5 Best Stretches for Upper Back Pain

Due to the pandemic forcing many office workers to stay at home and a lack of ergonomic chairs and desks, a lot more people are finding that they suffer from upper back pain. Often described as pain between the shoulder blades, back pain from bad poster is a serious matter. Fortunately, for those experiencing this type of pain, there are several exercises that can be done to help alleviate the discomfort.

The following exercises are safe to perform at home; however, please consult with your primary care doctor or chiropractor if you have health concerns.

Upper Back Pain Stretches You Can Do at Home

You may find one or more of these exercises works better on your upper back pain than others. However, give each a try to see which of them provides you with the most relief.

#1 Wall Angels

Wall angels are easy, effective, and a great morning exercise to work into your routine.

Simply lean against a wall, with your back flat against the wall and your feet about 12 to 18 inches from the wall. Then, with your arms extended out in a T-shape against the wall, move them above your head – like you would if making a snow angel. Keep your hands pressed against the wall through the entire motion.

#2 Corner Wall Stretch

The corner wall stretch is easy and feels great. All you need is a 90-degree corner in a room with enough space to stand and lean against the walls.

To perform this stretch, rest your forearms against either wall, step in with either foot, then push your chest towards the corner. Moving your arms higher and lower on the walls and adjusting your head position can help target different spots between your shoulders.

#3 Shoulder Roll

Shoulder rolls offer a quick way to stretch your upper back and they can be done sitting, standing, and laying down.

To get the best stretch from shoulder rolls, do 10 to 15 rolling your shoulders forward and 10 to 15 rolling your shoulders in the opposite direction. Perform this stretch multiple times per day to reduce muscle tension.

#4 Neck Stretches

While there are several neck stretches that can help alleviate upper back pain, the side bend and rotation techniques are two of the best. Please note that your neck and its muscles are sensitive, so do not overstretch.

You can stand or sit to perform these stretches. The first one involves you tilting your neck from side to side. Hold your neck at either side of your body for 10 to 15 seconds. When done, do two to three clockwise rotations and two to three counterclockwise rotations. Repeat this several times per day.

#5 Thoracic Extension

This exercise is best performed with the aid of a foam roller, but it is not necessary to gain the benefits of this movement.

When ready, in a chair that has a backing that goes up to about three-quarters of the way up to your back. Then, arch your back over the chair backing while simultaneously moving your arms from your side to behind the chair.

What to Do if Stretching Isn’t Enough

If your pain is constant and you’re not finding any relief from stretching, you should consult with a medical professional. Physical therapists and chiropractors are experts in pain relief and have specialized equipment to help with your recovery process.

If unsure whether you should seek an expert’s help for your back pain, consult with your primary care physician.

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