Best Desk Chair for Upper Back Pain – Back pain can make your daily tasks difficult and frustrating. You might have thought that there was nothing that you can do about your back pain, but getting the right chair will make a huge difference in your daily comfort. Managing back pain is easy when you have a good quality chair for your needs and you might find that your back pain is actually entirely due to the poor quality chair that you have been sitting in each day.
Many of us sit in an office chair for lots of hours each day. This is not healthy for us if we are not seated in a chair that supports our back and neck correctly. Preventing injuries requires daily care and attention and this is often easiest to provide when you have a quality chair sitting in front of your desk.
Investing in a good quality chair for your needs can make your daily work experience much more enjoyable and you will probably find that you are much more productive overall. This is a key benefit to selecting an office chair that is well-made and ergonomic.
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.
2.Oak Hollow Furniture Aloria
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.
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
- New Gesture Chair with Headrest Plus Lumbar Support - A new sitting experience designed with a back and seat that move as a synchronized system moving with each user to provide continue and persistent support
- Arms move like a human arm which allows users to be supported in any position
- Seat has comfort all the way to the edge with a flexible perimeter to allow users to sit in a range of positions
- Arms and shoulders remain supported regardless of device being used
- Designed to be quickly adjustable and takes into account various body types and sitting preferences
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.
Overall the Duramount is a decent ergonomic office chair, especially for the budget conscious.
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.Hегman Millег Mirra 2
If you work long hours at a desk every day, it’s worth investing in an ergonomic chair for back pain that will support your body properly, and our top recommendation is the Herman Miller Mirra 2. Yes, it’s expensive. But as you’d expect from a Herman Miller chair, it’s fantastically comfortable and looks stunning too. And it provides the best back support we’ve experienced.
The butterfly-shaped backrest responds effortlessly to your movements, making your spine feel cradled and supported, and preventing you from slumping or slouching. We also found that this chair comfortably holds you with knees slightly lower that hips, while your feet are flat on the ground – a key requirement ot sit properly on a chair straight from the UK’s National Health Service (for more on that, scroll to the bottom of this page).
The mesh is lovely and breathable, so you can stay cool on warm days. The chair offers excellent lumbar support, which can be adjusted for height (many of the cheaper chairs in our list include lumbar support but that isn’t adjustable) and the arms are fully adjustable too. The seat cushion distributes your weight beautifully, and it also takes the largest maximum load (159kg / 350lbs) of all the chairs on this list.
Pros & Cons
- Features: tilt limiter with seat angle adjustment, adjustable FlexFront seat, adjustable arms, AirWeave 2 woven suspension seat, and carpet casters. Seat Depth- 16.25-18 Inches
- Lightweight design, offering a combination of simplicity, flexibility, and personalized ergonomics
- The Butterfly back combines the comfort of upholstery with the strength of polymer to provide back support; Fixed Seat Depth
- Recommended for people who need to quickly flex between individual activities and group work
- Shipped Partially assembled
- Renewed and Refurbished by OfficeLogix
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.
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.
Foods and Supplements for Lower Back Pain
To reduce the pain that you feel in your lower back, strengthening your bones and abdominal and back muscles can go a long way.
According to dietitian Nicolette Pace, using diet to counter back pain is an “emerging field”. Various research suggest that tart cherries, soy, and brightly colored fruits and vegetables can reduce inflammation and treat lower back pain. They can’t stop the pain completely but they aid the healing process.
There are a few different types of food you should consider adding to your diet if you suffer from back pain. These include:
According to a report on Sunday Express, Dr Axe suggests that potassium rich foods can:
- Reduce swelling
- Aid muscular/nerve functions.
To increase your potassium intake, try to eat leafy greens, cultured dairy and bananas.
According to Dr. Cruciani, foods that are high in Omega-3 can help to fight inflammation and manage back pain. This means that it’s important for patients suffering from lower back pain to increase the amount of fish and flaxseeds in their diet.
Foods that are rich in Calcium and Vitamin C
NDTV brought attention to the value of calcium and vitamin C rich food for back pain. These two nutrients help to strengthen your back and reduce the weakness in your body, which may be a source of the pain. If you’d like to increase your vitamin C and Calcium intake try to include food like strawberries,bell peppers, oranges,and broccoli, milk and cheese into your diet.
