In an important research article published in The Lancet
Some may speculate the reason is related to more sedentary jobs. However, this may seem reasonable, it is not determined.
In the meantime, we do know that at the crux of most low back pain is disc height loss which is the first indication of a degenerative disc. Degenerative disc disease is very likely the most common reason why people suffer from low back pain. 2
As a Nanaimo chiropractor, I have been in practice for 16 years and have seen many individuals complain of low back pain symptoms related to sitting. This is quite common and often indicates a disc related anatomical origin. And just to remind the reader (and I apologize to those professionals reading here) that the discs are the hydraulic structures in between the spinal vertebrae that make up about a 1/3 of the total height.
These structures naturally lose height over the course of the day, but are influenced to lose more with sustained sitting.
Below is as animation of the seated unloading exercise (using my spine models to show what is happening on the inside) we had published in The Spine Journal 3 which demonstrated to improve disc height momentarily. But if performed frequent enough, I have seen some long term results that are very exciting.
Low Back Pain – A Way to Decompress The Spine While Sitting
- Global Burden of Disease Study 2013 Collaborators T Barber R Bell B Bertozzi-Villa A Biryukov S, Lancet (London, England) 2015 vol: 386 (9995) pp: 743-800 ↩
- Saleem S, Aslam HM, Rehmani MAK, Raees A, Alvi AA, Ashraf J. Lumbar Disc Degenerative Disease: Disc Degeneration Symptoms and Magnetic Resonance Image Findings. Asian Spine Journal. 2013;7(4):322-334. doi:10.4184/asj.2013.7.4.322. ↩
- Magnetic resonance imaging and stadiometric assessment of the lumbar discs after sitting and chair-care decompression exercise: a pilot study JCJ Fryer, JA Quon, FW Smith, The Spine Journal 10 (4), 297-305 ↩