You’re likely to have aches and pains that don’t seem to go away if you spend most of the day at work or sitting at a desk. Studies have shown that sitting for prolonged periods of time can cause problems in our health, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and chronic muscle tension. What can you do to stop it? Let’s first look at the reasons desk jobs can cause pain.

What Causes Pain from Sitting All Day?

Non-injury-related pain is often caused by muscular imbalances. When you spend significant time in one position, it doesn’t place equal strain on your back. Sitting can cause tight hip flexors, tight hamstrings, and tight pectoral muscles. A shortened or tightened muscle makes the opposite muscle weaker and longer. To move your body, muscles work in opposing pairs. One pulls while the other relaxes. Chronic pain can result from one muscle pulling more than the other. Your pectoral muscles may be working too hard if you are sitting all day with your shoulders forward. However, your upper back muscles don’t work as hard. This position will cause you to feel more pain, whether you are standing or sitting.

Your abdominal muscles and lower back should work together to keep you upright. Your lower back and abdominal muscles become weaker if you sit down for a long time in a chair. This can lead to your lower back sagging and putting more stress on the area.

Muscular imbalances can cause pain in the hips, knees, and legs. Tightness in the inner and outer thighs can result from sitting too long or crossing your legs. This can make it difficult to stand or walk. Crossing your legs too often can cause femur bone rotation and knee pain. Sciatic nerve pain can be caused by bending your legs too often. This can affect the back of your leg.

How to Avoid Sitting Pain

You can take steps to reduce or eliminate pain if quitting your job is not an option. These are some ways to reduce pain and avoid the side effects of sitting.


To reverse the negative effects of sitting for prolonged periods of time, you should include strength training and stretching in your daily life. To find out which exercises and stretches are most effective for your pain, consult a Pain Medicine Group pain management specialist. It is common to stretch tightened muscles like the pectorals and hamstrings and hip flexors. Strengthening your abdominal muscles, upper back, shoulders, and quads are also recommended.


Your desk setup could also contribute to your pain. Your workspace’s ergonomics and pain relief can be improved by the placement of your monitors, keyboard, and mouse. These are some things you should check:

  • Are your monitor and line of sight in the same place? If it’s not, raise it or lower it to make it level.
  • Are your elbows at a 90-degree angle when you use your keyboard or mouse? You can raise or lower your keyboard and/or mouse if this is not the case. These components are often found on desks that have lowered trays. However, you can find trays that can be added to your desk.
  • Place both your feet flat on the ground with your knees bent slightly more than 90 degrees. To reduce tight hamstrings, and to help with hip flexors, it is best for your thighs to slope gently toward your knees. To achieve this position, raise or lower your chair. You can also invest in a small footstool for your feet.

This article was written by a medical professional at Florida Medical Pain Management. is proud to offer comprehensive pain management services to a diverse group of patients. Patients at Florida Medical Pain Management can get help managing hip, knee, leg, and neck pain. The practice also offers comprehensive arthritis management, along with treatments for auto accidents, sports, and work injuries.

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