Article Reviewed & Updated on 9/21/2022
Lower back pain can become a continuous ache and source of persistent discomfort if one delays treatment. Sometimes, backache may be excruciating when you bend, sit down, and rise up.
Moreover, straightening your back after a bending position becomes particularly difficult.
Although most people experience back pain in their lives, the causes can be different. While some reasons are self-inflicted, such as bad habits, others may include muscle strain, accidents, and injuries.
Regardless of the cause of lower back pain when sitting, people often share the same symptoms.
Let' plunge into the details and determines some of the most common reasons for lower back pain when sitting.
Why Your Lower Back May Hurt When Sitting
You may experience lower back pain while standing or sitting for a prolonged period. You may also feel a sharp pain in your lower back when you attempt to bend down or stand up. It happens due to active spinal movement.
In many cases, medical professionals easily identify the cause of pain. However, sometimes lower back pain is not only non-specific but also has no identifiable cause.
Typically medical professionals and doctors define lower backache as pain in the vertebral column (L1 through L5). The column comprises the parts of your spine that bend inwards at the bottom. Sitting in the wrong position or bad posture is one of the common reasons for lower back pain.
When you sit in a hunched or slouched position, it puts a strain on vertebral discs. The strain and pressure affect fluid-filled cushion that protects discs and cause them to rub together.
The condition worsens if you have any underlying medical ailment. Back pain, along with a health condition, can be acute. It may come suddenly and last a few days, weeks, and months sometimes.
7 Reasons for Lower Back Pain When Sitting
1.) Herniated Disc
Lower back pain is among the first few symptoms of a herniated disc. That means if you have a slipped or herniated disc, you will start experiencing pain in the lower back while bending, sitting, and standing up. The condition puts pressure or strain on discs. As a result, the disc pushes out and displaces from its shape.
The slipped discs strain your spinal column and nerves around it, causing severe pain and numbness, particularly when you move or sit. You might have seen many older adults experiencing herniated discs as part of the natural aging process.
A herniated disc can result from lifting weight the wrong way, fall, and motion injuries. That means any motion or posture that bulges your spine outward and presses on the spinal nerve can cause you the herniated disc.
2.) Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative disc or lumbar disease refers to the damaged discs between the bones of your spinal column. If you're over 50 or 60 years of age, disc degeneration and any injury related to it may cause your annulus fibrosis to rupture or tear.
The annulus fibrosus holds or sticks together with the nucleus pulpous in place. It is the soft center of discs.
When the parts of discs tear, they lose their ability to heal themselves due to the lack of blood supply. It causes the annulus fibrosus to leave its place and protrude backward, compressing a nerve root.
This results in sharp pain in the back that radiates down to the lower limbs. This pain is quite severe in the thighs, lower back, and buttocks and exacerbates when you sit, bend, and straighten your back.
Pain and sensation in the sciatic nerve refer to sciatica. The condition causes severe pain that shoots down to the base of your spinal column and legs.
There can be numerous reasons that may cause sciatica. The intensity of pain can range from dull sensation to an electric shock. Sitting for hours in the same position can worsen the pain, but you will feel it only on the left or right side.
4.) Muscle Strain
Muscle or lumbar strain in the back is another common reason for lower backache. You may develop the condition if you twist, bend, or overstretch your back excessively. In muscle strain, the pain radiates down into your thighs and buttocks. The strain can make it difficult to move your back.
As mentioned above, bad posture while sitting can be an important reason for lower back pain.
Leaning back or slouching forward too much can contribute to the backache and create more problems.
6.) Spinal Stenosis
Each spine has a bone hole that forms a tube for the spinal cords to run through. The framework makes a connection between your brain and the body. If the tubes reduce in size, the cords get squeezed.
It may cause numbness, pain, and weakness in the spinal cord. This condition refers to spinal stenosis. Arthritis, injury, tumor, or infection can be the reasons for spinal stenosis.
7.) Medical Condition
Sometimes, other medical conditions cause lower back pain. These conditions may include gallbladder and kidney stone issues.
You may also experience this painful condition due to any abdominal artery disorder.
How to Stop Lower Back Pain When Sitting
Fortunately, you can relieve lower back pain with medical treatments and several home remedies. For instance, your medical professional may recommend the given treatments:
• Physical Therapy- it can help you strengthen muscles and support your lower back
• Medications- it may include antidepressants and muscle relaxers
• Nerve blockers- you may receive steroid injections to ease pain
• Laser therapy or Acupuncture- it can be a helpful technique to subside back pain
Home remedies like ice application on the back can be effective in reducing inflammation. Leave it on the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes, and then remove it. Repeat this process 3 to 4 times a day.
You can also get a massage to relax and loosen the tight and tensed muscles. Plus, using heating pads on the lower back can be soothing. It can promote healing and improve blood supply to the back.
Best Sitting Positions with Lower Back Pain
Better posture can make a huge difference in reducing lower back pain. Keep in mind that sitting in the same position for long hours is not healthy. The same position, such as slump to one side or lean far back for a prolonged period, may strain your spine's discs. It may lead to back pain and create many issues.
The best way to counter this issue is to sit in a straight position by imagining a straight line in front of you. Extend your back and keep your posture and shoulders straight without letting your pelvis move forward. It will help you sit up in the correct way- straight and stretched.
All in all, lower back pain can get worse as you age; however, there are ways to reduce it and strengthen your muscles. Make sure you learn the correct sitting posture that may be contributing to this problem. Keeping your core muscles supported and toned is the best way to heal lower back pain when sitting. If your problem is persistent or severe, see your doctor.