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2 Minute Seated Back Pain Relief Stretches

This article is a transcribed edited summary of a video Bob and Brad recorded in April of 2023. For the original video go to

Mike: Are you experiencing back pain while sitting?

Brad: We are going to show you a few simple, little changes you can do to decompress, relax, and make that back feel better. They are quite simple, actually.

Mike: So these exercises are very easy to do. You don't need to buy anything. The first one, you don't even need a tool. For the second one, you'll need some type of stick or mop handle or something that you can reach up with.

Brad: Plus, we'll show you two positioning tricks to help you alleviate your back pain.

Mike: So first, we're going to show you three different ways you can decompress the spine in a seated position. So the first one is for beginners. It's pretty easy. So all you're going to do is take the side that is painful and you're going to try to reach your arm up and then cross over your body. You're going to try to keep your pelvis down and lift your rib cage. This is going to help decompress that spine.

Brad: So in other words, you're saying keep your butt flat on the chair.

Mike: Yes.

Brad: Don't lift it up. There, we get a stretch there. The other thing you can do from that same position is take your stick, I've got a nice mop, it works well. Put it next to you and we're going to reach up to the top or as high as you need to, and then we're going to lean into that and you'll feel that stretch there, as well as on the right side of your back if you have your right arm up.

Mike: So do whatever side is painful, if it's on one side. You can also put the stick in the chair if you're running out of height to reach for. But if you have bilateral pain on both sides, what you can do is put the stick in front of you on the floor or on a chair, reach up as high as you comfortably can, and then you're going to lean forward and stretch both sides out. This is going to bring the rib cage up. Make sure to keep the butt down and help decompress that spine.

Brad: Now we set everything in the chair, but my stick is too short. So you could put this on a countertop and stand and do it. So it gives you that option, but you're not seated.

Mike: Yes. This is more for people who have trouble standing or older, or this may just be the easiest solution for you to use.

Brad: Sure.

Mike: So the next two recommendations we have are about positioning. So when you're seated in a chair, what you want to make sure to do is, if you're painful on my left side, say I shift to my right to get away from it, but it's still causing pain. What's happening is my pelvis is probably lifting off, and my rib cage is going down, so I'm still getting this compressed spine there. We want to elongate it. So I want to keep the weight on my left buttock as I'm leaning away.

Mike: If you lean towards the side, you can do that as well, but see how I'm compressing my spine again. You want to make sure to keep that rib cage away from the top of the pelvis.

Brad: That's right. Good explanation, Mike. Keep that bottom glued to the chair. Next, pillows.

Mike: Pillows.

Brad: You can use pillows.

Mike: Yeah. So if you have a firm, hard chair like this, sometimes to get the natural curve in your spine again, you need to put a soft pillow in the vertical format like this, behind you to help get that natural curvature in there. If you have a softer chair, like a recliner, it's got big cushions or even a couch, you might just need a small, little throw pillow to put back there and give you some relief. I have even done this sometimes on long road trips just because my back gets sick of being in that position all the time.

Brad: Yeah, you're talking about in a car.

Mike: Yeah.

Brad: Yeah, those pillows can really do a lot. Different sizes, and shapes of pillows, depending on your back pain, work with them. It can make a big difference in your comfort. Okay, so to finish this, make sure you try all of these stretches and only do the ones that offer relief right away. If they're not comfortable, put that one off to the side and try the next one. Usually, there's going to be one or two that work quite well.

Mike: The whole key focus of this video is to try to elongate, and decompress the spine. There are many other ways to do it besides this. We mentioned it in tons of other videos, so you can let us know below what worked for you in the comment section or if you have any suggestions we may have missed.

Brad: That's right. Comment away.

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