How to Relieve Upper Back Pain

In the modern-day, more and more jobs have been confining people to desks. Though there is convenience in such jobs there are also many health risks that will arise later. One of the biggest health problems being faced is upper back pain.

The most common reason for back pain is poor posture and muscle deconditioning. This can happen if one were to sit for too long in front of the computer at an office desk without maintaining proper posture. If you do not have proper posture while working out it can be another reason for upper back pain as well. Muscle deconditioning is a form of muscle weakness and it occurs when one does not use their muscles for a long period of time.

When you are working at a desk you are less likely to have proper use of your muscles since you are sitting all day long and due to this, your muscles will get weak. If you were to use your back again, for example, to lift a heavy object, then you are likely to pull a muscle.

There are many other reasons for upper back pain as well. One is overusing muscles in a repetitive motion. For example cricket players, they must bowl in the same position to control the motion of the ball and in doing so they often injure their shoulders. The same could be said for upper back pain when doing a repetitive motion. More examples would be a pinched nerve or a traumatic injury.

According to, there are many upper back stretches and exercises you can perform to alleviate upper back pain. The best part is for most of them you do not even have to move from where you are sitting!

Neck Rolls

The first of the stretches and probably the easiest of them all is the neck roll. This is a great warm-up exercise as well as a cool down after you are done working out. The instructions for this are quite simple. You should remember to make sure you maintain the correct posture when doing this or you can end up straining your neck.

Firstly, you need to sit or stand in an upright position. Proceed to place your hands on your lap or your hips. Then move your right ear towards your right shoulder. While making sure your back is straight, move your chin down to your chest. Then move your head so that your left ear hovers on top of your left shoulder. Finally, while keeping your position as proper as it can be, move your head back and look up. This motion completes one neck roll.

You can alternate between starting on the left side and the right side. There is also no limit to how many of these you can do as they do not strain you.

Shoulder Shrugs

One of the easiest upper back stretches to relieve pain is a shoulder shrug. Remember to make sure your position is correct or else this can increase your upper back pain.

First, you need to stand with your arms hanging freely at your sides. Your back should be straight, and your feet should be flat on the floor. Move your shoulders up so that they almost touch your ears. Then lower them back to their original position.

Do this move with every inhale while exerting pressure on your upper back muscles and release your shoulders with every exhale. Doing this will build your muscles and if you are looking for a challenge you can always pick up some dumbbells. Following the previously mentioned structure but this time just hold a dumbbell at your sides.

Shoulder Roll

In line with a shoulder shrug, you can add a shoulder roll to your workout routine or even do it just at your desk. This is just as simple as the previous upper back stretches. Place your feet flat on the ground and straighten your back. Then just roll your shoulder in a circular motion. Doing this repeatedly and consistently will do wonders for your upper back muscles.

Chair Rotation

For this upper-back stretch, you will need a chair. Start by sitting on the chair sideways, your side should be aligned with the chair. Without moving your legs, you should move your upper body and reach for the back of the chair. Hold for 10 seconds. Change sides after every few reps so that both receive equal attention.

Cat And Cow

Yoga is very helpful for back pain and many poses target different muscle groups. The cat and cow pose are great for back pain, especially if you are having trouble with your upper back. This stretch is a beginner yoga pose and is therefore quite simple. You need to be on your palms flat on the ground with your back straight. With an inhale, roll into your pelvis and round out your back. With an exhale, arch your back and push out your bottom. Doing this repeatedly at the beginning of your workout is a great stretch.

Knee To Chest

The upper-back stretch is called “knee to chest”. The exercise is exactly what it sounds like. Start by laying flat and your back straight. Then bend your left leg and bring it up to your chest. Hold the leg to your chest for 10 seconds and then proceed to continue doing the same with your right leg.

Overhead Arm Reach

The last stretch is an overhead arm reach. Like previous “chair rotation stretches” this also requires something to sit one. Plant your feet flat on the ground and sit forwards. Then bend your arm over your head to reach your shoulder so that your torso extends then follow the same movement with your other arm. This makes sure your obliques are stretched as well and will alleviate your upper back pain. Furthermore, if you perform all the exercises and your upper back stiffness or discomfort persists, you can also research the benefits of seeing a chiropractor to address any underlying issues or receive additional treatment options. Relieving upper back pain or any muscle discomfort is vital to a healthy and comfortable lifestyle.

Final Words

In conclusion, a lot of people nowadays are facing back problems for a multitude of reasons. The main one being muscle degradation from the lack of use. Exercise is very beneficial especially if you work a desk job because you spend your day sitting in front of a computer. The awkward position leads to upper back pain and there are many ways to start stretching your back so that the pain is relieved.

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