Exercises for Upper Back Pain

Your upper back is supported by your shoulder, neck, chest, and back muscles. Strengthening these muscles through a regular exercise regimen is the best way to beat off neck and upper back pain.

Ideally, these exercises for upper back pain should be performed for 15-20 minutes at a time, 2 or 3 times days a week.

Remember – consult with your doctor to be sure you’re not carrying a serious injury.

Isometric exercise in which you push against resistance without moving your muscles are a great way to strengthen your neck and upper back.

To learn more about symptoms, causes and treatments of upper back pain, click here.

In a typical isometric exercise for upper back pain – look straight ahead and put your palm on your forehead. Keeping your neck steady, push with your palm and resist with the muscles of your neck while breathing evenly. Repeat on both sides of your head. Resist for 10 seconds each time and do 5-10 repetitions per side.

You can also do stretches for upper back pain. Get on your hands and knees, with your neck parallel to the floor. Lift one arm and stretch it out ahead of you, parallel to the floor without raising your head. Hold for 5 seconds while breathing evenly and lower your arm again. Repeat 5-10 times and switch to your other arm.

Thoracic extension stretching exercises for upper back pain

Sit on the edge of a chair, clasp your hands behind your head and gently arch backward – keeping your abdominal and back muscles stable – until you are looking up at the ceiling. Repeat 10 times.

Arm slides for upper back pain

Stand against a wall with your elbows and wrists pressed back against the wall. Slowly slide your arms up as high as you can, keeping your elbows and wrists against the wall, then return to your original position. Repeat 10 times.

Butterfly stretches for upper back pain

Place your palms down on your shoulders. Keeping your hands in place, bring your elbows together until you feel your upper back stretching. Hold for 5 seconds while breathing evenly and return to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.

Shoulder Roll. Roll your shoulders forward, slowly making large circles. Reduce to smaller circles and reverse direction. Repeat 10 times.

Aerobic exercises for upper back pain also help to keep blood flowing through your back and keep your spinal discs well-fed and healthy. Working out on a stationary bike or treadmill is ideal as they keep your abdominal and back muscles working without over-exerting or over-stretching them.

Please remember

If you experience loss of bowel or bladder control or chronic upper back pain, numbness, tingling, or similar sensations – its time to see your physician! Serious injuries that go untreated or are treated incorrectly can lead to possibly irreparable damage.

One of the most effective treatments for upper back pain is called Muscle Balance Therapy.

Muscle Balance Therapy

Filed Under: Back Pain
Written By:  Updated:
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Jesse Cannone, CFT, CPRS, MFT

Jesse is the co-founder and visionary CEO of The Healthy Back Institute®, the world-leading source of natural back pain solutions. His mission as a former back pain sufferer is to help others live pain free without surgery and pharmaceuticals.

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