Sitting and Low Back Disorders: An Overview of the Most Commonly Suggested Harmful Mechanisms
Prolonged sitting is widely accepted as a risk factor for development and/or persistence of low back pain (LBP), with several etiological mechanisms being proposed so far. Cumulative intervertebral disc injuries were often mentioned in relation to LBP and sitting in older literature. Recent studies more frequently report on posterior lumbo-pelvic ligaments as the origin of pain, as those are under a tensile load when the spine is flexed. Such load can lead to (micro)trauma and changes in sensory-motor function, which increases the risk for overuse injuries of certain structures and even acute trauma. Overuse of facet joints or sacroiliac joint were not investigated to such extent. Another potential origin of LBP, noted also in several textbooks, are the myofascial trigger points. Prolonged sitting is associated with reduction in hip flexors flexibility, which induces unfavorable strain to lumbo-pelvic area and consequently increases the injury risk in lower back area.