Why Does My Back Hurt When I Sit In An Office Chair?

Last Updated on by Artem

From poor posture to spinal injuries, there are many reasons why your back hurts when you sit on a chair.

While sitting should be a way to relax your feet after a long day at work standing, it can aggravate your back pain.

Whether you feel a dull ache or intense pain when you sit on a chair, you cannot take back pain for granted.

Various studies indicate that wrong sitting posture is the main cause of back pain other factors like an underlying medical condition can worsen it.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the causes of back pain, treatment, and prevention.

See also: 21 Ways To Relieve Back Pain

Causes of a Back Pain When Sitting Down

Poor Posture

Poor posture while sitting puts a lot of pressure on the back, which may cause or worsen back pain.

A lot of pressure on the muscles, spine disks, joints, or even damaged nerves, leading to sharp pain.

If not taken care of, poor posture for prolonged time can lead to serious back pain that requires therapy or spinal surgery.

See also: 7 Tips on How to Reduce Back Pain From Office Chair

Degenerative Disc Disease

This condition is common among older people, and it occurs when the bones in the spine are damaged.

Damaged spine may facilitate easy wear and tear to the annulus fibrosus.

The annulus fibrosus is crucial for holding each nucleus pulposus in place.

When the nucleus pulposus tears, it cannot heal quickly because it has a limited blood supply.

People with a degenerative disc disease may not have any symptoms but will experience sharp pain when they try to sit down.

See also: How to Adjust Ergonomic Office Chair in 7 Steps

Muscle Strain

Muscle strains are common on the lower back when you overstretch or twist your back.

You will know your back pain is caused by muscle strain if the pain extends down to your buttocks. It makes your back still and hard after bending or sitting down for a while.

Although back pain caused by muscle strain can go away by itself after a while, to some people, it can go on for a long time until treated.

See also – How Should I Sit if My Lower Back Hurts?


Staying for long without any physical activity has severe consequences to the back health.

Especially after the wake of the pandemic, the regular workout routine has been disrupted.

Many people find themselves sitting for long on their computers, talking to friends and entertainment.

This has not only caused back pain but has also made existing back pain worse.

Long Sitting Hours

Sitting puts a lot of pressure on the spinal discs compared to lying.

Spine discs support the spine and can result in pain when subjected to much pressure while sitting.

Although sitting for long hours is harmful to your spine disks, You can reduce the impacts significantly by taking short breaks.

Such breaks may include traveling to work, switching between sitting and standing and exercising after work.

See also – How To Sit On Ergonomic Office Chair Without Buttock Pain


It is easy to injure the back when you try to lift heavy objects incorrectly. Sometimes an injury can come from trauma, during a sporting activity, or an accident.

Such an injury can lead to pain while bending or sitting down.

How to Treat and Prevent Back Pain While Sitting

Stay Active

Although it’s tempting to rest most of the time, you should remain active and incorporate physical therapy into your routine.

Remaining active and engaging in back muscle strengthening exercises will prove very helpful in healing and preventing back pain.

Lift Correctly

Knowing what to lift and how to lift it correctly can significantly reduce your trips to the spine doctor.

Improper lifting can injure your spine discs, joints, and back muscles. It can also pinch a nerve causing severe pain when you try to sit down.

To lift in the right way, your back should be straight, and your chest should be in front of your hips. Bend with your hips and not your back, and keep the weight close to your body.

If you want to change direction while lifting, do it with your hips.

Medical Treatment

If your back hurts constantly when you sit down, no matter what remedy you try, you should see your doctor.

The doctor will assess the condition and suggest the most appropriate treatment.

Depending on the cause and extent of your back pain, the doctor can recommend either physical therapy, medications, or nerve blockers.

Physical therapy includes exercise and workouts that will strengthen muscle for better back support.

Nerve blockers, laser therapy, and medications are all meant to ease pain without surgery.

However, if nothing seems to work, surgery is the last resort to deal with the problem.

Maintain a Good Posture

Good standing and sitting posture are very crucial for maintaining a healthy and painless back.

We spend a big part of our day sitting, either at work, in our car, or just relaxing over a meal.

You should assume a sitting position where the spine is neutral and balanced. The head should be level over your spine, your arm flexed at 90 degrees, and your knees even with your hips.

Your knees should also be perpendicular to the floor and your feet flat on the floor.


Are There Any Home Remedies for a Back That Hurts?

There are plenty of home remedies to relieve back pain when sitting down.

They include massage, applying magnesium cream, yoga poses, salt bath, and stretching.

Does Sitting Cause Back Pain?

Yes. Sitting mounts more pressure to the spine compared to when standing. Sitting for long, especially with a bad posture, can cause or worsen back pain.

How Should I Sit with a Back that Hurts?

A good sitting posture includes aligning your head with your shoulders, shoulders back, chest out, thighs parallel to the floor, and feet flat on the floor. This will reduce pain and prevent further back pain.


A hurting back when sitting down is among the leading causes of absenteeism at work and endless visits to the doctor.

Although even the youth can suffer from a hurting back, the aged are the most susceptible.

To prevent and relieve a hurting back when you sit down, ensure to sit in good posture, employ the home-based care techniques above and stay active.

However, when the pain becomes unbearable and repetitive, you should consult your doctor.