Best Chair for Spinal Stenosis – Finding the best office chair, that will help reduce lower back pain, is a quest for many office workers. While most office seating companies claim to have lumbar support, they almost always lack in this area.
While you may find other lists on the internet, almost all of them will be built to push you into Amazon products. It’s important to note that most, if not all of these websites, have never tried the chairs they promote. As someone who has sat in hundreds of chairs, I know there is no way you could ever know what chair is excellent or bad without sitting in each first hand.
Chairs that offer better lower back support do exist, and today we will take a closer look at the ones we have found to provide the best lumbar support. I will show you chairs that are available at different price points so that no matter your budget is, you can start to work more comfortably.
That’s why SpineUniverse tapped an expert for guidance on how to purchase an ergonomic office chair of your very own. Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS, MCCWC is a wellness design consultant and author of the upcoming book Wellness by Design, the first comprehensive consumer guide to optimizing your home for physical and mental health.
Along with medical studies, Gold’s words of wisdom will aid you as you navigate chairs for back pain.
If you suffer from back pain or sciatica, you know how excruciating sitting can be. The Nouhaus Ergo3D Ergonomic Office Chair combines a high degree of reclining, self adjustable backrest tension, robust neck support, plus a highly contoured waterfall seat to take the crown for the best office chair for back pain in 2020. It shares many of the same back-saving features as its luxury brand counterparts — but at just around $300 is less than half the price.
Unlike a one-size-fits-all chair that forces you to conform to it, practically every part of the Ergo3D Office Chair is fully customizable. The long curved backrest cradles your entire spine, from neck to hips. The adjustable tilt lets you tailor the chair to your exact needs—from an upright 90 degrees to the expert recommend 135 degrees that puts the least amount of pressure on your spine, and every angle in between.
For those with lower back pain or sciatica, the chair offers an intelligent backrest that automatically adjusts its tension based on the amount of pressure you apply. It is one of the most versatile we’ve seen in an office chair at this price range. As one owner with back pain said, the backrest cradles him regardless of whether he’s leaning backwards or forward.
Back and neck pain usually go hand in hand, and the Ergo3D has you covered on both basis. The large headrest tilts to support your neck at any angle as you lean back. Combined with the versatile 3D armrests that moves in all four directions, and it’s hard to find a chair that provides better full body support at this price range
If you’re a back pain sufferer, there’s little not to like about the Nouhaus Ergo3D. It keeps you comfortable, protects your back, and allows you to focus on your work without being distracted by twinges and aches.
Pros & Cons
- CONFORMS TO YOUR LIFE: With it’s 4D Adjustable Armrest and Lumbar System, ElastoMesh, 135 Degree Back Tilt, Smooth HydraLift, Dual Castors (and a set of hardwood floor Blade Castors) – it’s easy to think the Ergo3D is from the future, but instead it’s evolved Ergo Seating at its finest and it’s here now.
- EASE INTO WORK, OR PLAY: Mesh Headrest adjusts up and down while the 4D Adjust Arms go forwards, back, up, down, side to side, and rotate for the best fit to your body. 3D Lumbar Support hugs your back, while the seat glides up and down for the ultimate in customized comfort in the office, or in front of your game!
- SOFT HD OFFICE CHAIR: Our breathable ElastoMesh provides optimal airflow to avoid sweating and sticking. But it’s also smooth, and nothing like sitting on wire like many of the chairs you’ll see today. And while it’s good to take regular breaks, the Ergo3D is so comfy you’ll forget you’re even working.
- HEAVY DUTY: Our 5-Point Base with dual castors gives greater stability and strength over common 4-Point, single castor chairs. And our strong iron base makes this heavy-duty office chair ideal for adults up to 275 lb. We also give a set of blade wheels – smooth as silk on hardwood.
- SUPER-LOUNGE RECLINE: Settle back, because you have up to 135° of tilt to keep you in the perfect position for your next task, or to simply lounge back and admire how smart you are for finding such a remarkable ergonomic chair. Try the Ergo3D and feel the difference it makes to your life.
The Oak Hollow Aloria is one of the best executive office chairs we’ve come across, not just in terms of build quality, but comfort and adjustability that will benefit most people with back pain, especially sciatica.
The seat on the Aloria is light years ahead of most competitor’s thanks to the supple cowhide leather upholstery. Unlike PU leather, real leather is both breathable and much more durable, giving you the best of both worlds.
What makes the seat stand out for people with back pain however is the waterfall seat edge and seat depth adjustment setting. The two features promote good circulation under your thighs, and is especially important if you suffer from sciatica.
