Lower Back Pain – Questions and Answers
It is commonly considered that lower back injury and pain are caused by overtraining. Yet, pain in the lower parts of the spine is more often a result of our regular activities. Sitting is the major cause of the difficulty. Sitting puts even greater strain on the spinal column than standing. The increased force is not that bad, though. The problem is we have to sit in the poorest posture for hours at a time – leaning forward.
What happens, when we are sitting forward leaning?
When we lean forward, the edges of spinal vertebrae get closer, jamming cartilaginous discs. The cartilaginous tissue is elastic and pressure-absorbing, but while sitting the force placed upon the discs is increased by 11 times.
How to explain the fact that after prolonged and wearing standing we are looking for the chance to sit down?
Lower back pain is not always a result of overstrained intervertebral discs. The pain is often provoked by lower back muscles that we place under constant strain while standing. Once you sit down, the muscles relax and the pain goes away. By the way, the strain in the discs is rarely a cause of pain. It is your old injury that’s hurting you. When you sit down, the painful part assumes another posture. That gives you an illusion of relief.
Why does sitting put a greater pressure on the spinal column than standing?
The thing is that in vertical position the body is supported by both the skeleton and muscle mass. As a result, the pressure is distributed evenly all over the body, making the spine’s job easier. When we sit down our supportive muscle corset relaxes and the spinal column has to support the whole weight of the body.
How does the pressure on intervertebral discs vary depending on the posture?
The pressure on intervertebral discs (compared to standing position, %):
- standing forward leaning – 150%
- standing forward leaning, weight on the hands – 220%
- sitting upright – 140%
- sitting forward leaning – 185%
- sitting forward leaning, weight on the hands – 275%
This information is worth making conclusions concerning doing some exercises.
How to correct barbell exercises to reduce back pain?
Focus on the bent-over barbell row. The posture for this exercise copies a dangerous position of the spinal column with relation to waist. When bodybuilder rounds the back, he looks like an office worker at the desk. Keep an arch in your lower back!
How to correct dumbbell exercises to avoid spine injuries?
For example, you want to perform the seated biceps curl. How to start the exercise? Pick up dumbbells off the floor. Wrong answer! Sit down on an inclined bench and ask your partner to hand you dumbbells.