Sitting too long can cause pain in your legs and other parts of your body. It’s not just because you’re sitting up straight or have tight muscles, either. Sitting causes blood flow restriction, which leads to swelling around nerve endings, so they get irritated faster than usual, and this is what gives people “sitting disease.” You don’t need to suffer through any more aches-and pains at work by taking some quick action today.
Work on Your Posture
Sitting up straight can be uncomfortable, so you might want to try a lumbar support cushion or wedge, which will help your back stay upright and take the pressure off. If possible, also make sure that your chair has an adjustable height for better comfort. For more information on setting up th perfect ergonomic workspace take a look at our article here.
A lumbar roll is also key to having good posture while sitting. A good lumbar roll will fit in the small of the back and will limit how much you are able to slouch or round your lower back.
Move Positions Every 30 Minutes
This is a great way to keep your muscles loose, and it’s also a good way to avoid getting blood clots. When you’re at work, try to get up and move around every 30 minutes or so. If that’s not possible, then make sure you do some stretches at your desk.
Additionally, you can try to move your chair closer to or farther away from your desk, and you can also try changing the chair’s height. You should also alternate between sitting and standing every once in a while.
If you’re feeling cold, it can aggravate the pain in your legs. When it’s cold out, there is nothing worse than trying to concentrate on your work when your legs and feet are cold. Make sure to dress warmly when you’re going to be sitting for a long time. You might also want to try a heating pad on your lower back or feet.
Keeping your muscles and legs warm is another important way to cope with pain while sitting. You can take a hot shower or bath before you start your day and apply some lotion afterward.
Stretching is one of the best things that you can do to help with your pain. It’s a good way to loosen up your muscles, and it feels great too! There are lots of different stretches that you can do at your desk or even in bed before you go to sleep.
If you’re looking for some easy stretches to help with your pain, perform these three exercises:
- Cat/cow: You can do this stretch in your chair or on the floor. Start by lying flat on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. As you inhale, lift your head, shoulders, and chest while looking at the ceiling (cat pose), then exhale as you round over to look forward towards your belly button (cow pose). Repeat for about 30 seconds.
- Piriformis stretch: If you have pain in the front of your hips or buttocks, then this stretch will help a lot. Start by sitting on the floor with legs outstretched and knees bent. Put one hand behind your right knee, grab onto your toes (or hold up against a wall if that’s easier) while pulling gently to extend the leg straight out. You should feel the stretch in your right buttock. Hold for 30 seconds and switch legs.
- Hip flexor stretch: This stretch can be done standing or seated. Start by standing with one foot elevated on a stool (or something similar), and the other leg bent in front of you to parallel your thigh to the ground. Lean forward from your hips until you feel a stretch in the front of your raised thigh, then hold for 30 seconds before switching legs.
Your body was not designed to sit for too long, or stand for too long. It craves a variety of positions, so give your body want it needs. Even if you can’t get up and move around, you should still take breaks from your desk. Get up and walk around the office, or drink a glass of water. It will help keep your circulation going and prevent any pain from building up. It doesn’t have to be long, 30-60 seconds should do the trick.
Make sure you take breaks away from your computer, too. Don’t get up and sit back down unless it’s necessary. It will keep the muscles in your legs loose so that when you’re sitting for a long time again, you’ll be more comfortable. Having a standing desk is a great way to change positions, without losing productivity.
Find the Root Cause
All of these suggestions will help you cope with pain while sitting and help you sit longer and be more productive. However, pain while sitting is usually only a symptoms of a much deeper rooter problem, often coming from the back. Having a specialist, like the physiotherapists at Premier Spine and Sport Rehabilitation & Wellness in Vaughan, assess the root cause of your sitting problems will not only help you figure out why you have pain while sitting and where it’s coming from, but they can also create a customized treatment plan to make sure it goes away and doesn’t come back.
For some free tips on how you can get started on your own, take a look at our free report on the 5 Best Kept Secrets to Fix Back Pain (and Keep it Gone!)
You can help yourself cope with pain by working on your posture, moving positions every 30 minutes, keeping warm, and stretching regularly. Doing these things will decrease the amount of discomfort you feel and increase how long you can sit before needing a break.
If this sounds like something that may be helpful for you or someone in your life who suffers from this pain during sitting periods, give us a call today at 289-472-5571. We’re happy to answer any questions and provide more information about our services.