Why do I have pain when sitting?

pain when sitting

Sitting is supposed to be a way to relax and relieve your legs and feet of pressure and stress. However, as many people know, sitting isn’t always relaxing. Many people experience pain when sitting, which makes it difficult to relax in any form.

So, if sitting is supposed to be comfortable, you might be wondering why you have pain when sitting. The answer varies from person to person, but it could be connected to one of the causes below.

Causes of pain when sitting

  • Strain — Muscle strain is one of the most common causes of pain when sitting, so it’s first on the list. As it turns out, sitting isn’t as good for you as you might think. Sitting, even with good posture, increases pressure on your lower back. Over time, this can strain the muscles, which by itself is painful, but it can also lead to other conditions.
  • Sciatica — Sciatica is the inflammation of the sciatic nerve, which is a large nerve in your lower back that runs into each of your legs. Inflammation in the sciatic nerve often develops due to prolonged pressure and irritation from sitting for extended periods of time.
  • Herniated disc — A herniated disc is a disc in your spine whose fluid has escaped and is putting pressure on the nerves in the spine. When this happens in your lower back, you may feel increased pain when sitting.
  • Arthritis — Arthritis is a chronic condition that wears down the cartilage in your joints. It can affect many joints in your body, including those in your spine. If this happens, you could feel an increase of pain in your spine when bending to sit.

What to do about pain when sitting

For many people, preventing pain when sitting is as simple as improving posture and moving around more. Sit with your back straight and supported by the back of your chair. Your feet should be firmly planted on the ground, and your hips and knees should be level with one another. 

If you work at a desk for hours on end, make sure you get up at least once per hour for 10 or 15 minutes to move and stretch your muscles.

If none of this helps, you may have a condition that requires professional treatment.

Visit Whatcom Physical Therapy for lower back pain treatment

Is pain when sitting making it hard for you to simply relax? Our physical therapists at Whatcom Physical Therapy can help. We can examine your lower back to identify the source of your pain and develop a treatment that can help reduce and prevent pain. Contact our team today about pain when sitting or to schedule an initial appointment.