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Why Do I Have Chronic Daily Low Back Pain and Neck Pain When I Sit?

Oct 11, 2016

Why does my neck and low back hurt I didn’t get injured?

After 25 years of seeing patients with neck and low back pain, the most common neck or back pain complaint is “my back pain just started one day as I was sitting or I woke up with it”    Obviously no fall trauma or lifting injury occurred during the night while you were sleeping.  What is happening?  The most common type of back pain is called mechanical back pain.   In fact this is not really considered an injury. 

It is considered to be a gradual accumulation of compression on the spinal discs or spinal cushions between each vertebrae in your spine over time.  The spinal compression effect on your spine is related to your posture. The sitting posture exerts more disc pressure than standing or walking postures.  Also it depends on your sitting posture and how well you sit to maintain a proper erect sitting posture.  The spinal compression increases with a slouched sitting posture and with any bending forward activities. 

The best explanation of this type of back pain is called spinal compression back pain.  The longer you sit the spinal discs compress slowly causing a loss of movement in the spinal facet joints and a reflexogenic increase in spinal muscle tension and muscle contraction spasm leading to the characteristic dull achey back pain feeling you experience while sitting.  This cycle then repeats itself everyday with your daily activities of sitting, bending and lifiting all compounding the spinal compression and leading to the chronic daily back pain that can last for months and even for years.

The long-term consequence of persistent spinal compression is an acceleration of spinal disc degeneration that can lead to chronic daily back pain and a disabiling type of back pain called spinal stenosis.      


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