxing the back muscles.
It supports the pelvis while keeping the spinal cord in balance.
If you are the fortunate owner or user of an ergonomic chair, make sure to adjust it to your specific needs and measurements. As no two people are alike, before seating yourself comfortably in it, you need to take into account height, by that meaning you need to carefully look at the length of your limbs, spine, and back not only at your overall height. That is why chairs for reducing back pain benefit from so many ergonomic features. To establish that a specific chair is good for you, follow the next few steps:
Sit straight, resting your back against the backrest of the chair.
If it’s your size, the chair’s curve should perfectly fit into the curve of your back (right above the pelvic bone in the lumbar region).
You should be able to look forward straight at the computer screen (if you use one).
Your knees need to bend at a right angle, with your feet standing flat on the floor.
To reduce pressure on your arms, the ideal chair for back pain should be provided with arm rests to support your elbows while working.