Why a nice sit down might do you more harm than good

Why do I have pain in my back?

“Sit down and make yourself uncomfortable…”

It doesn’t have quite the same ring as ‘sit down and make yourself comfortable’ does it? And there’s the rub. Sitting down is actually doing us harm.

Back pain is one of the most common ailments of our time, with an incredible eight out of ten people in the UK reported by the NHS as suffering at some point in their lifetime. And there’s a very simple explanation: we aren’t doing what we were built to do.

Humankind evolved to walk upright. We were hunter-gatherers, continually on the move and having to expend energy to find food.

What causes back pain?

Of course, sitting down isn’t the only reason you might be suffering, even though our sedentary lifestyles contribute a lot towards stiffness and muscle pain. Other reasons for back pain include:

  • Poor posture
  • Using a poor heavy lifting position
  • Trauma caused by accidents or sports injuries
  • Weight and health conditions
  • Degeneration

What is the best treatment for lower back pain?

The best treatment for lower back muscle pain is to get mobile. With our lifestyles now bearing no resemblance to those cave-dwelling days (thank goodness), we rely on the help of experts to alleviate lower back pain. In an ideal world, every individual part of our spine should be moving regularly: a lack of movement results in the onset of degeneration and conditions such as arthritis set in.

A chiropractor can help in many ways:

  • Providing lower back pain treatment
  • Providing upper back pain treatment
  • Providing treatment for a slipped disc in the lower back
  • Assisting with lower neck and shoulder pain
  • Providing lower back hyper-extension injury treatment
  • Treating lower back pain spasms
  • Suggesting exercises to alleviate lower back pain

People are often scared of seeking lower back pain treatment in case it involves surgery. Chiropractic treatment uses other methods, such as adjustments, manipulation and massage to ease and eventually prevent the pain.

But, if we’re so scared of having it treated, maybe we should spend more time worrying about what’s causing it. The humble chair may well be one of the most damaging inventions of all time.

Simply sitting means our spine is not in its natural position, never mind the poor postures we tend to adopt while seated; hunched shoulders, unnatural stillness while working on a computer, knees higher than hips and more.

But our lifestyle isn’t conducive to constantly being on the move. So, what are the best ways to alleviate lower back pain? Here are London Wellness Centre’s top three tips for healthy backs:


  1. Stay mobile. It may not be possible to move around all of the time but you can make sure you move every 45 minutes or so. Go to the loo, have a quick stroll or get a glass of water.
  2. Don’t sit as much. It sounds impossible but there are options for configuring your workstation to allow you a choice of standing or sitting; ergonomic furniture can help too, by creating the best sitting position possible. Again, take regular breaks and walk about.
  3. Finally, listen to your body. If you’re uncomfortable, move around. Get an assessment done to find out whether your workstation is harming you. And, if you feel pain, get help as soon as it starts. Your body should not be feeling pain; it is an indicator that something is wrong and needs treatment.

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