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What is the cause of lower back pain and herniated discs?

Disc herniations can occur from general wear and tear, such as jobs that require constant sitting, but especially jobs that require lifting. Minor back pain and chronic back tiredness is an indicator of general wear and tear that makes one susceptible to herniation on the occurrence of a traumatic event from bending to pick up a pencil or a traumatic injury from a fall. When the spine is straight, such as standing or lying down, internal pressure is equalized on all parts of the discs. While sitting or bending to lift, internal pressure on a disc can move from 17 psi (lying down) to over 300 psi (lifting with a rounded back).

How to prevent back pain?

Slaving over a computer for long periods of time can cause posture problems, such as kyphosis, lower back pain, and neck problems. Sitting loads the spine and compresses the disks, leading to disk problems.

Choosing the right chair that helps you maintain an upright posture and prevents slumping is a first must-do to help prevent back and neck pains. Second must-do, if you sit for long periods of time, is to force yourself to get up from your chair as much as your work environment will permit. 

What is a good chair?

A good chair allows for adjustment in seat height and seat depth, with flexible angulation of the seat surface. The backrest should provide support for the lower back, without restricting freedom of movement in the upper back and shoulders. The armrests should be able to swivel in and out, and be adjustable in height and width. The chair should match your work surface (like a desk) as well as your individual body dimensions.

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