What is lumbar support? It is a question we all start to ask when our backs start to ache. Looking for good lumbar support for your office chair is also crucial if you are sitting all day for your work. Maintaining the natural curvature of your spine without allowing your posture to slouch or become weak is not an easy thing to find.
What is Lumbar Support?
Your lumbar consists of five vertebrae that run down your back from your diaphragm to your sacrum. The region of your body that is your lower back can receive an injury from your activities, or the discs that hold your back in alignment can slip. What does lumbar support do? Proper lumbar support helps support your natural spine curvature in a way that keeps it in the natural "S" curve your back makes.
What does lumbar support do?
Lumbar support works through the chairs you sit on to your bed mattress with research continuing to study how your body sits, rests, and works. Ergonomic furniture can make a huge difference in your levels of pain and how much support your lumbar region is receiving.
Whether the support is through a specially designed chair, bed mattress, or cushion for your existing chairs, they all work to prop up your back and keep it in its natural alignment. Doing this will keep the muscles of your back strong and prevent them from being tired. It also prevents you from getting a stiff neck or back from improper posture while sitting.
Why is Lumbar Support Is Important?
Lumbar support is more than just ensuring you are typing at the right angle while you are at work. Keeping a good posture while you are sitting does multiple things for your entire back. A back without ergonomic support is more likely to be sore and in pain. It is also more subject to spasms or injuries from basic movements to your regular physical activities.
Your lumbar region is responsible for how your entire body feels. If your lumbar region does not have the support, you are more likely to have neck problems and problems with your entire back.
What should you look into lumbar support for Your Office Chair?
Looking for an ergonomically designed office chair is a place to start for treating lower back pain at work. Often you are not able to use your own, though, so a support cushion works just as well to help your body sit upright in a position that places the curve of your spine over your hips.
Types of office chair back support
Different types of office chair back support includes cushions that can you use to help you keep your back feeling strong and healthy. You should try to test these products before exclusively relying on something that may or may not work to treat your back problem.
Ergonomic Office Chairs
An ergonomic office chair has a sculpted back that follows the curve of your spine and helps you find proper support for your entire back. If you can test the chair before you buy it, you should sit up straight with your feet firmly planted on the ground with your head, back, hips and buttocks properly lined up.
The curve in the ergonomic office chair should fall where your spine curves. Be aware of how high your seat is as well. Your feet should be squarely planted on the ground at all times while you sit to keep proper blood flow and digestion.
Office Chair with Adjustable Support back
Many types of office chairs come with a back that raises or lowers to fit the body of the user. If you find that this type of office chair works best for your back, try it like you would a regular ergonomic chair. You should adjust the back to put the curve right where your spine curves. These chairs are good when multiple people use the same workstation.
Ergonomic support cushion
Ergonomic support cushions are perfect for sitting at your work computer all day. They provide you with a mesh support lumbar angle. These types of lumbar support are their own back, which ensures your spine curves correctly, and your back has support.
Sometimes these cushions come with an additional support cushion that attaches to the ergonomic back. The back supports have durable straps to keep it firmly attached to your chair that can adjust up and down the back of your chair as you need. Because they are mesh, you will not feel sweat build-up or find pain developing.
Lumbar support cushions.
A lumbar support cushion is a portable cushion you can add to any chair where you need extra support. The cushions fit most types of chairs, and many types of lumbar support cushions come with strings or other types of materials to secure a cushion in place.
The lumbar support cushions are adjustable to your needs and can add to other types of chairs as you need. Sometimes the cushions are inflatable, which makes them easy to adjust for the amount of air and support you need. They often have one specific end that is the top and can fit anything from a car seat to a recliner.
Small cushion or towel
While a specially designed cushion or an ergonomically correct office chair is nice to have, often a small cushion or a towel will work as well until you can find something that works for you. You use a towel or small pillow to prop up your hips to adjust your spine into the right alignment to provide you with a proper degree of support.
How to strengthen your lower back
Preventing lower back pain requires you to provide support for your back while you are sitting. Exercises can also help keep you back limber around your long hours of sitting. You can do some of the following exercises to keep your back healthy and strong.
A bridge is an exercise for the muscles of your buttocks. Weakness in the muscles of your buttocks can cause back pain. They are important in keeping your back stable and your hips and lower back more fluid and able to move.
Bridges are done by lying on your back with your feet apart while you lift your hips, keeping your shoulders on the floor. You can hold your bridge for anywhere from fifteen to thirty seconds before lowering your hips. You will repeat the sequence at least three times during a set of exercises.
Transverse abdominal exercises
Transverse abdominal exercises are the muscles that wrap around your abdomen and your spine. They provide support for your entire upper body, and exercising it can help strengthen the support for your spine and help prevent additional back injury.
To exercise your transverse abdominal muscles, you will need to lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor. As you breathe, you pull your belly button towards the floor. Your hips will align with the rest of your spine, and the curve of your lumbar will smooth out against the floor. You will need to hold each movement for at least five seconds before you release it and repeat it at least five times.
Lateral Leg Raises
The muscles of your hip abductors help you move your legs and lift them away from your body as you move. The muscles around your hips help support your body in motion, as well as when it is stationary. Weak muscles can cause you to hurt your back and lose balance while moving.
Exercising your hip abductors requires you to lie on your side while you bend your lower leg for balance. As with the previous exercise, you will engage the muscles around your belly button by drawing it towards your spine.
As you hold the middle of your body, you raise your top leg and hold it. Hold your leg strongly for up to five seconds, and repeat at least ten times. Repeat on both sides of your body with both legs to exercise your hip abductors.
A back extension, sometimes called superman, help exercise the muscles running down your entire back. Exercising these muscles can help you support your spine and better control your body while you sit and move. They help you to move your pelvis and arch your back as you change positions.
Practicing back extensions can make your back hurt more. Talk with a doctor if it causes pain, but if you want to work them gradually and carefully, you will strengthen the muscles. It can take time and help to make your back stronger.
To do back exercises, you will need to lay you your stomach and extend your arms and legs as far as you can. You will need to lift your arms and legs of the ground and try to float your body upwards, so you seem to balance on your belly button.
Keep your head looking down to prevent your neck and spine fro hurting as you repeat your exercises at least ten times. Only hold this position at least two seconds as your back will start hurting if you are unfamiliar with this exercise.
Correct spinal alignment is required for proper movement and to live pain-free. Getting an ergonomic seat cushion or an ergonomic office chair can help keep your lumbar spine active and pain-free. You should also mix in some at-home exercises to ensure your spine is limber and fluid, whether you are sitting or moving.