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Two Simple Ways to Use Your Couch to Calm Back Pain

Two Simple Ways to Use Your Couch to Calm Back Pain

By: Dr. Arnan Sisson

When people think of flare-ups of back pain the first thing that comes to mind is long car rides, bending over to pick up something heavy, or just sitting in the office for 8+ hours a day. Another position that can ruin a person’s day with back pain is sitting down on the couch watching the TV or maybe even reading their favorite weekly column!

Hanging out on the couch is often times extremely painful for my clients, and not being able to tolerate their favorite couch gets in the way of a whole lot of family time. So today I’m going to cover two very simple, but effective postural modifications to the couch that can not only make the back feel a bit better. But more importantly, start treating your current pain.

The reason why couch sitting oftentimes hurts so bad with folks that have back pain is this…a rounded back. Typically, when sitting on the couch the pelvis is rotated backward, and in turn, the lower back is flexed forward.

This repeated day after day for long periods of time produces a low level of stress. This stress can ultimately turn into what I call “mechanical back pain.” And one big strategy to fix this is to change the stress of the painful positions.

The first simple strategy you can do is to use positional alteration. This is a great tool that gets folks out of common stressful positions.

So, the rule I tell clients is to get off the couch every 20-30 minutes. It can be as little as 1-2 minutes. Use this time to stretch backward or just walk around the living room. By committing a few minutes each day doing this, even if a person is in the worst possible posture ever; their getting out of it every 30 minutes or so! This has a huge impact by altering the stress, usually, prolonged stressors are what really cause flare-ups of back pain.

The second strategy is to alter your particular position. A great position in encourage folks to get into is side lying. By laying on your side from time to time while you’re on the couch with the legs somewhat straightened, the back can be in more of a natural slightly extended position. This will feel better and in the long term cut down the stress on the back.

Try these tips tonight while you're hanging out with your significant other, and it should help you focus your attention on things that really matter, instead of back pain. 

That’s it for today, remember movement is medicine!

P.S.  Have back pain and tried everything with no results? If so, shoot us a call at (804) 493-3256 or click here to set up your free 15-minute phone consultation today. During the call we can determine if your case is a good fit for the practice. And also figure out the general cause of your back troubles and possible treatment options.