Why Your Back Hurts When Standing
Many individuals experience back pain when standing or walking, a common discomfort often linked to the compression of the spine.
Let’s dive into why this happens and how a straightforward exercise, the sink stretch, can help alleviate this pain.
Understanding Spinal Compression and Back Pain
When you stand or walk, your spine bears the weight of your upper body.
This load, especially in the lower back, or lumbar region, leads to compression of the spinal discs.
Discs act like cushions between the bones (vertebrae) in your spine. Under pressure, these discs can become compressed, which reduces their ability to absorb shocks and maintain spinal flexibility.
Additionally, the muscles and ligaments in the back are under constant tension while supporting the spine. Over time, this constant pressure can lead to muscle fatigue and soreness, particularly if your core muscles aren’t strong enough to share the load.
This compression is more pronounced in people with poor posture or those who stand or walk for extended periods. It can lead to discomfort ranging from mild soreness to severe pain, impacting daily activities.
The Sink Stretch
The sink stretch can help provide relief for back pain when standing or walking by decompressing the spine and stretching the lower back muscles.
How to Perform the Sink Stretch:
- Stand facing a sink or steady surface with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Hold onto the edge with both hands, ensuring a secure grip.
- Gently lean back, keeping your arms straight, forming an angled line from your hands to your feet.
- Feel the stretch in your low back as you lean back, with hips moving forward slightly and knees bent.
- Maintain for five seconds then gently return to standing.
Do this ten times, especially after long periods of standing or walking.
Why the Sink Stretch Works
This stretch is beneficial because it allows for a gentle decompression of the spine.
By leaning back and stretching, you counteract the downward pressure exerted on your spine. This action relieves the tension in the muscles and ligaments, giving your back a chance to relax and realign.
Incorporating the sink stretch into your daily routine can provide significant relief from back pain caused by spinal compression. It’s a quick, easy exercise that can be done almost anywhere with a sink, making it a convenient option for those with busy lifestyles or who spend a lot of time on their feet.
Are you struggling with back pain when standing or walking?
If so, sign up for our 2024 YMCA Wellness Series class, “Exercising with Back Pain,” on Tuesday, Feb. 6th at 7:00PM. This physical therapist-led class will help explain the cause of your pain and show you safe exercises to get relief.
Registration is free, class is held online, and a replay link will be readily available. Click below to register: