The Link Between a Sedentary Lifestyle and Lower Back Pain

Back pain is not an uncommon problem these days. If you are facing back pain which is chronic in nature, you are more prone to develop a physical “disuse syndrome.”

What is disuse syndrome?

Basically, this syndrome tells the effects of a sedentary lifestyle on the physical body and also the mind of a person. It was first described in 1984 and since then, it has gained much attention in relation to back pain. The underlying reason for disuse syndrome is lack of physical activity, which is prevailing in our sedentary society.

Impacts of disuse syndrome

Sedentary behaviours, which often manifest as physical inctivity, often lead to a sedentary lifestyle that causes the collapse of many body functions, leading to various spine problems.

Some examples of sedentary behaviour include sitting for prolonged periods of time and avoiding exercise, which can, in time, weaken back muscles. It is commonly said about the muscles of the body, “Use it or lose it”. There are many negative impacts of an inactive lifestyle. Some of which are described below:

  • In the musculoskeletal system, if muscles are not used properly for some time, it results in muscular atrophy and muscle wasting. The example can be given as, in case of a fractured limb, when the limb is immobilized for weeks, significant muscle wasting happens and the diameter of the limb is reduced as compared to the opposite one. Similarly, disuse syndrome leads to the muscle wasting all over the body.
  • The cardiovascular system is also affected by disuse syndrome. Oxygen uptake is reduced, systolic blood pressure is increased and overall plasma volume is reduced. Since intervertebral discs have already less blood supply, these cardiovascular changes lead to further compromise of blood supply to intervertebral discs, ligaments, tendons and back muscles. This results in back muscle spasms and chronic back pain.
  • A sedentary lifestyle lifestyle also results in nervous system changes, memory problems, insomnia, depression, and anxiety. These effects also cause worsening of back pain. In turn, back pain itself causes anxiety, depression and sleep problems. These mental changes aggravate back pain and thus a vicious cycle is started.
  • People who are inactive are more prone to becoming obese. Extra weight puts extra pressure on the spinal column and back muscles. Back muscles are thus strained and the risk of back pain is enhanced.
  • Although it may sound counterintuitive, resting too much to the point where your lifestyle can be considered sedentary, this can worsen back pain in people who suffer from issues such as ankylosing spondylitis, herniated discs and spinal stenosis, among many others.

Additional issues that can appear due to an inactive lifestyle include: acute low back pain, nonspecific chronic pain, or even chronic low back pain, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other health issues.

Lower back pain exercises

Lifestyle Habits to Prevent Back Pain

Sedentary behaviors have a major effect, after injuries, on the vertebral column. There are also some risk factors to take into consideration, as some groups of people are more vulnerable to suffering from the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle.

Sedentary office workers as well as people with limited or significantly reduced physical mobility may be at increased risk of developing the types of pain associated with lack of activity. Whether you are part of these vulnerable groups or not, you can adopt some of the following measures to prevent back pain.

Do not live an inactive life

Avoid sedentary activities, such as sitting down for long periods of time, or not exercising, as these can be damaging to your body. A sedentary lifestyle inhibits the proper conditioning of the body and the risk of damage to the body is enhanced.

Lift properly

Always consider proper lifting techniques because even if you are living an active life, your techniques of lifting objects are not proper, you are at risk of developing back pain. If possible, avoid heavy lifting.

Be conscious of your posture

Good posture is the key to prevent low back pain (LBP). So if you are active and do the regular walk but your posture is not good, you may develop back pain. Do not lean forward while walking and keep your back straight.

Tips for Boosting your Activity Levels

You can also consider the following tips to boost your activity levels and practice pain management:

1) Wear a fitness device

According to studies, it is one of the best methods to avoid an inactive day. When you count your daily steps or keep an eye on your activity level, it further stimulates you to be active.

2) Limit screen time

Spending long periods of time on your electronic device can not only be damaging to your posture, but it takes away from the time you could be spending being active.

3) Take proper exercise breaks

If you do an office job and sit at a desk for prolonged periods of time, you may consider setting an alarm after every hour and get up and walk for five to ten minutes.

4) Park your vehicle away from your workplace

It is a good strategy to walk for fifteen to twenty minutes a day that park your vehicle at a distance from your office or store, or even try to walk to work instead if you live close enough.

5) Take the long route

If you want to approach a meeting or a colleague’s desk, do not walk at a shorter distance. Always consider taking a longer route to cover more steps.

6) Consider sitting exercises

When you are suffering from any illness or have a tight schedule, it is difficult to get time to a walk. But you should take a few minutes many times in a day to practice sitting exercises.

Effect of Backrack Exercise on Your Back

The Backrack is an innovative device that works on all three main regions of the spine: cervical, thoracic and lumbar. It safely and effectively decompresses your spine through easy-to-do at-home exercises that only use your own body weight. By following a tailored exercise programme, you can leave your back pain in the past and live pain-free once again. Why not join thousands of happy people who have already seen the benefits of the Backrack?

Learn the right exercises

Patients must always practice the right exercises. Although performing exercises for the upper body can already be beneficial, taking a more holistic approach and engaging in exercises that engage your body all over are even better.

Bear some initial discomfort when starting a new exercise

Do not expect that your back pain is immediately relieved when you are starting with an exercise. Initially, you have to suffer from mild discomfort, but this condition is gone after a few days and then you’ll be relaxed.

Practice a combination of stretching and strengthening exercises

If you practice a combination of above-mentioned components, it will enhance the healing process of pre-existing injuries and thus your back pain is relieved.

Why exercise is the best solution for a sedentary lifestyle

Becoming more exercise can reverse the effects of a sedentary lifestyle, by strengthening muscles, and improving the overall health of the body. Even if your back pain is caused by lack of activity, other methods such as physical therapy (physiotherapy) or pain medication that only provides short term pain relief, are not recommended, because they do not address the core cause. Energy expenditure is good for the body.

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