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Ever sat on an ergonomic chair that seemingly leaves your back feeling worse than it started? If so, you’re not alone. While getting a high-quality chair is important, how you sit in the chair is equally as important.
Without having the two in sync, you’ll find yourself dealing with back pain more often than not.
Below, you will learn why lumbar support may be hurting your back and some of the top tips to correct it.
First, What Is The Lumbar Spine?
The lower back region of your back is also known as the lumbar spine . It houses bones, discs, nerves, muscles, and ligaments. Despite it being one of the more resilient areas of your body, it can be subject to a lot of problems over time. Repeated bending or sitting improperly can result in severe lower back pain because of it.
The lumbar spine is meant to control leg movements, stabilize your upper body, and even help you move in directions. Thus, it’s one of the most important regions of your spine for your daily life.
Why Is Lumbar Support Hurting My Back?
1. Your Lumbar Support May Be Too High
One of the biggest problems that may be contributing to your lumbar support causing more harm than good is having it positioned improperly. You need your lumbar support to be properly positioned for it to work. The lumbar support on your chair is meant to support the lumbar portion of your spine.
If you don’t know where that is, it’s easy to figure out. Sit down in a chair with your bottom completely against the back of it. Ensure your shoulders are pressed on the chair and you should feel a gap towards the tail end of your spine. This is your lumbar region and it’s where you need extra support.
This is where the chair should have a pillow or something to support your lumbar to keep your spine naturally aligned.
A lot of office chairs have built-in lumbar support. For any chair that doesn’t, you can add a lumbar pillow or a cushion to that area.
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However, if the support is too high, it can cause you to slouch forward with your upper body. This slouching can contribute to major back issues. For one, it forces your head forward which can throw your neck and vertebrae out of balance.
These things can result in having more pressure on your neck and shoulders and it can even press on the nerves in your back contributing to more pain.
2. You Haven’t Adjusted It Properly
Another common problem is that people sit down in the chair right out of the box and think it’s done. While they may have a lot of chairs comfortable out of the box, everyone’s body is different.
Meaning, you cannot set up a chair and sit down in it thinking that it’s good to go. Rather, you need to do some experimenting. You need to try adjusting everything from the height of the chair to the arm height and even the lumbar support. Not all chairs have lumbar support adjustment.
However, if your chair does, you will want to make fine-tuning adjustments to it. Ideally, you purchased an office chair that has this feature. It’s considered an essential feature for those that want a comfortable sitting experience. The first type of adjustment you’ll be using is the vertical adjustment.
A lot of chairs are built using the average person’s body.
This could be good or bad depending on your torso length. You want the lumbar support to be situated in your lumbar region and not approaching the middle of your back.
3. You Don’t Have Enough or It’s Diminishing
There are a couple of things that could be going wrong with your support. Some chairs simply do not have adequate lumbar support. If you have a chair that doesn’t have great lumbar support, you’ll want to make some adjustments to it.
Luckily, there are pillows and other aftermarket things you can add to your chair to fix it. Getting a stand-alone lumbar pillow will give you more freedom to adjust it and you can use the same support mechanism in any chair that you use throughout the day. This can keep your support and posture consistent.
However, the downside is that it’s not going to work on every chair and it’s also not optimized for the chair that you are using. This is why it’s best to get quality lumbar support built into the chair.
Also, your chair could be worn down and in need of replacement. In this case, you’ll want to add more support or buy a new chair.
Tips To Help Your Back Pain From Your Lumbar Support
1. Sit Properly
One thing that a lot of people don’t do is sit in their chairs properly. Your lumbar support may be in the right spot and your chair may be comfortable and high-quality, but if you’re not sitting right, you’re going to develop back pain.
The pain may not come right away, but it will eventually come. Sitting improperly, especially for long periods, can contribute to the worsening of your lower or upper back pain.
The easiest solution?
Sitting in your chair properly. Your buttocks should be completely against the backrest, the lumbar support should be in your lumbar region, and your shoulders should be on the back of the chair with your chin up.
This ensures you are sitting with excellent posture and that you aren’t placing more strain on your lower and/or upper back from slouching.
2. Get Up More
One of the best things you can get into the habit of doing is getting up out of your chair more often throughout the day. The last thing you want to do is sit around in the same position all day.
Even if you are sitting in good posture, it’s not good for you. Not only do you want to get up and move around to get your blood flowing, but you also want to ensure that you are stretching and moving your hips and joints.
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Your body was meant to move. Therefore, you want to give your body frequent breaks to keep yourself from getting too stiff.
3. Fix Your Desk
While your chair and everything may be perfectly adjusted, you need to ensure your desk and monitor are too. If you have adjusted your chair properly, you still need to ensure everything else is adjusted along with it.
Your monitor needs to be at eye level to keep you from needing to do things like lean over to see your screen.
Make the requisite adjustments to your keyboard placement, armrest, and more and you should notice your back issues begin to disappear.
Overall, there are plenty of reasons why your lumbar support may be hurting your back. However, that doesn’t mean the lumbar support itself is at fault. It’s likely the way you are sitting on your chair or the placement of the lumbar support that is causing the problem.
By fixing the placement through making proper adjustments, you can resolve the problem entirely.
You can also try to correct a chair that doesn’t have the right kind of adjustability or support by getting external lumbar support. This is the type of support that you can use from chair to chair.
The biggest downside to this is that they aren’t likely to fit on every chair you sit on. However, if you’re only going to be using a single chair throughout the day, it can be a good solution.