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On Focus

Posted By: Dr Michael Kropf

Our couches get a lot of action. Whether we are visiting with family, playing a board game, or watching television, the couch is always there to support us. During this time, we are usually preoccupied with something else and don’t realize how we are sitting. But is it possible that the way you are sitting is causing back problems? Especially if you suffer from chronic back trouble, it’s important to find out if there is a proper way to sit on the couch. MK Spine has the knowledge and experience to help anyone with back problems, so if you are having pain, call them today.

Is your posture the problem?

Bad posture is one of the most common causes of back pain. We spend a significant amount of our time sitting, so bad posture could be very detrimental to the strength of our back. Bad posture causes stress on your tissue, joints, and discs. This stress will slowly weaken the overall health of your back the more it happens. This stress doesn’t only occur when you are sitting, but while lying and standing. Hunching your back can reduce blood flow, which adds to the stress. Staying in this type of position for a long time can cause a herniation due to the unwanted bend in the spine. Posture is the main factor in the back pain problem.

Is your couch the problem?

We all strive to find the perfect couch. One that fits with the room and is also equally as comfortable. The reward for finding this kind of couch can be comfort and style, but the curse can also be a pain. Soft sofas will usually encourage those who sit on it to slouch. Since posture is a very important aspect of preventing back pain, slouching is the opposite of good posture. Rigid, upright furniture may not be as comfortable, but at least they help support your back. The caveat of having comfort in a couch is that it is near impossible to keep the proper posture for a long time. Although the ultimate culprit is bad posture, your couch may be an accomplice in this endeavor.

How to sit on a couch properly

Since giving up your comfortable couch just seems like cruel and unusual punishment, how can you properly sit on your couch to avoid back pain? The first rule is to avoid just falling into the couch when you sit. Although it seems comfortable to do this, you are hurting your back in the long term. Make sure that your back is upright and supported, and that your feet are on the ground. Imagine sitting in a rigid chair, and that is the form you want to try and replicate. You can lean back a little so it doesn’t feel too formal, but make sure you are supporting your neck if you do lean back. Also, if your couch is too deep to sit like this, then use pillows to fill in space between your back and the couch cushions. You could also sit on the edge of the sofa if you prefer. Just remember not to hunch if you do this. If both of these positions seem too uncomfortable, then go ahead and put your feet up. Use a pillow on the armrest to give your back support, and then stretch your legs out parallel on the couch. The key is to always make sure your spine is not rounded, and you are sitting tall. It’s also a good habit to never sit too long. Even if you found that perfect position, it’s beneficial to get up at least once an hour to give your back some rest from the position.