Does your desk make your back hurt? If you spend more than six hours a day sitting down, then the answer is YES! We were not designed to sit on our fannies for extended periods of time. We were built to move around on our two legs chasing game or harvesting crops, within the last 50 years our society has taken a big hit to our health. This is because we have become completely sedentary. Even if you go to a gym regularly, you are only moving for an hour or two. What is going on with the rest of your day? There’s a good chance you are seated. Sometimes up to 12 total hours a day.
Sitting down all day long causes a muscle on the front of our spines to shorten, and this is what sets us up for back pain. This muscle is called Psoas Major, the p is silent. In the butcher shop it is referred to as the tenderloin.
The Psoas muscle starts on all five of the lumbar vertebrae. These are the five bones that are the bottom of your spine. It runs down the front of your spine and pelvis to attach to the inside of your upper leg. Its job is to pick your leg up, so that if you are marching your Psoas is working on each side of your spine.
When we sit all day long this muscle gets used to a shorter position.
Over time it can feel like a struggle to stand all the way up.
When people complain of back pain and are in this posture, you can see which muscle is the culprit. Over time this will stress the discs in the lower back causing them to shrink. This is known as degenerative disc disease. All of these will contribute to lower back pain. The long term correction for these scenarios is lengthening this muscle of the front of your spine and reestablishing the optimal alignment of the lumbar vertebrae. One can accomplish this with guided stretching and specific chiropractic adjustments.