For people with lower back pain, an adjustable lumbar support and rocking backrest are also vital. The Aloria chair comes with both. The tilt mechanism allows the backrest to tilt into 4 angles, with the maximum degree being around 135 degrees. The result is a chair many people with back pain have come out praising because of how it’s managed to reduce or even eliminate their back pain.
Pros & Cons
- 【Genuine Leather Seat】 - The Aloria Series ergonomic office chair by Oak Hollow Furniture comes equipped with an upgraded, soft and supple genuine cowhide leather seat. Why buy a cheap PU or bonded leather chair that may contain harsh chemicals or wear down quickly? This upgraded genuine leather seat design is meant to withstand years of use in a working or home-office environment. Invest in your health with a chair that is intended to last with quality materials and a better ergonomic design.
- 【Adjustability Options】 - We've outfitted the Aloria Series office chair with a host of adjustability features, including the 4-way adjustable armrests, a padded lumbar support cushion that can be adjusted up and down, a synchro tilt mechanism which allows for 4 different locking positions, a free-float unlocked setting, tilt tension adjustment for greater control of the backrest, and seat depth adjustment for front and back positioning. Find the perfect settings and make this chair your own!
- 【Perfect Fit】 - This ergonomic office chair is designed to fit the majority of users comfortably! Choose your perfect cylinder height - We provide 2 different pneumatic seat height options so the chair will accommodate most height ranges. Short or tall, it will work for you! Find your perfect height setting, tilt options, backrest tension, and seat position to optimize your comfort in the Aloria Series office chair. Recommended weight limit of 300 lbs., and a wide range of supported heights!
- 【Sleek and Professional Design】 - Enhance your work space with the Aloria Series office chair - whether you are building a business from home or spending long days on the job, an Aloria office chair is the perfect addition to your office setup. These chairs are perfect as executive and managers chairs, conference room chairs, task chairs, or employee chairs. Whatever the goal, this chair is designed to improve & enhance your office and work space experience with sleek design and comfortability.
- 【Trusted Products and Service】 - Have peace of mind knowing your purchase is covered under the manufacturer warranty - Oak Hollow Furniture provides a lifetime warranty on the components and a 5 year limited warranty on the leather. We use high density molded foam for the interior and only the highest quality materials for our line of chairs. We believe an office chair should be an investment into your health and well-being, and we stick to this philosophy with our line of products.
3.Steelcase Series 2
The Steelcase Gesture is a high end ergonomic chair often talked about in the same breath as the famous Herman Miller Embody chair. We reviewed both chairs last year and found them extremely comfortable, though when it comes to an office chair that specifically helps with back pain and even sciatica, the trophy has to go to the Steelcase Gesture.
What differentiates the Gesture from its Embody counterpart is the choice of a high back plus a headrest. Both of these components as mentioned at the beginning of this article are vital for long term comfort for someone suffering from back pain.
In terms of lumbar support, Leap uses what it calls LiveBack technology that spans the entire lower back of the backrest. Using special materials, the lumbar flexes as you change postures to conform to your back. One owner of the Gesture who was in a car crash and couldn’t sit in a regular chair for over 15 minutes says the Gesture has completely changed that. He even slept in it for 3 hours without pain. The lumbar requires very little adjustments to feel comfortable- like a second back it basically bends and contours as you shift your back, which is especially helpful for people with back pain.
For people with sciatica with pain that extends to the thighs and legs, the Steelcase Gesture comes with a flexible seat edge that bends to reduce pressure in your thighs as you sit. This can greatly help with pain in those areas thanks to better blood circulation.
The headrest on the Gesture is also a huge deal when it comes to relieving neck tension and stress. The design is especially robust, and moves up/down 5 inches and forward and backwards 4 inches to meet your head in any posture. As one owner said, with the headrest, it takes the Gesture chair from good to amazing.
About the only real shortcoming of the Gesture is the rather shallow degree of recline, at 120 degrees. A “Backstop” paddle sets how far back the chair reclines as you lean back, though it will always snap back to a relatively upright position when no force is applied. The chair was designed as a serious productivity chair, and not a reclining chair. In general however, many owners of the Gesture with back or neck pain have found the chair a godsend in helping them work pain free throughout the day, a testament to the chair’s solid set of ergonomic features.
Pros & Cons
- Back mesh and fabric are 100% polyester
- Wheels for Hard Flooring
- Ergonomic chair – this model includes adjustable seat depth, fully adjustable arms, adjustable lumbar, pneumatic seat height adjustment, recline tension adjustment, flexing back with mesh upholstery and upholstered seat, black base and frame finish
- All day comfort and back support – back technology features an innovative geometric design; weight-activated tilt mechanism responds automatically as you sit and move to ensure long-term support
- Quality & durability – designed to withstand 24/7 use while providing maximum comfort
Budget office chairs are usually a hit and miss, though the Duramount manages to get a lot of it right with this ergonomic chair. Think of it as a stripped down version of the first two chairs above, with all the core features of an excellent chair for your back at an accessible price below $250.
