I am NOT overdramatic when I say back pain from sitting can ruin your life. Still, many of us continue to do it for a variety of reasons.
Whether we work at a desk all day, or we’re just lazy – hanging out in a chair for hours at a time wreaks havoc on the body.
This is going to catch up with you. When it does, it won’t be pretty.
Your life will become hell because back pain totally sucks.
So get ready to bookmark this post, pin it and keep it as a reminder to get up and move around.
You’ll want to start doing this as soon as possible.
3 Ways to Alleviate Back Pain from Sitting
The good news is, there are things you can do to help alleviate back pain from sitting for long periods of time.
You don’t have to do anything dramatic, but you do need to implement the tips I’ll share. The idea is to take action in small, but consistent ways. This way, you’ll follow the path of least resistance and stick with it.
The three techniques you can implement right now are:
- The Pomodoro Technique
- Stretching and Moving Around Daily
- Strengthening Your Core
1 – The Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro technique implements time management in an organized fashion. It’s pretty simple and you can use it for any project.
It works like this:
- You set a timer for 25 minutes.
- You do your work without breaking concentration.
- When the timer goes off, you take a mandatory 5-minute break.
- In those 5 minutes, you are NOT to continue working. This is YOUR time.
For best results, set a cycle of four timers. This would be for two hours worth of work. You don’t have to have an actual timer. There are free ones you can use online.
You would work for 25 minutes and take a 5-minute break. Do this four times. When the cycle ends, you start another one or take a 15-30 minute break.
This gives you 10 minutes per hour to relieve back pain from sitting. Move around, take a breather, drink some water, etc.
If you set that timer in advance, you’ll be disciplined. We all know how easy it is to get caught up in what we’re doing and forget about our well-being.
Try this technique out. I have no doubt it’ll do you (and your back) some good.
2 – Stretching and Moving Around Daily
Stretching and light movement is easy and pleasant. It helps relieve back pain from sitting and just keeps you feeling healthy.
I encourage moving around a little before stretching as a mild warm up. Stretching cold muscles can lead to injury, so walk in place and move your arms around first.
Don’t force a stretch. Your body will tell you when you’re about to overdo it.
Listen to your body when something doesn’t feel right. It’s fine to experience a mild sense of tension during a stretch, but you’ll experience relief as well. If you feel an impending strain, pain or cramp, stop. That means you’re doing too much. You could pull a muscle (and you won’t like that very much).
If you’d like some ideas to start with now, you can try some light yoga stretches or a simple walk at home program.
This video will give you some quick ideas as well.
3 – Strengthening Your Core
One of the best ways to prevent back pain from sitting is to have a strong and flexible core.
The core involves any and all muscles between the shoulders and legs (including your hips). Human movement encompasses all planes of motion (sagittal/forward and backward, frontal/side to side and horizontal/rotation). It’s a good idea to move around using all three planes to get well-rounded benefits.
The plank is an excellent way to build core strength. Pushups are great too.
If you are new to exercise, start at a beginner’s level. It’s the safest way to begin an exercise program and you’ll avoid unnecessary injury.
I’ll share a couple of videos you can follow along with to give you some ideas of how to strengthen your core, whether you’re at home, at work or anywhere else.
Here’s one demonstrating simple plank variations from beginner to expert level:
And here’s a dynamic exercise you can do. She has a medicine ball, but you can still do this without equipment.
Lastly, here’s a beginner’s level of a standing knee to opposite elbow core exercise for strength and flexibility.
You can progress this as you go along, but from the videos I’ve watched, this one seems most appropriate to share.
Applying This Consistently
You don’t have to be an exercise maniac to gain the benefits of movement. Simple, yet consistent applications will work beautifully.
By combining these three techniques, you’ll take your much-needed breaks, stretch out those sore back muscles and develop strength and flexibility.
I had to get up several times while writing this because even though I’ve exercised plenty over the last several years, I experience back pain from sitting, so I have to walk my talk here.
Between writing and taking classes online (combined with the years I had spent as a hairstylist bending and stretching unnaturally for hours at a time), I have to take care of my back. Otherwise, I’ll get a flare up (and those aren’t fun).
Thought Provoking Questions
Some of you may have a hard time making this work.
It won’t be because these tips are difficult to follow. It’ll be because you either have limiting beliefs about what you think you can or cannot do – or you may work in a field that doesn’t “allow you” to take breaks.
As I had mentioned, I worked as a hairstylist for 20 years. I was a shampoo assistant for 2 years prior to getting my Cosmetology license. I would often skip meals and stand for hours at a time. I had clients to attend to – and of course, money to make.
I usually couldn’t take breaks because of the plethora of toxic bosses I worked for. I suffered for this, but these days I do things on my terms.
My well-being comes first.
Does Your Job Sabotage Your Well-Being?
There may be a few of you out there who have jobs that don’t allow you to take care of yourself, regardless of the reason. Or maybe you work for yourself and don’t feel you can afford to take breaks because you won’t be able to meet your deadlines.
Well, I have some questions to ask you:
~ Can you do good work if you’re suffering in pain?
~ Are you an asset to someone else if you’re a liability to yourself?
~ Does money make it ok to suffer from pain if you’ll have to use it to pay for the medical expenses that will pile up from your job?
Think about that for a minute and with a clear mind, ask yourself if you’re worth being well.
And if your boss has a problem with it, you can remind them that unless the company is happy to shell out thousands of dollars to cover your care just so they can overwork you…
…so that your contribution to their profit level gets spent covering your medical bills over easily preventable conditions – you’ll make your decisions regarding your well-being, thank you very much.
And if it costs you your job, ask yourself this:
~ Can you work your job efficiently while you’re doped up on pain medication?
~ Does it feel good to stand/sit for hours at a time in pain?
~ Would it be so bad to simplify your lifestyle and decrease your expenses for better health?
Just remember guys, trying to keep up with The Joneses isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. Most of these folks are deep in debt and hate their jobs.
Your best bet is to live your truth.
Take charge of your well-being.
Do you experience back pain from sitting?