Posted on 07-06-2011
Can sitting too long cause an injury? YES! Many of my patients sit countless hours at work and fit nicely into this category. As we sit most of us put too much curve into our backs, for too much of the day. Seems counter intuitive, but the longer you sit like this, the shorter your low back muscles become!
Ever had that stiff, achy low back upon rising out of a chair? It's even hard to fully straighten up at first? Welcome to your tight, stiff low back muscles. Now if you stand sideways and look at yourself in the mirror, you will find that the abdominal area sticks out. Those muscles are your lengthened (and therefore weak) abdominal muscles. Ouch! To make matters even worse, the gluteus muscles also have become lengthen and weak as well. This condition only worsens over time. Many eventually seek a chiropractor for low back pain relief.
Chiropractors search for the cause of your pain. Short Leg, a twisted pelvis, hyper lordosis (too much back curve) and for subluxations or twisting and compression of the vertebrae. Subluxations irritate nerves, and short circuit the nerve (inhibition). This can result in: loss of muscle strength, a decrease in circulation and even numbness and tingling sensations (think Sciatica). Loss of muscle strength puts you at risk for further injury. Spinal manipulation is often a necessity, to unlock these compressed areas and to start to correct some of these low back issues.
It is also common to find muscle spasms adjacent to each subluxation. Muscle spasms are tight muscles that harbor a buildup of toxins (metabolic wastes). Throw in localized inflammation and swelling (edema) and it's no wonder you hurt.
Lets do something about this!
Loosen, Stretch, Lengthen and Stabilize
My approach is to loosen the tight muscles with various types of massage, apply heat (chronic cases) or ice (acute cases) as the case maybe, and muscle stimulation if needed. Along with Chiropractic manipulation, this condition will require you to lengthen the low back muscles and hamstrings, and do core stabilization for the abdominals and the gluts. I have exercise routines that I offer patients and booklets that describe most of the exercises that you will be applicable for your condition. Soon I will post videos of these exercises. Good luck and stretch often. Thanks for reading! In Good Health, from Dr Craig Eymann, Chiropractor.