When you are in pain the last thing you think would help is exercise. However, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. In many cases, exercising is exactly what you need. Now before you jump the gun, we are not talking about hopping on a treadmill or doing jumping jacks.
The type of back exercises we are referring to could also be more accurately described as stretches. But not any old stretch will do. It’s important to understand what is causing your upper back pain. The upper back, which includes the neck and shoulders, is the most complex area of the body due to the number of joints and how those joints work together. The upper back can experience much of the same conditions that the lower back experiences, such as disc issues, pulled muscles, arthritis and many more.
Besides experiencing trauma, muscle imbalances in the back are the second common cause of upper back pain. The good news is, is that these imbalances once they are identified can be corrected with specific, targeted stretches and exercises. Trigger points in the upper back also contribute to upper back pain. Be sure to check out our muscle imbalance page, learn more about muscle imbalances and how you can correct them.
We are going to talk about a few stretches that you can perform in the meantime, that will help give you temporary relief from upper back pain. Now remember, these back exercises for upper back pain will not fix your problem. It is important to discover which specific muscle imbalances you have (as you may have one or many) and begin the appropriate corrective program.
Back Exercises for Upper Back Pain #1
Stand with your knees slightly bent, cross your arms in front of you and grab the inside of your knees. Gently push your knees outward and as you do so, you will be stretching across your trapezoids muscles and in between the shoulder blades.
Back Exercises for Upper Back Pain #2
This is a fairly simple stretch to perform. While sitting or standing, take your hand and interlock your finger. Push your arms out as far as they can go while rounding the back.
Back Exercises for Upper Back Pain #3
A simple stretch for the neck is to simply tilt your head to one side, holding it for up to 10 seconds and switching from side to side. Each time you perform this, try to stretch a bit deeper. An alternative to this stretch is to grab the arm and pull it behind your back which will pull your shoulder down. Tilt your head in the opposite direction which will increase the stretch. You can complete this stretch by tilting your head forward, then gently tilting it back, tilting it left, then to the right.
You can check out the link below to watch a video demonstration of the above mentioned back exercises for back pain.