Pain Free Working

12 Office Stretches for Back Pain to Do Midday

We’re all familiar with that midday slump! As we spend hours hunched over our desks, our backs often bear the brunt of our sedentary office lifestyle. Prolonged sitting and poor posture become notorious culprits to those nagging aches and discomfort in our backs.

That’s why it’s crucial to address back pain and take proactive measures to find relief, right from the heart of our workplace. Luckily, there’s a simple and effective pain solution that won’t require a drastic change in routine: midday stretches! 

Incorporating these stretches into your office hours can work wonders for banishing back pain and keeping you feeling refreshed and revitalized throughout the day.

Stretching Exercises for Back Pain Relief

Let’s delve into some specific stretches and exercises that can bring you the much-needed backache relief you crave for a pain-free workday.

Knee-to-Chest Stretch

Knee to Chest Stretch for Back Pain
  • Start in a seated position with your back straight, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor. 
  • Now, place your hands on your left thigh and gently pull your knees toward your chest. You’ll feel a lovely stretch in your lower back and left thigh. 
  • Hold it for a few seconds, then release it. 
  • Repeat the same on the other leg. 
  • Remember to engage your abdominal muscles for stability throughout the stretch.

Trunk Rotation

Stretches to “Un-desk” Your Body - Spinal Twists
  • Start by sitting up straight, feet shoulder-width apart. 
  • Brace your left elbow against the outside of your right thigh. 
  • Slowly rotate your torso to the right side, keeping your back straight and shoulders relaxed. 
  • Feel the beautiful stretch through your spine and reduce pain.
  • Hold it for a moment, then return to the starting position, and twist to the left side.

Seated Hamstring Stretch

Seated Hamstring Stretch for Back Pain
  • Begin by sitting up straight with your legs extended in front of you. 
  • Bend your left knee and place your left foot on the floor. 
  • Extend your right leg and reach forward, gently stretching toward your right ankle. 
  • Feel that satisfying pull in the back of your leg and hold it there for a few deep breaths
  • Then switch sides.

Side Neck Stretch

Side Neck Stretch for Back Pain
  • Sit up tall and start by gently tilting your head to the left, bringing your left ear towards your left shoulder. 
  • Feel that sweet, comfortable stretch on the right side of your neck.
  • You may use one arm to hold the position for a few seconds, then slowly bring your head back to the center. 
  • Now, switch sides and tilt your head to the right.

Doorway Stretch

Seated Hamstring Stretch for Back Pain
  • Find a door jamb, stand in the doorway, and place your forearms on each side as a starting position.
  • Bring one leg bent as you gently lean forward, allowing your chest to open up and your shoulders to relax. 
  • Take a moment to breathe deeply and enjoy the gentle stretch. 
  • Remember to maintain proper form and alignment throughout the stretch.

Hip Flexor Stretch

Stretches to “Un-desk” Your Body - Hip Flexor Stretches
  • Get into a lunge position with your right foot forward and your one knee on the ground. 
  • Engage your core muscles for stability and gently lean forward, feeling the stretch in the front of your left hip and thigh. 
  • Take a deep breath and savor the release. 
  • Switch to the opposite side or right hip and repeat. 

Shoulder Blade Squeezes

Stretches to “Un-desk” Your Body - Chest Opening Stretches
  • Sit up straight with your shoulders relaxed.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together. 
  • Hold it for a few seconds, then release it. 
  • Repeat this motion a few times.

Kneeling Lunge

Hip Flexor Stretch for Back Pain
  • Start by kneeling on the floor with your right knee forward and your left leg flat on the ground. Place your hands on your right thigh for support. 
  • Gently shift your weight forward, feeling the stretch in your left hip and thigh. 
  • Keep your core engaged for stability and take a moment to breathe deeply. 
  • Switch sides and repeat. It’s like giving your lower body a well-deserved stretch and pain relief session!

Knee-to-Chest Stretch (Supine)

Flexibility Exercises - Knee to Chest Stretch
  • Start this heavenly stretch by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Now, bring one knee up towards your chest, gently hugging it with your hands. 
  • Feel that soothing stretch in your lower back and hips? Oh, it’s like a warm embrace for your achy muscles! 
  • Hold this position for a few seconds, taking deep breaths and releasing any tension or low back pain. 
  • Now, switch sides and bring the opposite leg up.

Lower Back Rotational Stretch

Flexibility Exercises - Thoracic Spine Rotation
  • Lie on your back, legs straight out in front of you. 
  • Get one of your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor for stability. 
  • Now, slowly roll your knees to one side, aiming to touch the floor. 
  • Feel that gentle twist in your spine as you’re lying on your back? Breathe deeply and let your muscles relax into the stretch. 
  • Slowly return to the starting position and then roll your knees to the opposite side.

Bridge Exercise

Flexibility Exercises - Bridge Pose
  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. 
  • Place your left and right arm flat on the floor alongside your body. 
  • Now, engage your core and press your feet into the ground as you slowly lift your hips up. Create a straight line from your knees to your hips and shoulders. 
  • Hold this position for a few seconds, feeling the lower back pain slowly easing.
  • Then lower your hips back down to the starting position where you’re lying on your back.

Cat-Cow Pose

Cat Cow Pose For Back Pain
  • Begin on all fours (not a push-up position) with your right and left hand directly beneath your shoulders and your knees hip-width apart. 
  • Inhale deeply and let your belly drop down.
  • Slowly arch your back, lift your tailbone, and keep your knees down. The stretch of the cow.
  • Hold it for a moment, feeling that gentle release in your low back. 
  • Now, exhale slowly and round your spine, tucking your chin towards your chest. It’s the cat’s stretch, ready to pounce! 
  • Repeat this flowing motion, moving between the cat and cow poses, enjoying the flexibility and fluidity of your spine.

Final Note

Regular stretching and other exercises hold the key to unlocking pain relief and restoring comfort to our weary spines. These stretches help to loosen up tight muscles, improve flexibility, and promote proper alignment of our spine. 

Plus, they enhance blood circulation, which aids in alleviating pain and reducing tension in the back muscles. 

So, when you’re grappling with a dull ache or aiming for prevention, these stretches will be your trusty allies in your battle against back pain.

And another piece of advice: Before embarking on any new exercise routine or if you feel pain that’s severe, it’s always a smart move to consult a physical therapist or healthcare professional. 

Tricia Montano

Tricia founded Pain Free Working in 2019 due to suffering from degenerative disc disease in her L5-S1 from working an office job for the past 18 years. She and her team strive on finding and reviewing the best office equipment to help fellow pain sufferers find relief and to enable people like her to do their jobs comfortably.