Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi
Sitting is supposed to be a little reprieve from the rigors of the day, but for many people, back pain causes sitting to be an uncomfortable experience. Whether your back pain only develops when you’re sitting, or it simply gets worse when seated, know that this isn’t normal and you should actively treat the problem. But in order to best treat your back pain, we have to first figure out what’s causing the problem. Below, we take a closer look at some of the common causes of back pain while sitting, and we discuss your treatment options.
Causes Of Seated Back Pain
There are a few common conditions that could be the root cause of your discomfort while sitting. Your best bet is to head to a specialist for a diagnosis where they’ll look for these conditions among other things:
- Sciatic Nerve Damage – Your sciatic nerves are the longest nerves in your body, and they run from your lower back down your legs. If bone spurs rub against the nerve or the act of sitting compresses a portion of the nerve, you may find yourself dealing with pain, shooting discomfort, numbness or leg weakness.
- Bulging or Herniated Disc – If pressure on your spinal discs cause one or more of them to shift out of their natural alignment, it can compress crucial structures and cause pain. Sitting, especially in poor posture positions, can put large amounts of stress on our spine and cause these discs to shift to problematic locations.
- Degenerative Disc Disease – Over the years our spinal discs can lose their natural height, and this too can lead to disc shifting and nerve compression. Some spinal degeneration is natural as we age, but this process can be advanced by habits like smoking, obesity or inactivity.
- Muscle Strains – You probably won’t suffer a spinal muscle strain while you’re in a seated position, but depending on where the strain is located, sitting can activate the muscle and cause pain. You may also feel discomfort from a muscle strain from sitting down for an extended period of time.
- Spinal Stenosis – If the canal that houses our spinal nerves shrinks, it will compress the nerves that travel along it and cause pain. Similar to degenerative disc disease, some spinal canal narrowing occurs naturally as we age, but obesity and poor posture can also expedite the process.
Treating Back Pain That Makes Sitting Painful
As we mentioned above, the best way to treat the problem is to ensure you have a thorough understanding of what you’re dealing with in the first place. This is usually achieved by visiting a spine specialist like Dr. Sinicropi. During your consultation, Dr. Sinicropi will conduct some physical exams, listen to your symptoms and review your medical history. If he wants to pinpoint the source of your discomfort, he may also order x-rays or a similar imaging test.
Once the diagnostic process is complete, he’ll walk you through some treatment options based on your specific condition. For many of the conditions listed above, conservative care works wonders if the condition is caught early on. Treatments including rest, stretching exercises, anti-inflammatory medications, controlled exercise, physical therapy and posture education can all help rid you of back pain. Your doctor will explain which strategies are right for your specific condition.
On the off chance that conservative care doesn’t rectify your issue, Dr. Sinicropi can move forward with more hands-on treatment like injections, spinal manipulation or a minimally invasive surgery. These procedures have high success rates, but if we can achieve the same results without surgery, that’s the route we’ll choose.
For more information about caring for back pain that develops when you’re sitting, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi’s office today.