Do you have back stiffness or trouble getting out of a chair?
Do you have trouble straightening up after prolonged sitting?
Do you have to take a couple of steps to loosen up before you can stand up straight?
The stiffness you feel is from a loss of motion. It is a warning sign for the beginning of a mechanical back disorder and may lead to a back injury if not corrected.
The Cause of back stiffness:
A spinal segment in your low back consists of an upper and lower vertebra and disc in between. The dis
c acts as a cushion to absorb shock. A mechanical problem happens when there is a disruption in the joint mechanics, causing a reduction in motion or at times hypermobility. Loss of mobility and feeling of “stiffness”, usually proceeds pain.
The disc consists of an outer layer called the annulus, and a gel-like inner substance called the nucleus. The nucleus consists mostly of water. It moves back and forth and side to side with pressure, to assist in shock absorption.Similar to a jelly doughnut, if you push on the front, the jelly moves to the back and vice versa. The problem only arises when the disc sustains the same stress over an extended period without relief. Over time this will cause the annulus to break down, allowing the gel material to move a little further.
The disc does not have nerve innervation until the very outer layer. Similar to tear your fingernail; there is no pain until it reaches the nailbed. The stiffness that you feel, along with the inability to straighten up after prolonged sitting is a displacement of the disc material. It is only after you take a few steps that you can straighten because the movement of walking displaces the disc material back to the center. If the same posture is maintained, over time it will cause a break down in the annulus will slowly occur. Stiffness is the first symptom because a buildup of disc nucleus material has been disrupted posteriorly in the joint. Stiffness is reduced after walking or taking a few steps because the walking movement pushes the nucleus material back to the center.
Continued sustained slouched posture will cause further annular tearing until finally one simple sneeze or merely picking up a piece of paper will send starts!
Back Stiffness Prevention is Simple!
Slouch posture is not a bad thing, just like turning your head to the left. But if you keep your head turned your head to the left for 8 hour – you will create a neck problem. Similarly, keeping your back in a slouched posture sitting 8 hrs at work, driving home watching tv and then sleeping at night, day after day year after year, you wonder why it took so long to become a problem?!
All you have to is move in the opposite direction.