Adjustable lumbar support? Check. The Duramount Chair’s lumbar support can be adjusted for firmness, besting most chairs in the same price range. Combined with being height adjustable, and one user said he’s finally found a chair that has helped with his chronic back pain.
High degree of recline? Sort of. The chair reclines all the way back to 120 degrees. A knob beneath the seat lets you adjust the tilt tension, an important feature in relieving stiffness in your back.
Adjustable headrest? Check. Like all chairs featured in this guide, the Duramount Ergonomic Chair comes with an independent headrest to cradle your neck as you recline. Measuring 12″w x 6″h, it is both height and angle adjustable for total head support.
Pros & Cons
- ★ MORE ADJUSTABLE THEN ANY OTHER CHAIR IN ITS CLASS — Unlike the office chairs sold by our competitors, which allow you to either fully recline or sit upright, we have a SECOND adjustment lever that allows you to lock in your desired recline angle at ANY degree. That way, you can be assured of finding the perfect comfortable seating position just for you.
- ★ BREATHABLE MESH - The breathable mesh back on this ergonomic office chair provides support while keeping your back cool and comfortable. Cool air circulates through the mesh keeping your back sweat-free and allowing you to sit in the chair comfortably for longer periods of time compared to traditional chairs
- ★ FULLY ADJUSTABLE BACK SUPPORT - Having back issues or don’t want to develop them? Our unique office chair includes adjustable lumbar support that goes in and out, up and down, and a recline feature that allows you to tilt the backrest back or sit straight. Now you can quickly find a position that makes your back feel the most comfortable!
- ★ EASY TO INSTALL - Simple instructions enable anyone to put this executive chair together in eight simple steps! Then once built you’ll be able to adjust the chair to your individual needs. The chair’s pneumatic controls will let you raise or lower the seat and tilt back the backrest or sit straight up. You can easily find the ergonomic position that will allow you to work comfortably for long periods of time
- ★ HIGHEST QUALITY WITH 5-YEAR WARRANTY - This adjustable task chair is made to last. It has a weight capacity of 330 LBS and is made from the highest quality materials, including a soft cushion seat, sturdy arm and head rests and rollerblade caster wheels that allow you to move easily across the office floor. Get your office chair – and boost your work comfort! Your purchase will be backed by a 100% money-back guarantee. Try this chair for 90 days - if you don't love it, you can return it
In 2018 we named the Ergohuman the “best office chair for back pain” for a good reason. It shares many of the same back saving features as the Nouhaus Ergo3D, though in a more imposing, all mesh and metallic frame. This is a chair that will probably outlast your previous 3 chairs combined.
Like many of the best chairs for back pain, the Ergohuman backrest consists of 3 pieces that contours to different sections of your back for personalized support. The lumbar support is spring loaded to provide just the right amount of resistance for your lower back as you sit.
I love that the entire backrest can be moved up and down to conform to any body height. With the proper adjustments your entire back is supported, including your neck and head thanks to the ultra wide headrest. As one owner says, there “is not one curve in my body that isn’t cradled perfectly” with the Ergohuman.
Two of my favorite features on the Ergohuman are the “free tilt” and adjustable seat depth features. The former basically lets you rock back and forth the entire distance of the chair’s maximum recline amount (which is around 135 degrees). Combined with a seat that easily slides in and out to give your thighs and lower back more breathing room when needed, you will constantly be moving in this chair, keeping you alert and your blood circulation flowing.
Pros & Cons
- Adjustable tilt tension control, tilt lock, back angle, back height,
- Synchro tilt, seat height,
- tilt tension control, tilt lock, back angle, back height, synchro tilt, seat height, seat depth, and
- The Package Dimensions of the Product is 21.1" H x 30.2" L x 25.6" W
6.Eurotech Office Chair
The second-ranked chair, the Eurotech Vera, was featured in our best overall back support post. Featuring the most comfortable backrest in a chair we’ve tested, Vera is also very good with lower support. With a score of 81 out of 100, the Vera managed to score well without a separate lumbar support system.
One of the things you first notice about the Vera is how perfectly upright the backrest positions your body. This allows you to comfortably scoot back into the chair and lets the natural curve of the backrest push against your lower back. Because of the mesh design, the support is spread out across the lower half of your back.
