Why is Sitting Painful?

If sitting creates back discomfort you have a highly sensitized back, or tissue damage, or both. Avoiding this pain trigger will reduce the pain sensitivity. Avoidance of the pain triggers is part of the documented strategy to de-sensitize back pain throughout the day as evidenced in Back Mechanic.

Sitting causes the low back to flex which is normally not an issue. But modern life has increased sitting time at work, on the road, and at home. Soon sitting at the computer becomes uncomfortable. We call this the flexion intolerant back. Specific low back tissues become stressed and sensitized, in particular the spine discs and ligaments. Sitting upright to restore the natural curves to the spine relieves this stress. But it “costs” in terms of muscle work resulting in those muscles to tire and allow the spine to slouch. This increases disc and ligament stress. The link between prolonged sitting and disc pathology is well established. Reducing stresses in the back associated with sitting not only makes sitting more comfortable, but it helps build more capacity for pain-free movement throughout the day.

The objective is make sitting a dynamic activity with frequent posture change and support the natural curve of the low back.

Reduce the pain. Make sitting a dynamic task.

The ideal sitting posture is one that continually changes. The EmbraceAir  dynamic sitting supports (shown below) use the latest science to ensure minimal stress on the low back tissues, and to provide for posture change. Using an inflatable bladder the user increases or decreases the lumbar support. This measurably reduces stress. The inflation/deflation pump facilitates easy pressure change to create regular posture change. (Evidence and explanations are in Dr. McGill’s textbooks). Static back rests simply cannot provide these advantages.

Even with the dynamic sitting supports, those who have back pain exacerbated from sitting generally are able to reduce disc annulus stresses with the following exercise (shown below, source: Back Mechanic ). Stand up out of the chair, reach for the ceiling, then push for the ceiling with the hands, then fully and deeply inhale. This process should take about half a minute. Gentle and progressive extension of the lumbar spine is achieved dispelling the accumulated stresses.

For use at work, in the car, watching TV…

The EmbraceAir was designed to provide more support for watching TV, and in helping those with shorter thighs to achieve more comfort and support. The pneumatic bladder support is strategically adjusted within the frame to fit all body types.


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