5 Desk Stretches to Relieve Back Pain

I’ve been working hard to take my 12-year-old chocolate lab to the dog park as much as I can before it gets too cold for him to go swimming in the lake.

Here’s another photo from yesterday’s dog park visit:

another-day-at-the-dog-park

Today, I will share five great desk stretches that will help alleviate your back pain.

If you are sitting while reading this, get up and give these exercises a go.

Enjoy!

CLICK HERE to watch the YouTube video.

I got Alix to demonstrate the exercises.

#1 – Standing Back Arch

Stand with legs hip-width apart.  Hands are on your pelvis or low-back area, so arch your back and focus on the movement in the lower back area.

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Standing Back Arch

This is a back mobility exercise working on movement in the low-back area.  We are trying to increase the movement in the lower back because a lot of sitting at the office leads to a painful, tight and stiff back.  We want to loosen it up to relieve your back pain.

Perform one set of 5 reps in a smooth, controlled movement with a good stop at the end for a second with a light intensity.


#2 – Sit and Rotate

In an upright sitting position, move away from the backrest of the chair with your feet are flat on the floor, legs hip-width apart and hands are on your shoulders, and you are going to rotate to the right until you get resistance in your midback, back to the starting position and then rotate again to the left.

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Sit and Rotate

I find putting the hands on the shoulders allows you to get more rotation in the midback area. This is a mobility exercise mainly targeting the midback, and it carries on into the low-back area.  If you can increase the movement in the midback, it decreases the lower back pain.

Perform one set of 5 reps on each side, so a total of 10 movements in a smooth, controlled movement with a good stop at the end for a second with a light intensity. 


#3 – Rotate Legs In and Out

In an upright sitting position, move toward the front of the chair with your legs straight.  Rotate the leg out and then rotate it in. You will feel a light stretch in the hip area.

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Rotate Legs In and Out

We are stretching the internal and external rotators of the hip dynamically. The muscles in these areas tighten up and contribute to low back pain. We will loosen up those muscles through dynamic stretching.

Perform one set of 5 reps each way, so a total of 10 movements with each leg in a smooth, controlled movement with a quick stop at the end with light intensity.


#4 – Sit and Rotate With Side Bend

In an upright sitting position, move away from the backrest, sitting near the end of the chair with your feet flat on the floor and legs are hip-width apart. Put your hands on your shoulders, rotate to the right side until you get resistance in the midback area and do a side bend to the right.  Then, go back to the start, rotate to the left and do a side bend to the left.

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Sit and Rotate With Side Bend

This one is another mobility exercise in the midback area, but now we have just added side bending. We move in all kinds of directions that we need to target in many ways to loosen up the muscles in the midback area. We are working on loosening up the midback area to decrease stress and decrease back pain.

Perform one set of 5 reps each side, so a total of 10 movements in a smooth, controlled movement with a good stop at the end with light intensity working on mobility.


#5 – Sit and Back Arch

In an upright sitting position, your back is up against the backrest of the chair with your feet flat on the floor. Sit with your legs hip-width apart and hands on the side of your head. Then, arch your back, focusing on the midback area, and then return to the starting position.

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Sit and Back Arch

Loosening up the midback area puts less stress on the back, which helps to overcome back pain. Perform one set of 5 reps in a smooth, controlled movement with a good stop at the end.

Give those back pain relief exercises in the office a go.  These stretches will help you out.

Take care!

Rick Kaselj, MS

If you want to learn how to get rid of your back discomfort permanently, then check out the Fix My Back Pain program here.