When upright, the Vera has medium to medium-strong lower support. As you recline in the chair, the lower support will start to diminish, with full recline offering minimal lower support.
Because of the upright nature of the backrest, the Vera does provide excellent lower back support when leaned slightly forward for tasking. Because the natural curve of the backrest only pushes so far forward, you need to make sure to scoot your butt back into the chair for excellent lower support.
Pros & Cons
- MODERN OFFICE CHAIR: Modern office chair with black frame, Piano gray mesh back, and black fabric cushion; Overall dimensions (W x D x H): 28 x 28 x 38.9 to 43.4 inches
- ADAPTS TO YOUR WEIGHT: Tilt tension control adapts recline rate according to the weight of the user
- ADJUSTABLE RECLINE & DEPTH: Synchro-tilt allows back to recline in a preset ratio and seat depth can be adjusted relative to back; Seat depth (W x D): 18.9 x 15.75 to 17.72 inches; Seat back (W x H): 17.1 x 25.8 inches
- CUSTOMIZE CHAIR HEIGHT: Adjust your seat height to the desired position relative to the floor; Seat height: 18.9 - 23.6 inches
- 6-WAY SUPPORTIVE ARMS: 6-way adjustable arms can be tailored to support your arms
Other Remedies to Alleviate And Prevent Back Pain
Getting a good ergonomic chair is only a part of the solution when it comes to alleviating or even preventing back pain. Take a look at the following suggestions by experts and as backed by various studies.
Stretches and Exercises for Back Pain
If you already suffer from lower back pain, be sure to consult with your doctor before performing any kind of physical exercise or stretches.
For the following stretches, we consulted with our friend Josie, a certified yoga instructor, on a few yoga poses that help alleviate lower back pain and strengthen the muscles in the back and core as well.
“Durability is important,” Gold notes. “Look for well-established brands with a reputation for quality and a warranty that demonstrates their confidence in the chair’s ability to serve you long-term. You might pay more for it up front, but it’s an investment in your health and productivity.”
For even more fine-tuning for office chair back support, the United States Department of Labor offers a helpful how-to guide so you can create the best-possible ergonomics for your chair at home. Their guide, which includes the backrest, seat, armrests and base, will assist you as you shop for chairs and adjust your chair when it arrives.
When it comes down to it, chairs for back pain are focused on one’s overall comfort.
“Working at a desk can include hours of repetitive motions in the form of keyboard entry. The right chair helps you position your body so that you’re not triggering back pain and lets you roll up to your work surface smoothly so that you’re consistently working more ergonomically,” Gold says.
Lie down on your exercise mat looking up towards the ceiling. Make sure that your back is comfortable on the floor and your arms are positioned at your sides. Your feet should be pressed against the mat. Then:
- Lift your hips up towards the ceiling as you feet remains flat on the ground.
- Your shoulders, knee, and hips should form a straight line
- Squeeze your glutes and tighten your abs as you head and feet remains flat on the floor, your eyes gazing towards the ceiling.
- Hold this position for 20 seconds, come down, then repeat for 10 sets.
Supine twist is great for back pain, but specifically for people suffering from sciatica, as it stretches the entire lower back, hamstrings, and thighs.
- Lie on your back with your palms facing upwards.
- Bend left knee, placing left foot on the right knee.
- Drop the left knee over to right side of body, twisting spine and lower back
- Keep shoulders flat to floor.
- Hold for 6-10 breathes before switching sides.
Get down on all fours with your knees on the mat and your fingers spread wide to provide some stability. Make sure that your back is in ‘tabletop position’, your head should be neutral and your eyes should be focused on the mat.
Then, begin by going into cow position:
- Inhale and push your stomach down to the mat while moving your chin and your chest up.
- Gaze straight forward or slightly up as you hold this position for 5-10 seconds.
Next, from the cow position, move directly into the cat position:
- Exhale and move your stomach into your spine.
- Now round your back and tuck your chin gently towards your chest. Hold this position for another 5-10 seconds.
According to Dr Jordan, planks are God’s gift to people with lower back pain. The reason? They are very effective in strengthening the muscles in your back and core, which reduces the weakness in the lower back and limits the pain that you feel.
Dr Jordon suggests doing plank exercises every day, for 3 minutes:
- A minute on planks that focus on the centre
- A minute on planks that focus on the left
- A minute on planks that focus on the right
With that said, here are 3 great plank exercises to strengthen your back and alleviate back pain. Again, if you already have back pain, talk to your doctor first before performing any kind of physical exercise.
