It has become quite common nowadays for people who present to the emergency room complaining of inability to straighten the back after sitting for long period of time due to pain and difficulty ambulating for a while. It takes them a while before they are able to straighten the back and are able to walk normally again.
Inability to straighten back after sitting may be caused by something as simple as a stiff back which is quite common especially for those who have a sitting or desk job and sit for long periods of time.
Inability to straighten back after sitting can also be caused by something far more serious like a herniated disc or disc protrusion which is a condition which is caused due to gradual degeneration of the spine due to the everyday stress that is applied on the back. This article gives a brief overview of some of the reasons as to why an individual is unable to straighten the back after sitting.
Why Can't I Straighten My Back After Sitting Without Pain?
Anatomically speaking the spine is made up of bones which are called vertebrae. These vertebrae have two coverings. The outer covering is hard and is made of different layers of fibrinous material.
The inner ring is made of gelatinous material is quite soft. Since the lumbar spine is the part of the body which is almost always under stress. With time, these vertebrae start to degenerate.
The hard outer ring starts to become weak and the inner gelatinous material starts to come out from these weak spots. This is what is called as a disc bulge. Apart from natural degeneration of the disc improper body mechanics and exercise technique is also another reason for an individual to have a bulging disc.
This bulging disc is the primary reason as to why an individual is not able to straighten the back after sitting. It is seen that, people with disc bulges at multiple locations are the ones that complain of inability to straighten the back after sitting.
This happens because when they sit, the back becomes rounded. This causes the size of the bulge to increase unlike in people who do not have a problem with the discs in the lumbar spine.
Now when they stand up from a sitting position after some time there is pressure put on the bulge which causes pain and does not allow the back to completely straighten.
Fortunately, with standing for a few minutes this size of the bulge diminishes and once it has diminished to a sufficient size, the back is able to become straight and the pain calms down.
The same thing happens again when the individual sits again for a period of time. This is the primary reason as to why an individual is unable to straighten the back after sitting.
Treatment for Inability to Straighten Back After Sitting
Now the question is what can be done to deal with this. The answer to this question is to keep the bulge from increasing. This can be done by following the below mentioned steps:
You can place a cushion or a towel between the chair and the back when sitting. This will allow the back to be straight and not allow the gelatinous material from the inner portion of the disc to come out and increase the size of the bulge. You can also use a lumbar support for this purpose.
The second thing that an individual can do if he or she has a known diagnosis of a disc bulge is to take frequent breaks from sitting generally take a 5 minutes break every 20 minutes or so. For people with severe disc bulge even this time frame is too long and in such cases it is best to listen to the symptoms and take a break whenever you feel the symptoms may be flaring up.
In summary, inability to straighten the back after sitting is basically caused by what is termed as a disc bulge, although this may not be the only reason as to why an individual is not able to straighten the back after sitting. It is recommended that individuals experiencing inability to straighten back after sitting should consult with a physician who can identify a cause and formulate a treatment plan best suited for you so that you are able to straighten the back after sitting.