My back hurts when I sit down.
It’s been going on for 10 years. It really doesn’t matter where I am — at work, at a restaurant, even on our couch at home. My lower back screams, “Stop sitting!”
To try to reduce the pain, I bought a kneeling chair at work. Then I got a standing desk. Then I went back to a regular chair because standing became painful.
I’ve seen physical therapists, orthopedic surgeons and pain specialists. I’ve mastered Pilates, increased flexibility and strengthened muscles. At one point, my abs were so strong my husband nicknamed them “the plate.”
All these treatments helped a bit, at first. But the pain never really went away. So a few years ago, I decided to accept reality: Sitting down is — and will always be — painful for me.
Then back in November, I walked into the studio of Jenn Sherer in Palo Alto, Calif. She is part of a growing movement on the West Coast to teach people to move and sit and stand as they did in the past — and as they still do in other parts of the world. For the past 8 years, Sherer has been helping people reduce their back pain.
I was interviewing Sherer for a story about bending. But she could tell I was in pain. So I told her my story.
Her response left me speechless: “Sitting is a place where you can find heaven in your joints and in your back,” she says. “It’s not sitting that’s causing the pain, it’s how you’re sitting.
“Do you want me to show you how?”