Low Plank (forearms on floor)
- Start by lying on the floor with your forearms flat on the ground and your elbows aligned or slightly below your shoulders
- Push your body up a few inches above the floor while your forearms remain flat against the floor
- Engage your core so your body forms a straight line
- Make sure that your feet are flexed, the bottoms of your toes should touch the floor.
- Remember to breathe! You should relax your head, keeping it in a ‘neutral position’.
Hold the position for about 20 seconds and then lower yourself to the floor. As you get stronger, hold the position for longer and longer.
Repeat the movements.
- Start by assuming the ‘low plank’ position.
- Now, rotate to your left so that the body’s weight is balancing on the right arm. Make sure that your feet are stacked on top of each other, with your right foot underneath your left one.
- Hold the position for about 10 seconds, return to your original ‘low plank’ position and move back down onto the floor. As you get stronger, hold the position for longer and longer.
Now, repeat the exercise but rotate to the left and make sure your left foot is under your right one.
- Begin with all fours on the ground, your arms spread shoulders width apart and straight, like in a sit up position
- Ground your feet and engage your core and glutes as you lift your whole body up in a straight line
- Look slightly ahead and relax your next into a neutral gaze
- Hold the position for about 20 seconds and then lower yourself to the floor. As you get stronger, hold the position for longer and longer.
How you sit in your chair while you task
Not all users task the same way. While some work in perfect posture with their back up against the chair, others tend to slouch. Maybe you like to lean to the side when you type. It’s essential to understand how you like to sit when finding the perfect office chair.
One of the most significant issues we’ve seen is that customers try to adapt to an office chair. This is the quickest way to failure, as most habits can be hard to break. Some sitting habits aren’t bad, and the expectation that you sit perfectly for long hours throughout the day is unrealistic. Finding a chair that provides proper support for the way you sit, is likely to improve your support while seated.
Does the chair offer good support while reclined?
Do you like to recline in your chair? Is this something that you spend a lot of time doing? If you are taking a lot of phone calls, in meetings or even working from this position, proper support while reclined can be important if you have lower back issues.
Just because a chair offers great support while you’re sitting upright, doesn’t automatically mean that you will see the same support when reclined. We’ve found through testing all of the chairs in our office, there can be significant differences in lower support as you recline back into the chair.
Depending on how the recline function moves on your chair, the lower support can change in various ways. Whether it’s diminishing support or that the support actually moves up the back, both can have a significant impact on your lower back pain.
Is the lumbar support height and depth adjustable?
While not always true, having a lumbar support system that is height and depth adjustable can be important. If the lumbar support system doesn’t provide a good fit for your body, you will need the ability to move it up and down your back. Having depth adjustment will allow you to add and reduce the amount of pressure applied to your back. Depending on the amount of support needed, this can be a nice feature to have.
Depending on the amount of support you require and where you need it most, finding a chair with excellent lower back support is always a good idea. Each chair in our list offers, at a minimum, excellent lower back support for long hours of tasking. If you’re interested in reclining, the list shrinks somewhat. Finding how much support you need, where you need it most, and what type of material to have the chair upholstered in will ensure a good sitting experience. I hope this list has helped you narrow down the best choice for your lower back needs.
Straight Back or Reclining Office Chair?
When it comes to back pain relief, especially lower back pain, the angle of the backrest is critical. There are many chairs on the market that help promote good sitting posture, by either going with a straight 90 degree backrest, or even a backless design, such as a yoga ball or kneeling chair. What’s good for your posture and core however may have the opposite effect on your back pain.
Numerous studies back an office chair that reclines as the best for people with lower back pain. Researchers studied various sitting positions and examined the amount of pressure each posture exerted on the participants’ discs. The result?
Best Chair for Spinal Stenosis – Beauty queen hopefuls back in the day used to walk with books on their heads to achieve picture-perfect posture. Nowadays, office chair back support can lend itself to good posture, which in turn can help back pain. Many studies confirm that improved ergonomics while working can greatly decrease back pain, especially lower back pain.
Considering that many of us spend over half of our waking hours sitting down, if you suffer from back pain, the right ergonomic office chair can be a godsend in managing your pain and relieving tension. The question is, just what is a good office chair for back pain?
The fact is, almost every ergonomic office chair claims to help with back pain, but that doesn’t make it true.
Unlike most guides on the web, in this post, we actually spent hours pouring over the latest research to find out scientifically just what the best office chairs for back pain should look like. Is a high back really better? What about an office chair that reclines versus one with a 90 degree straight back? Just how important is lumbar support in back pain relief? And what about the material? We look at all the evidence before coming up with our list of 6 of the best office chairs that fit the bill, or ones that actually help with lower and upper back pain.