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Back Numbness: Causes & Solutions When Sitting at Desk
Work Wellness

Back Numbness: Causes & Solutions When Sitting at Desk

|Jul 11, 2022

Working in an office includes mental stress and the workload that keeps the brain engaged for hours at a time. But as a matter of fact, physical stress in the workplace is a highly alarming issue. Office workers who spend a considerable portion of their day in front of the screens, sitting and working all day, are susceptible to various physical problems. This includes back pain, muscle issues, and physical injuries.

This also puts the weak spots in the body, such as the spine, back muscles, neck muscles, and other body parts, at a higher risk of developing permanent injury and long-term problems. But a major issue office workers face while in the chair is back numbness. Back numbness and tingling are common complaints amongst office workers who lead a sedentary lifestyle. This is because the back muscles are subjected to the same position and prolonged stress, which in turn tires and drains out the muscles in an unhealthy way.

But what are the exact causes of upper left back numbness and prolonged back pain, and how can one address such issues in the workplace? This article will cover the best upper back numbness and tingling solutions and highlight the causes to address their onset.

Causes of Back Numbness and Pain in Office Workers

Around 60% of office workers suffer from back pain and back numbness due to working in offices. This is because prolonged sitting keeps their back muscles stiff and damages their posture in an unhealthy manner. Left untreated or unattended, back pain can develop into back numbness and other serious spinal issues. Here are some causes of back pain leading to back numbness that should be avoided in the workplace.

Muscle Sprain

Muscle Sprain of back numbness

Numerous muscles and ligaments of varying sizes surround your lower back, linking and supporting the structures of your spine and enabling movement at the joints. They can become injured by improper movements and too much tension, such as lifting heavy objects or twisting. These are the most typical reasons why low back pain occurs.

Nerve Compression

This is one of the most prevalent causes of back pain in office workers hence a highly found reason behind back numbness. Nerve compression can be caused by muscle sprain, excess pressure on the disc, and even unhealthy spinal movements. It can lead to a burning and tingling sensation in the back, which extends to the buttocks and another region. Nerve compression is mainly what is classified as back numbness.

Joint and Bone Conditions

Joint and Bone Conditions of back numbness

Your joints, muscles, and ligaments are all health interconnected. Weak, uncomfortable, or strained muscles are usually linked to unhealthy joints. Osteoarthritis, for example, deteriorates the joints and can be extremely painful when moving around.

Poor Sitting Posture

Poor sitting posture and unhealthy back angle lead to extra pressure on the spine and nerves in the first place. A poor posture could be because of many reasons, such as an improper chair with no back support, the habit of slouching or slumping too close to the screen, and not having a proper desk chair height, among many other reasons.

How to Prevent Back Numbness and Similar Issues

While you may consciously invest and work on your posture to sit upright and might even spend some time practicing the right sitting angle, not having substantial back support or an absence of lumbar support for an office chair will inevitably push you to unhealthy sitting.

Considering the workload and involvement of the mind at work, it becomes hard to pay attention to consciously sitting upright all day; hence you need a proper solution or ways to modify your lifestyle. Below are some tips to prevent back numbness and encourage healthy working sitting.

Adjust Frequently

Adjust Frequently

While you might think there is one healthy sitting position that will solve all of your back numbness and similar problems, the truth is farther from that. Actively sitting and moving frequently can do wonders to remove any prolonged pressure from your spine, preventing your back from numbing. You should get up from your chair every hour or so and take a quick stroll; you can also practice some seated stretches to take off pressure from the lower back.

Right Furniture

You cannot attain a correct posture with an incorrect chair; hence the first change you should bring to your workplace is choosing the right furniture. Buying an ergonomic chair or the best office chair for back pain that offers adjustable points is the best solution. You can adjust chair height to meet the ergonomic desk level and play with the lumbar support adjustment to keep your back from hurting properly.

For people who regularly suffer from back numbness, a reclining ergonomic chair is the best solution. One can easily invest in the best ergonomic chair through the employee purchase program and bring this positive change to their workspaces.



If it is a work-related problem, a standing desk can probably solve it. Especially when it comes to left-side back numbness, a standing desk allows you to alternate between sitting and standing, relieving the pressure from your back. It also allows for improved circulation, which benefits the leg muscles and reduces any permanent pain from developing.

Stretch Frequently

If you don't have a proper workout routine at home, bringing one is highly recommended. Proper exercise can help address various issues, and muscle stiffness is one of those. However, for people who cannot embed exercise into their daily routine, desk and workstation stretches are something they should practice.

Pay attention to your tense muscles after a long day of sitting. Make careful to extend your hips throughout the day if they are tight. You can practice numerous calming yoga postures if you have a private room or office where you can assume a strange stance for just a few minutes. You don't need to do any difficult stretches. Simply moving and using your muscles throughout the day is the objective.

Frequently Asked Questions


What Causes Numbness in Lower Back and Buttocks?

When your sciatic nerve travels from your spinal cord to your buttocks and down the back of each leg and is compressed, you can develop piriformis syndrome. Your lower body may experience pain and numbness as a result.

Can Anxiety Cause Tingling in Back?

Yes, anxiety also has physical indications, and one of the most common ones is the tingling and pinching sensation in different parts of the body. This could lead to continuous discomfort and constant pain, especially in the chest and back.

Is Numbness in Back Serious?

In some cases, numbness in the back is because of a long tiring day at work. However, if the tingling persists or is accompanied by other symptoms such as bladder and bowel problems, it is considered serious.

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