Most people experience back pain at least once in their lives. This pain may result from long periods of sitting, such as while at work, while driving or even from sitting and watching TV. Poor posture, such as slouching or craning the neck, while doing these things can cause the back pain. After a while, poor posture can result in a serious injury known as a slipped disc - this occurs when downward pressure (as a result of a rounded back) forces the vertebral discs outward, thus causing a leaking of the fluid contained in these discs. So how can we prevent back pain?
The Lumbar area
One must try to support the lumbar (lower spinal) region of the back. This is something of a danger zone with regard to back injury. The lumbar area is located between the diaphragm and the pelvis and the five vertebrae that consists this area are the largest and strongest parts of the spine. The spinal cord terminates in this area - between the first and second vertebrae - and the nerves in this area combine to form the largest nerve in the body - the sciatic nerve. Pain felt in this area can affect one’s legs and feet as well as the back. The lumbar area takes most of the strain of our body weight, so it is necessary to protect it as much as possible.
Adjusting one’s posture can help alleviate or prevent pain in the back. To do this, one will have to avoid slouching while sitting. Preventing slouching can be done by sitting with the buttocks as close to the back of the chair as is possible. This will help to maintain the natural inner curve of the back; this is important in order to avoid rounding one’s back. In addition to this, try to avoid sitting with your neck craned forward.
To do so, try to find chairs that offer lumbar support, or, if this is not possible, a cushion or some other soft material can act as a substitute. There are also specialized support pillows for the lower back. These pillows are usually made in cylindrical or round shapes and are filled with different types of materials. Try to use high-quality supports if you do buy these pillows, as cheaper versions may only be filled with low-grade foam that may not provide much extra support. Look for supports that use buckwheat or “memory” materials, these options are firmer and long lasting. Memory foams utilize the body’s own heat and weight in order to adjust to the individual shape of a back.