Lower back pain is the most common reason why people seek physical rehabilitation and chiropractic care. Lower back pain has become an epidemic because of the rise in jobs that require people to assume a single position for prolonged period of time. Prolonged sitting may cause low back pain, but prolonged standing may also cause such.
How Prolonged Standing Can Cause Lower Back Pains
There are several reasons why prolonged standing may cause lower back pain such as:
• Loss of center of gravity
During standing, the center of gravity is usually in the hips or the waist area. This means that when standing, the hips carries most of the weight especially of the upper body. The hips can only bear the weight for a particular period of time and prolonged standing may cause the hips to not efficiently carry the weight. As a result, the lower back assumes a severely arched position to allow the weight to be distributed on the back. As a result, the lumbar area may be strained leading to back pains.
• Deviation of the line of gravity
Aside from the center of gravity, the line of gravity is also affected when standing for prolonged periods. The line of gravity usually passes along the spine down to the foot. As a person stands long enough to cause back pains, the body may shift to a not-so-straight position leading the line of gravity not to follow a straight path. As a result, the lower back also adapts to maintain balance leading to back pains.
• Increased load on the back
Even though you are not lifting anything on your back, the weight that is being carried by the lumbar area becomes heavier when you stand for prolonged periods. The head soon moves forward giving the neck more burdens in lifting the head. The weight that the neck needs to carry when the head is in forward position is up to 4x the usual weight it carries. This may lead to a succession since when the neck is also stressed; it shifts the weight of the head to the back and lower back leading to lower back pains.
• Reduced efficiency of the base of support
The base of support is located on the feet. As you stand for long periods, your feet become tensed and have reduced ability to support your whole body. To avoid a loss of balance, the upper muscles in the lower and upper legs as well as those at the lower back do their job by contracting more. As a result, the lower back muscles become more tensed leading to back pains.
These effects of prolonged standing to the lower back call for better positioning when you are standing. There should be a proper base of support by standing with the feet one foot apart. Also, it is essential that you keep a good posture to make your line of gravity straight as possible. Nevertheless, prolonged standing should be avoided because it does not only lead to back pains, but to poor circulation in the lower extremities as well. It is then essential to move around or walk around when you need to stand longer because this promotes circulation as well as relieves tension on the back muscles.