Next up are two biggies. How should I sit and can I lift with a spinal injury? Posture is an important factor with both positions but it’s understanding how it can be effective while recovering.
7 The perfect sitting posture may not exist
The body is designed to move. If we sustain a position for too long, we end up loading an area more than it’s designed for. This can either be in a slouched position or even sitting erect. It’s important to alternate our sitting positions to avoid pain and adaptations (1). This can be done with changing sitting positions, getting up regularly and doing tasks in standing that you would normally do sitting (i.e. taking phone calls). Try to change position every 20minutes.
Knowing that movement through range in sitting is necessary to gain confidence in your spine instead of being rigid/protective. (2)
8 Exercise and resistance training
Lower back pain can cause people to fear and avoid certain activities that involve bending, lifting and twisting (3). However, it is important that we encourage this within a safe environment, to gain confidence and reach better outcomes.
Initially it may be sore practising these movements, but as mentioned previously it’s about understanding the type of pain you feel. This will help strengthen the spine and supporting structures, getting you back to lifting, running and jumping.
Studies have shown great benefits and long-term safety of various types of exercises (4) including high load resistance training (5).
1. Zemp et al, (2013) In vivo spinal posture during upright and reclined sitting in an office chair. BioMed Research International.
2. Baumgartner et al, (2012) The spinal curvature of three different sitting positions analysed in an open MRI scanner. The Scientific World Journal.
3. Thomas et al, (2008) The relationship between pain-related fear and lumbar flexion during natural recovery from low back pain. Eur Spine J.
4. Steele et al (2015) A Review of the Clinical Value of Isolated Lumbar Extension Resistance Training for Chronic Low Back Pain; American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
5. Pieber et al (2014) Long-term effects of an outpatient rehabilitation program in patients with chronic recurrent low back pain; Eur Spine J