Vitamin D supplements
According to the US National Library of Medicine, Vitamin D deficiency is linked to lumbar spinal stenosis, and back pain is one of the symptoms of this illness. As such, including Vitamin D supplements into your diet can be very important. We’d recommend seeing a doctor for the exact dosage, as they will take your individual requirements into account.
AromaTherapy and Massages for Back Pain
There are a number of aromatherapy oils which help with back pain. According to the US Library of Medicine, they have a positive effect on treating back pain.
To avail their effect, mix a carrier oil with one of the following essential oils. Then, massage the blend of oils onto your back. Using essential oils in combination with massage can be a powerful 1-2 punch to alleviating back pain. According to researchers, in a study involving 400 individuals with back pain, weekly massages improved the average pain that was experienced by patients by 2 points when measured on a 10 point scale. When the patients underwent a 10- week intervention period, 36% of them reported that their pain was almost gone.
Here are a few oils great to use in combination with massaging for lower back pain:
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Its strong anti inflammatory properties makes this a commonly used aromatherapy oil.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint is known for its anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties. This makes it a great choice for patients suffering from lower back pain.
Lavender Essential Oil
This oil has a multitude of uses but like eucalyptus, it stands out for it’s anti-inflammatory properties.
Marjoram Essential Oil
The Marjoram oil has antispasmodic properties, which makes it great for reducing pain, muscle tension and spasms.
Other Effective Lower Back Remedies
According to studies published by the US National Library of Medicine, hot and cold compressors can help with pain relief.
- If you are experiencing back pain after an injury, then ice packs can help to ease the pain by reducing the inflammation and numbing the area. You should make sure that you apply it for no more than twenty minutes at a time.
- If your muscles are stiff and achy, then a hot compress or a heating pad can help to relieve the pain. Just be careful that the compress doesn’t burn your skin.
We’d also recommend checking your injury with a doctor before choosing which compress to use; the wrong one could do more harm than good.
Devil’s Claw is extracted from an African plant and according to a report released by U.S. National Library of Medicine, its anti-inflammatory properties can help to manage back pain, with studies finding it as effective as some NSAIDs ( Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).
Choose and take a devil’s claw product daily with at least 50 to 60 mg of harpagoside, the active ingredient in devil’s claw. According to UHN, a lower dosage has shown to be significantly less effective than the aforementioned amount.
Turmeric is a spice commonly used in Asian curries and is rich in Curcumin, which has powerful anti inflammatory properties and is generally safe for use by adults.
There are many ways to incorporate Turmeric into your diet, from taking turmeric supplements, making turmeric and ginger tea, to cooking with turmeric.
Note that people with gallbladder issues however should avoid using it, according to the NCAAM.
Capsaicin can desensitize the channel which sends pain signals to the receptors in the brain. Capsaicin is effective when applied topically to the back for lower back pain relief.
According to the National Health Research Institute, a double blind study using Capsaicin topically on patients saw a 25% improvement in current back pain after 3 weeks. The majority of patients rated the efficacy “excellent”.
In the study, one patch (12 x 18 cm) containing 22 μg/cm2 capsaicin per day was applied to the area of pain in the morning. Patients were told to keep the patch in place for 4 to 8 hours.
In conclusion, while the office chairs may help alleviate pain as you sit, lets’s face it, no ergonomic office chair has ever cured back pain. Being mindful how you sit, strengthening your back muscles and proper exercise, a healthy diet, reducing stress and getting adequate sleep are some of the much more important things doctors recommend for addressing back pain at its roots.
Best Desk Chair for Upper Back Pain – The best office chair for back pain can be quite an investment, but it’s an important one. Whether you work at home or in an office or studio, if you’re a digital creative you probably spend a large portion of the day sitting at a desk. Experts on health warn against long periods of time sitting, and how we sit and what we sit on can exacerbate the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle. Taking regular breaks and changing posture, is highly recommended, but for those of us who have no choice but to spend long hours at a screen, the best ergonomic office chairs can at least help ensure we’re sitting well.
Bad posture can cause really serious health issues in the long term. The best ergonomic office chairs can help avoid this by supporting the back in the right places, particularly the lower back area known as the lumbar spine. Supporting the lumbar spine’s natural curve and keeping it in a neutral position is recommended to alleviate stress on the spine. The best office chairs for back pain do this with the use of various forms of support – fixed in the case of cheaper chairs and adjustable in more expensive option.