Best Stretches to Avoid Back Pain at the Office

It’s been said that, “sitting is the new smoking.” Everyone knows that sitting for long periods of time is bad for your health. The problem? Most of us have jobs that require us to sit for long periods of time each day. How in the world can we reconcile this issue? Simple — check out these 3 stretches that will help protect your spine as you work hard each day.

Young smiling businessman sitting in office chair and working on

Seated Spine Twist This stretch addresses your spine, shoulders, and neck by decompressing the spine and giving a great stretch.

  1. While sitting in your chair, sit up nice and tall — do not let your spine bend forward.
  2. Place your left hand on the inside of your left knee, and exhale as you rotate to your right (it is sometimes helpful to use your right arm to brace the back of your chair).
  3. As you breathe in, turn back to the neutral position and then repeat on the other side.
  4. Repeat 5-10x per side.

Levator Scapulae Stretch This stretch relaxes the levator scapulae muscle in your neck. This muscle is made to assist the upper trapezius muscles, but often over exerts itself, leading to neck pain and stiffness.

  1. Sit or stand up straight and tall
  2. Turn your nose/ chin into your right arm pit
  3. Place your left hand on the back of your head and gently apply pressure downward
  4. Place the opposite arm behind your back (try staring at the fingers of the opposite hand)
  5. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute and repeat on the other side

Seated Pigeon Stretch Sitting takes a harsh toll on the glute muscles and piriformis muscles. The piriformis muscles often try to overcompensate for weak glutes, leading to the squeezing and pinching of your sciatic nerve.  The pigeon stretch is a great way to combat this issue!

  1. Sit up nice and tall
  2. Cross your right leg so your right ankle is resting on your left thigh
  3. Keep your back straight and use your arms to keep your right leg horizontal
  4. Pivot at your hips (NOT YOUR BACK!!!) and lean forward to deepen the stretch


  • Powers-4SS-1
    I first visited Dr. Powers over one year ago with severe sciatic nerve pain. After 3 months of treatment the pain was entirely gone. I am now more flexible and able to do my work more effectively and with less pain. -Julie Wolfe
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    Dr. Powers is absolutely the best chiropractor in the city. I used two other chiropractors before him and they could not fix my neck pain, after one visit with him, the pain was gone. My entire family sees him! -Henk deBoer
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    I use to regularly have back pain by the end of the work day. Now with my monthly visit I am virtually back pain free. I can't believe I waited so long to seek chiropractic care. Thanks Dr. Powers! -David Kiepe