Are you experiencing intolerable pain in the upper spine region below the neck and between the shoulders? Then you are probably suffering from upper back pain. Upper back is a region where most people take for granted, however, your upper back and spine gets a lot of support from the muscles in the shoulders, chest and neck. We will see here some of the best upper back stretches.
Upper back pain can be as severe as to limit your capabilities and movements making it difficult to get past your routine activities in the day. If the pain gets severe and you are unable to take it anymore, remember that there are several upper back stretches that you can do to get rid of back pain. These exercises are not just effective but also inexpensive and you need not spend money on expensive treatments.
Reasons for Upper Back Pain
Before attempting exercises to relieve severe upper back pain, it is essential to know the reasons causing the same. Some possible reasons behind upper back pain are-
1. Bad Posture
Bad sitting and standing posture can be a cause for severe upper back pain. Bad posture often goes unnoticed but faces severe consequences later. Improving body posture can reduce upper back pain as well as strengthen back muscles too.
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2. Sprain in Back Muscles
Strain in the back muscle due to sudden movement in a activity or carrying heavy load can cause upper left back pain. The muscle becomes strained and causes unbearable pain.
3. Wrong Exercises
Unawareness of certain exercises or ignorance technique of how it should be done can cause detrimental consequences. When you exercise wrongly, the muscles get targeted and strained causing pain in different parts of the body.
4. Slipped Disc
Slipped Disc is a condition where one of the discs of the spine is pressing on the nerves due to damage. This is known to be one of the most probable upper back pain causes depending on the location of the slipped disc.
5. Excess Exercise
There is saying that too much of anything is not good. When you exercise too much, the muscles also get pulled a lot and get strained. Excess exercise can cause severe upper back pain. Time should be given between exercises for the muscles to recover and become stronger.
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Best Upper Back Stretches
Upper back stretches can bring a lot of benefits. These exercises are meant to target the pain that is caused in your upper back. Apart from this, these exercises make your body stronger and healthier. Some of the exercises to relive upper back pain are-
Some of the exercises to relive upper back pain are-
1. Head Stretch
If you are wondering how to stretch your upper back, then the head stretch exercise is the best one for you.
- Sit firmly on the ground keeping the back straight. Maintain a correct posture.
- Keep your hands behind your head and slowly bring your head forward.
- Now bring your chin toward the chest area.
- Hold in this position for about 10-20 seconds. Repeat this 5 times.
2. Leg Stretch
If you are suffering from upper left back pain, then the leg stretch exercise will surely help you relieve the pain.
- Stand in a straight position with your arms on each side of the body.
- Keep your legs together.
- Now raise your right arm up to 90 degrees and move it in a half circle.
- Release your right arm.
- Repeat the same with your left arm.
3. Elbow Squeeze
One of the best stretches to relieve upper back pain is the elbow squeeze exercise. Perform this exercise regularly to get rid of upper back pain.
- Stand in a straight position.
- Keep your arms behind the back and ensure that your hands are holding on to each other.
- Now move elbows towards each other and bend your head backwards slightly.
- Hold on this position for about 10 seconds.
- Repeat this exercise at least 5 times.
4. Child Pose
If you are wondering how to stretch your upper back, then the child pose exercise is the best one for you.
- Kneel on the ground and bend your head close to the ground.
- Stretch your hands forward.
- Then stretch your hands backward. Do not change the position while stretching.
- Stay in the position for about 20 seconds.
- Repeat at least 2 times.
5. Chest Stretch
The best way how to stretch your back is the chest stretch exercise. This exercise targets all the muscles in the upper back and helps relieve pain as well as strengthen the muscles.
- Stand with your knees bent.
- Clasp your hands at the back and extend the arms going up from the same position.
- Hold in this position for about 20 seconds.
- Take care not to strain the head and neck in this position.
6. Cat Stretch
The ideal exercise for back pain is the cat stretch exercise. This exercise is simple to do and can be performed without any supervision.
- Go down on your fours like a cat.
- Keep your back flat and make sure your body weight is equally distributed on all four sides.
- Drop your head and rotate your head clockwise and anti-clockwise.
- Do this for about 15 to 20 seconds.
7. Backward Leg Swing
If you are looking out for upper back stretches to relieve pain, then you can perform the backward leg swing exercise.
- Hold on to a chair for support and stand in a straight position.
- Now swing your right leg diagonally in the opposite direction.
- Repeat the same with the other leg.
8. Sitting Toe Touch
To best treatment and permanent fixture to severe upper back pain is the sitting toe touch exercise. This exercise is universally performed and applauded by many.
- Sit straight with your legs stretched out on the floor.
- Slowly bend your back and try to reach your toes.
- Return to the starting position.
- Repeat at least 5 times.
- Make sure your back is arched when you stretch or bend forward.
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Additional Tips to Treat Back Pain at Home
1. Take a Break or Change Your Routine
Repetitive work and stress can be a major reason for upper back pain. As a primary measure, take a break from your regular hectic routine and rest for a couple of days.
2. Over The Counter NSAIDS
Anti-inflammatory non-steroidal drugs such as asprin and ibuprofen can work as temporary solutions for upper back pain.
3. Ice Packs
Ice or cold treatment is an effective treatment for muscular pain. Ice therapy can be applied on the upper back for temporary relief.
4. Foam Roller
Rolling on a firm roller is an excellent way to massage your upper back and give you relief from pain. They are most commonly used in yoga, physiotherapy and pilates.
The above-mentioned upper back stretches are some of the simple exercises you can perform to get rid of upper back pain. Before resorting to back pain treatments and physiotherapy sessions, try out these simple exercises. They relive you from pain as well make your muscles strong to cope to wear and tear. You can combine yoga sessions and Pilates exercises to make it more effective. If your upper back is aching due to injuries or accidents, it is time to consult a medical practitioner. Numbness in the back region is also a sign to contact your healthcare provider. If the pain doesn’t resolve with any exercises, seek medical help right away.