Tips to Minimize Back Pain

“Low back pain is one of the most common reasons for lost work time and Workers’ Compensation claims,” (Chase, J.A., et al., 1991).  

Low back pain is common among sitting individuals

In a study of the relationship between lordosis (the curve of the spine) and sitting, researchers (Keegan JJ) found the most important factor in low back pain with prolonged sitting to be decreased trunk-thigh angle with consequent flattening of the lumbar spine.  The flattening of the lumbar curve happens when an  individuals slouches or leans forward often while sitting on a flat seat surface. 

Low back pain can be prevented by good ergonomic habits

A forward-slanted seat surface was used by typists beginning in the 1880’s to relieve and prevent back pain while sitting.  

Sit on a Buttpillow®-Ergo to reduce sitting related pain and minimize risk factors for low back pain. It has an 8 degree forward slant, which tilts the pelvis forward to relieve and prevent back pain by maintaining lumbar lordosis.  Its forward slant is best for taller individuals or those who lean forward and tend not to use their backrest. For example, people who need to look at their fingers to type tend to lean forward and look down causing risk factors for back pain and neck pain.

The Buttpillow®-Executive is for individuals who can lean back and use their backrests. Individuals who can lean back and either want to minimize risk factors for hemorrhoids or have hemorrhoids or perianal pain would benefit from its 2 degree rearward slant. It takes pressure off the peri-anal area, tilts the sitter into their backrest, and reduces sitting surface pressure.

Learning good ergonomic habits while you are young can lower your chance of dealing with back pain and other problems in the future. 

Person sitting in ergonomically correct position
Correct spine sitting posture at computer. Position for healthy back illustration.

Tips to minimize back pain while sitting and lying:

  • Avoid prolonged standing, prolonged sitting, and improper lifting;
  • Sit on a straight-backed, firm, supportive chair;
  • Sit only for short periods;
  • Do not slouch;
  • Do not lean forward to reach for things:  Move things you need often closer to you;
  • Sleep on your back with your knees bent, or on your side on a firm mattress.

Tips to minimize back pain while standing:

  • Maintain good abdominal tone;  keep abdomen flattened while standing.
  • When prolonged standing is necessary, place one foot on a step for a few minutes.
  • Wear cushion-soled shoes for prolonged standing.
Person standing at height adjustable desk
Correct standing posture at height adjustable desk or table. Healthy standing pose.

Tips to minimize back pain while bending, lifting, or carrying:

  • Bend at the knees, not at the waist.
  • Lift with the thighs (keep heavy objects centered close to abdomen).
  • Flex knees while bending.
  • When carrying heavy objects, turn with the feet, not by twisting the trunk.
Lift with the thighs / turn with the feet when carrying heavy objects

References:

  1. Kelley’s Textbook of Internal Medicine, Fourth Edition, 2000, “Approach to the Patient with Back Pain,” written by Glen S. O’Sullivan, U.S.A.
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Author: Melanie Loomos

I was a court reporter for 10 years then became an inventor. I invented The Buttpillow™ and was granted a patent called the "Pillow with Cantilever Supports." At the same time, I also submitted a patent for "The Carpal Tunnel Chair," which I was advised I did not get. After R&D on The Buttpillow™, the patent for the "Ergonomic Seating Cushion" was filed and later amended to include an embodiment for women during pregnancy. The USPTO granted the "Ergonomic Seating Cushion" patent in late 2002. Subsequently, in 2003, I also invented Ergosoft™ break reminder software to remind people to take breaks with an Ergo-Tip™ so people can identify and minimize ergonomic risk factors around them.

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