Back Pain Expert Nick Clark: Easing Back Pain


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Mike H asks "How do I ease my back pain when I am sitting on my couch?


Hey Mike,

The first thing we want to work on is the angle between the knees and the hips. The number one error I see with sitting on the couch is that the knees are positioned above the hips. This occurs due to too much give in the cushion, leaving you feeling like you are sunk into the couch.

This requires the lower back to go into too much rounding. This rounding leads to pressure on the intervertebral discs of the spine which then puts pressure on the nerve roots of the spine. All of this poor positioning leads to pain in the lower back and potentially down the hip into the lower leg. Visualize your intervertebral disc as a jelly doughnut, if you sit as described above it is as if someone is stepping on the jelly doughnut, forcing the jelly to shoot out and hit the nerve roots.

You can fix this problem by putting an object under the couch cushion so that your hips will be raised higher than your knees. This is like taking the foot off the doughnut allowing the jelly to be reabsorbed. Ways to increase the height of your hips is to place a textbook, a firm pillow, or a stack of magazines underneath the cushion. You want your hip, knee, and ankle to create a 90 to 110 degree angle when observed from a side view.

This will allow the lower back to rest in its optimal position, decreasing pain and stiffness. Moreover, this will make it easier to get off the couch to minimize strain on your body as a whole.

Visit our website at movementmattersny.org and download your free brochure on getting back to what you love or call 1-845-283-0274 to sign up for a FREE one-hour consultation.

Nick Clark
214 West Street, Warwick, NY 10990
845-283-0274




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