A Chiropractor Explains How a Lumbar Support Could Cause Back Pain
Most office chairs now come supplied with adjustable lumbar support. If not, you’ve probably brought an additional one to increase your comfort and decrease your back pain. However, some people notice that their back pain increases due to the lumbar support. But does lumbar support even cause back pain?
A lumbar support will only cause back pain if it’s misused. A common mistake many people encounter is putting the support too high. From this, you put additional pressure on your back muscles, nerves, and blood vessels, decreasing blood circulation and increasing back pain.
Lumbar supports are designed to provide support to the lower back while sitting. They are meant to help reduce discomfort and improve posture. However, it’s important to use the lumbar support correctly to achieve the best results. If you’re experiencing pain while using lumbar support, it’s possible that it’s not being used correctly. I recommend looking for instructions or guidance on how to properly use lumbar support to avoid back pain:
How to Correctly use a Lumbar Support
Lumbar supports come in two different types, such as built into a chair or as a pillow. Both types are intended to provide support for the lower back by promoting a curved sitting position. This can help distribute pressure more evenly and improve overall posture while sitting. It’s important to note that Lumbar supports should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice and its effects are not guaranteed. However, you’re only able to achieve optimal results if you implement lumbar support correctly. Want to achieve this? Read below:
First things first, you’ll want to shop around. Although all lumbar support pillows and chairs are great, not all are best suited for your body composition. Because of this, it’s ideal to “test drive” them first before you make the purchase.
Take into consideration their hardness, comfortability, positioning, bulkiness, etc. This will ultimately determine whether or not that specific type of lumbar support is suitable for you.
Lumbar Support Positioning
Once you’ve finalized your decision and have obtained lumbar support, you’ll now want to install it on your chair correctly. In this example, we’re going to use an office chair.
First, secure the lumbar support onto the chair. You’ll want to achieve this by ensuring the curved side is facing your back and the straight side is placed on the chair. All lumbar supports look similar. Because of this, I recommend the most curved side at the bottom of your back.
Before finalizing your positioning, be sure to test how it feels. Do this by sitting at your desk for five minutes, just roughly moving the way you usually would daily. If it feels supportive and comfortable, leave it there. If not, adjust it up and down until you find an optimal position.
Your Sitting Positioning
Now you’ve found your ideal lumbar support positioning, you’ll now want to ensure you’re sitting correctly. Without a doubt, most people that suggest that lumbar supports are useless or not practical tend not to be sitting correctly in the first place.
Remember, if you’ve been sitting poorly for an extended period of your life, fixing your posture may be uncomfortable. But over time, your posture will fix itself and be much more beneficial.
To achieve an optimal seating position while you have lumbar support on your chair, you’ll need to consider the below:
- Sit right back on your chair, and allow the lumbar support to hold your spine
- Always remember to sit upright and never slouch. This can be difficult, but you need to be disciplined and reposition yourself upright every time you slouch.
- Ensure that both feet are flat on the floor. This will massively decrease the pressure in your hips and lower back.
- You should also guarantee that both your knees and hips are at a 90-degree angle. For both, this is the most comfortable and safest position.
- Try to put your pelvis, shoulders, and head into alignment. From this, it’ll also help promote the natural inward curvature of your spine.
Including the above, always be sure to take regular breaks and stretch. Sometimes that’s what you’re body needs, a good-old stretch. Ideally, you’ll want to do this once every hour, depending on your schedule.
Benefits of Using a Lumbar Support Correctly
By using lumbar support correctly, you can potentially experience some benefits, such as:
- Improving posture
- Helping to prevent further damage
- Improving sitting comfort
A lumbar support is designed to promote a more natural and posture-approved position, which can help improve overall posture while sitting. It’s important to note that Lumbar supports should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice and its effects are not guaranteed. It’s also important to consider that each person is unique, and the results may vary depending on the individual’s conditions and use of the product.
Lumbar supports are designed to provide support for the lower back while sitting. However, if not set up correctly, it may not provide the intended benefit or even cause discomfort. To ensure proper use, it is recommended to follow the instructions or guidance provided by the manufacturer or an expert. Setting up the support correctly can help to improve sitting comfort and posture.