According to experts at the American Chiropractic Association, "Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. In fact, back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor's office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections".
Ironically, back pain can also stem from being at work; sitting at a desk chair all day can cause pain in the back and put loads of unwanted pressure on the back and the spine.
Even though sitting can lead to pain in the body, stretching can help to relieve and prevent back pain, neck pain, and other problem areas. Stretching can help improve posture, increase range of motion, and reduce tension. Stretching frequently can strengthen the back, neck, and shoulder muscles.
Increasing strength in these muscles will improve posture and relieve pain. Try stretching every day for 5-10 minutes to relieve and prevent back pain.
Here are 5 stretches you can do straight from your desk chair:
Chest Opener Stretch
Opening the chest will help to even out the muscles along the hips and spine. This will encourage the spine to be properly aligned, improving posture.
How To: Make sure you are sitting at the front of your chair with your feet flat on the ground. Then grab the sides or the back of your chair. Pull your chest forward by moving your shoulder blades towards one another. Finally, hold for 15 seconds and repeat 2-3 times.
Neck Rotation Stretch
Stretching the neck can help improve posture issues which can often lead to upper back and shoulder pain.
How To: Start by sitting straight up in your chair. Then grab one side of your chair with your hand and turn your head in the opposite direction. Hold this pose for 10 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Upper Body Stretch
Stretching the upper body is great for relieving pain in the upper back and helps to elongate the spine. It is especially helpful for athletes because they tend to have compressed spines more often.
How To: Begin by sitting straight up in your chair with your feet flat on the ground. Put your hands above your head and interlock them with your palms facing upward. Hold this pose for 30 seconds.
Trunk Rotation Stretch
This stretch targets lower back pain and can help to reduce tension near the spine.
How To: Sit up straight in your chair and plant your feet on the ground. Then grasp the back or side of your chair with one or both hands. Twist your upper body slowly to one side and hold for 15 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
Even though the hamstrings are a part of the leg, stretching this muscle can help relieve back pain. When the hamstrings are tight, it can increase tension in the lower back.
How To: Extend one of your legs outward; try to keep this leg as straight as possible. At the same time, keep your other leg bent and your foot flat. Reach your hands towards your toes and hold this pose for 30 seconds. Repeat on the opposite leg.
If you are experiencing persistent issues with neck pain or back pain, come see one of our amazing back doctors in Nashville, TN and Franklin, TN: Dr. Colin Crosby or Dr. Chris Glattes. If you live outside our area of care, we recommend seeing a back doctor near you if you are in pain.