Did you know that back pain is the second most common reason for visits to a doctor? 80% of the population worldwide and 31 million Americans, according to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), experience lower back pain at any given moment.
Most daily activities are usually done frontwards, exerting pressure on the chest and causing tension on the back.
The tightness results in a weak point on the back, hence the pain. Sedentary lifestyle is also the norm as most people work for almost an entire day while seated.
Prolonged sitting is a major recipe for poor posture and lack of exercises, leading to upper back pain.
Upper back and neck pain, middle back pain and shoulder pain can all be relieved by doing some upper back pain stretches and exercises.
A physical therapist or a chiropractor can also help to rehabilitate your back so you’re able to attain proper posture and realign your back to the way it’s supposed to be.
Poor posture causes misalignment of the back over time, leading to back pain problems for most people.
How to Relieve Upper Back Pain
A great way of relieving upper back pain is by doing simple upper back stretches and exercises.
Having an exercise regime is important because it eases spine motions, aligns the spine, relaxes muscles, increases blood flow to the muscles, and increases upper body strength.
Here are some of the best simple exercises you can do easily at home to relieve a tight back, sore neck, sore shoulders and other types of upper back pain:
Top 5 Exercises for Upper Back Pain Relief
Rowing requires use of dumbbells. While holding the dumbbells on each hand, stand with your hands on your sides.
Starting from the low position with your arms on your sides, pull your arms upwards so that the dumbbells move towards your chest.
While at the top position, move the shoulder blades towards each other and squeeze as if you are pressing something in betwe en them.
Return to neutral position. Do ten repetitions. The following video is illustrating how you can do this exercise.
Be in all fours to do spine arches. While on all fours with your back parallel to the floor, push your core outwards so that your back arches out. Hold this position for 6 seconds.
Move the spine downwards so arches towards the floor and again hold for 6 seconds. Do six to ten repetitions of this. This video illustrates how you can do spine arches:
Although you can do this exercise while seated or standing, ensure that your spine is aligned and you’re in proper posture.
Put your hands behind your neck and clasp your palms together. Move your neck upwards slowly until you face up towards the ceiling.
Hold at this position for a couple of seconds and then slowly move your neck back down. Do ten repetitions.
A thoracic stretch is the opposite of the exercise above.
To do this exercise, you should be seated on the floor with your legs stretched out, straight and parallel to the floor. Sit with your spine straight.
Hold your thighs with your arms equidistant from the knees to the hips.
Slowly lean your head and neck downwards towards your belly and gently push as if you want to reach the belly button.
Do not bend your spine so you get to feel your thoracic region stretch.
Hold on that position for about 3 seconds and then return to neutral position. Do 10 repetitions.
Shoulder Blade Squeeze
Carry out this exercise while seated or standing in an upright position with the spine straight.
With your arms starting on the sides, push your elbows outwards towards the back so that the shoulder blades move as close to each other as possible.
Hold for a couple of seconds and then return to neutral position. Repeat this 8 to 10 times.
You can do several sets of the above exercises or even combine more than one exercise for better back pain relief.
Other Ways of Relieving Back Pain
Go for a Massage
One of the easiest ways you can relieve upper back pain, or back pain in general, is by getting a massage.
There are many types of massages you can get depending on the severity of the pain you’re experiencing.
Massages for relieving upper back pain should be given by a professional masseuse, physical therapist or a chiropractor.
Another way to get a massage is by use of massaging equipment such as headed pads.
There are many massage seats available with the best seat massagers offering heated and vibratory massages.
Although getting a massage brings relief to upper back pain, note that the pain can persist if poor posture and other causes of the back pain are not addressed.
Have an Ergonomic Work Space
If you spend most of your time seated while working, ensure that your working space is ergonomic.
If you work on your computer, position it properly so you don’t have to move your head while working, but only your eyes.
Find a seat that aligns your spine straight as you work for an upright posture. Also make sure your table is of the correct height.
Text while Seated Upright
Bending your neck at an angle as you text puts undue pressure of about 60 pounds on it, making it a major cause of upper back pain for many people.
Move your phone upwards to be in line with your eyes so you don’t bend your neck for long periods as you text.
Sleep in a Neutral Position
It’s recommended that you sleep on your sides and your back rather than sleeping on your stomach. When you sleep on your stomach, you have to turn your neck on one side so you are able to breathe.
This can cause upper back pain or pain on your neck and shoulders. Exercise often and live an active lifestyle to maintain an upright posture at work and home.
The correct posture should be observed when you sit, stand and walk. Contact us to find out more on how you can prevent or relieve yourself of back pain.