If you've ever had lower back pain after standing up from a seated position, you're not alone. Approximately 80% of adults will have low back pain at some point in their lives.¹ Research suggests that lower back pain has become a serious health issue worldwide, especially as it can affect your everyday life.
Standing from sitting or standing for lengthy periods can be difficult if you're in pain. While the underlying cause of the pain can usually be determined, it can also feel general and without an obvious reason.
This article will look at some possible reasons for lower back pain when standing from a seated position. We also discuss preventative measures and when to see a doctor.
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One of the most common causes of lower back pain is poor posture. Being in awkward positions for long periods can cause your lower back muscles to tighten and spasm, leading to pain. Other reasons include developing certain back injuries or conditions like inflammation and wear and tear.
Here are some of the other reasons you may be experiencing back pain:
Degenerative disk disease
Over time, the disks that help absorb the shock through the spine can begin to dry out. Instead of providing spongy support, the spine can begin to experience greater stress and strain.
Spinal stenosis refers to the narrowing down of the spaces in your spine. This can result in other structures compressing the nerves, which can cause lower back pain traveling down the legs.
You can experience a back strain when you exert a lot of force on your muscles, such as lifting heavy objects or performing an awkward movement. Strains cause the overstretching and even tearing of the muscles around the back.
Back sprains often result from overstretched or torn ligaments which are located throughout the whole length of the spine. Some activities which could cause these injuries include sudden twisting and bending movements.
Low back pain can make something as simple as getting up from a chair difficult. One way to get around this is to scoot forward to your seat's front and push through your legs as you stand. Do not bend forward too far forward from the back to prevent overstretching your lower back. Once you are up from the seat, try some pain-relieving stretches.
Treating your low back pain will depend on the cause of your back pain. Depending on your circumstances, you can try using home remedies or seeking care from a medical professional. If your home treatments are not working after several days or a week, it’s recommended to see a professional as soon as you can.
Below are some examples of home treatments:
Proper sitting and standing posture
Correct posture will vary person-to-person. However, avoid sitting and standing in postures such as slouching or leaning to one side.
Stretching and exercise
There are plenty of exercises that can help relieve your low back pain. Examples include hamstring stretches, partial crunches, wall sits, and pelvic tilts. It would also help to check with your healthcare provider as some exercises may worsen your lower back pain.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
You can buy over-the-counter NSAIDs to help ease inflammation and pain. If you are on other medication, consult your physician to ensure the NSAIDs will not react with your current regimen.
Consider wearing supportive shoes or shoe inserts to keep your feet supported and at the same time reduce stress and strain through the back.²
Ice and heat
When you experience lower back pain, use an ice pack on your lower back throughout the day for about 20 minutes at a time. You can then apply heat after 2–3 days of using ice. However, you can modify this depending on your preferences.
Avoid lifting heavy objects
It is best to avoid lifting heavy objects if you experience lower back pain — at least until you have recovered. When you do, ensure you have developed a proper technique, such as bending through your legs and bracing your abdominal muscles.
These are just some of the many at-home care tips to relieve lower back pain when standing.
Other medical treatments for your lower back pain may include:
Injections to reduce the inflammation
Creams to apply over the injured area
Keeping your back muscles strong is one of the best ways to prevent back pain. Here are a few measures you can take to avoid back pain.
Avoid heavy lifting
Finding a proper posture
Performing specific stretching and back strengthening exercises twice a week
Generally, most back pain episodes should recover after a short period. If your pain is severe and doesn’t improve, seek medical advice. Also, if your back pain is not improving after trying at-home care, stretches, and exercises, you should also see a healthcare professional.
Here are other signs you need to see a healthcare professional immediately:
Chills or fever
Poor bowel or bladder movements
Losing control of your bladder or bowels
Back pain can occasionally occur over time. For some people, it can be worse in standing positions. To prevent this, you should adopt an active and healthy lifestyle. Make sure you practice proper posture and avoid heavy lifting. In most instances, your back pain will subside on its own. However, a visit to your healthcare professional is recommended if your back pain does not improve after trying home remedies.