Lower back pain can be severe, whether it is a sharp, intense pain or a dull ache. It is a common symptom that affects four out of five adults.
Lower back pain refers to pain in the vertebrae L1 through L5 — this is the portion of the spine that curves inward from the base.
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Bad posture when seated is a common cause of back pain. Bad posture while seated can cause strain to the discs, the cushion-filled fluid that protects the vertebrae.
An underlying medical condition may make it worse. Let’s look at the causes of back pain that you feel when you sit down and what you can do to alleviate it. Lower back pain caused by sitting down
There are many causes of back pain.
Sciatica is a condition that causes pain in the sciatic nerve. It runs from the base of your spine to the back of your legs. You can get it from a variety of conditions, such as a bone spur.
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It can feel like an electric shock, or dull, aching pain. It can be worse if you sit for too long, but it will usually only affect one side.
- Herniated disc
If you have a herniated disk, you will feel pain in your lower back. Your disc may have pushed out of its normal form due to pressure.
This causes strain to the spine and nerves, which can lead to pain and even numbness.
As part of aging, herniated discs are common in older people. You can also get it from a fall, lifting an object in the wrong direction, or repetitive motion injuries.
- Muscle strain
Lumbar strain is also known as a muscle strain in your lower back. This happens when your back is too stretched or twisted.
A muscle strain can cause pain down to your buttocks, but not your legs. You may also find your back stiffened and difficult to move due to a strain.
Most people will recover from a strain in a month. However, if you don’t correct your poor posture or have poor sitting habits it can become a problem for the rest of your life.
- Degenerative disc disease
It’s a condition where the discs that connect the bones of the lower spine become damaged. As we age, discs can become more fragile and the annulus fibris may tear. The annulus fibrous is the part that holds the nucleus pulpous (the soft center of each disc) in place.
The disc cannot heal itself if this area of the disc is torn. It doesn’t have enough blood supply. The soft material at the center could then move out of its normal boundaries. It could protrude outwards and compress a nerve root. This can cause pain radiating down to the limbs.
Even though some people with degenerative disc disease don’t experience any symptoms, it can cause severe pain in the lower back and buttocks. It may also affect your ability to bend and sit.
- Spinal stenosis
Each of the bones of the spine has a hole in its middle. This creates a tube through the spinal cord. This connects your brain to the nerves in your body.
If the tube isn’t long enough, the cord can get squeezed, causing pain, weakness or numbness. This is spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis may be caused by an injury, arthritis or tumor. Some people have a narrower spinal canal.
Poor posture when sitting or standing can cause lower back pain. Problems can be caused by slouching forward or leaning too far back. Poor posture can make your back pain worse, even if it isn’t.
- Not being in shape
Core muscles are the ones in your back, sides, abdomen, hips, stomach, buttocks, and back. These muscles may be weak and not supporting your spine properly, which could lead to pain.
Aerobic exercise and stretching can help strengthen your core. You will feel less pain and strain in your back.
- Other medical conditions
Your lower back might hurt from another condition. You may experience pain in your lower back from kidney stones, gallbladder issues, or a tumor.