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Struggling with Back Pain? Discover Effective Ways to Get Relief Today

Updated: Apr 9, 2023

When you stand? When you sit? When you play your sport? When does your back bother you?

Each person more than likely knows at least one person with back pain; it is extremely common in the United States. So, what do we do about back pain and/or how do we prevent it creeping up on you later in life?

The internet is full of advice for what to do when you have back pain and how to self-treat it. That being said, I want to share advice for how to treat and/or prevent it from my experiences with treating acute and chronic back pain over the past 15 years of practicing physical therapy.

Why Does My Back Hurt When I Stand?

Depending on how you are built, how you spend the majority of your day, and where you are weak can determine why you hurt when you stand. Let me give some examples:

  • Women or more curvy individuals tend to hurt more when they stand because of an increased arch in their low backs. Or, if you look at where this person might be weak, they tend to have decreased control of their abdominal muscles and tight hip flexors. When you stand for any length of time without using these muscles, our vertebrae are crammed together in the over-arched position and we begin to get pain at the low back, and may even experience leg pain due to the nerves being compressed over time.

  • Men or those with less curves tend to have back pain when they stand if they’re spine is more flexed due to poor posture or if they have decreased glute control, the muscles we need to assist us in standing upright. Over time, the spine becomes stiff in flexion and it is difficult to achieve extension to stand upright leading to a strain to the middle and low back and can even lead to disc bulging and herniations.

Obviously, this isn’t standard across the population, but tends to be what I see both in the clinic and my own practice when assessing individuals with back pain. There are still times when a woman or curvy individual does not present with an increased arch in their low back and when a man or less curvy individual presents with an increased arch as well. However, being aware of your own build and what your posture may look like in standing, may guide you to why you hurt when you stand.

Why Does My Back Hurt When I Sit?

A similar scenario can occur when sitting and lead to the same results, back pain. It can be because you allow too much flexion in your spine for prolonged periods or because you over-arch your low back and cram the vertebrae together. Either way, strengthening and learning how to control your core, including your glutes, can be a game changer for your back.

If you have back pain when you sit, check what your posture looks like and what type of surface seems to bother it the most. It’s a good place to start by assessing your posture in whatever position you maintain the most or the longest. Oftentimes, when we fix the posture by strengthening and controlling the core, the back gets a break and using the muscles gives it support instead of strain.

Why Does My Back Hurt When I Am Active?

Sometimes it’s the sport or more just movement that causes back pain. As you can see from how our posture in sitting and standing can affect our back, the same goes for movement. If we don’t have control over our core and allow our spine to do all the work, it is only a matter of time before our back is overworked and under strain with repetitive sport-specific movements.

In the off season, strengthen your core! But more importantly, learn how to use your core while performing movements that you do during your sport or activity so that your muscles learn how to contract while you play. Your spine will be supported and happy.

My Back Hurts All the Time!

It hurts when you sit, stand, sleep, MOVE! Sometimes strengthening muscles isn’t enough because the pain has gotten ahead of you. If you’re at this point, I’m sorry. And, I can help!

The first step is setting up a phone consultation so that we can go over what you have going on and see if physical therapy is the best step for you, or is there a different direction that would be better? If PT is your best option, then we can schedule an assessment to be completed. I’m mobile, so I come to you! We will go over your history, your goals, your mobility, all in the comfort of your own home.

All you have to do is let me know when you’re free to chat!

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