Can active sitting relieve acute back pain?
This is a hot topic here at QOR360. We’re a science-based crowd, and our intention is to be as truthful, straightforward, and accurate as possible when speaking about our chairs. We know that active sitting can prevent back pain, but promising that our chairs will relieve back pain is a pretty bold claim.
Dr. Osler’s comment has often been, “since we (meaning the medical profession) don’t actually know much about back pain, we can’t definitively say.” Read his full take on the topic, here.
However, with over 1000 of our chairs now out in the world and after conversations with many users, what we can say is that according to our users, yes- QOR360 chairs and active sitting does, in fact, relieve their back pain.
How does the QOR360 chair relieve back pain?
Well, in the good Doctor’s expert opinion, we still don’t know. But there are some possibilities that have weight (and medical science) behind them.
One possibility is that motion from sitting on the RedRocker™ (the patented mechanism that allows our seat to rock in all directions), changes the information your brain receives from your back when you sit. Pain can act sort of like a habit, building a deep pathway in your brain. If that pathway is activated most times you sit, your brain begins to automatically associate pain with sitting. The slight rocking motion can activate a new pathway, interrupting the message your brain receives when you sit, so it no longer associates sitting with back pain.
Another possibility centers around strength. Our particular method of active sitting helps activate and gently engage core muscles. The continued use of these muscles helps strengthen them. With your core stronger, your back is more effortlessly held in a neutral posture, avoiding strain.
As a QOR360 user myself (I’m sitting on an Ariel now, a I write this), I can say that the instability of the seat reminds me (forces me, really) to stretch and move. My hips and shoulders, even my knees and ankles, are constantly moving just ever so slightly (it’s actually kind of fun, IMHO). When I get up from my desk, my body feels loose, and long, and healthy – sort of like I do after a good run, yoga, or workout session. 10 years of chronic back pain… no longer exacerbated by sitting at my desk.
And of course, I am paid to say good things about my favorite active sitting chair. But Seth, Barbara, Jamie, Kevin… they are just happy users who attest that using a QOR360 chair does, in fact, relieve back pain, even debilitating back pain. Sit active, sit happy, sit pain-free.