Did you know back pain is one of the most common reasons people miss work? It’s also the third most common reason people visit the doctor. Fortunately, there are plenty of good stretches for upper back pain for you to try. These stretches should help you live pain-free!
Common Reasons for Upper Back Pain
Upper back pain can be an issue for people of all ages and professions. It can be mechanical (when a structure is stressed or deformed) or non-organic (not caused by serious conditions). Some of the most common reasons people deal with back pain include:
- Poor posture
- Traumatic injury
- Improper lifting techniques
- Herniated disc
- Muscle overuse
Best Stretches for Upper Back Pain
If you’re ready to get rid of that upper back pain once and for all, we’re here to show you some of the best stretches you can do to target that area. While stretching on your own isn’t bad, getting help from a professional stretch practitioner can ensure you get all the benefits of the stretch.
It may target your legs, but this stretch can also help with upper back pain! It’s a great stretch for those who sit all day because it releases tension in the hamstrings as well as tightness in the upper back. Start by sitting with your legs straight out in front of you. With your back straight and your shoulders down, slowly reach for your toes. A stretch practitioner will help guide you further by gently pushing your back.
Perhaps the child’s pose is one of the best stretches for upper back pain! Starting on your hands and knees, you’re going to gently bring your hips back, bend your knees, and hold your arms straight out. A stretching coach will gently push your back to deepen the stretch. The child’s pose is also great for opening tight hips.
Another common back stretch is the famous cat-cow stretch. You’ll also begin on your hands and knees for this one. Start by inhaling, expanding your chest, pulling your shoulders back, and gazing upward. Then you’ll exhale, round your spine, and then tuck your chin. A stretch practitioner should guide you to ensure you do this stretch correctly.
Lateral Side Stretch
With your arms raised overhead, your stretch practitioner will slowly lean you to one side and hold you in that position for a few seconds before switching you to the other side. This is a move our body rarely does, so it’s great for loosening the upper back, side, and torso.
Upper Trapezius Stretch
Your trapezius is the trapezoidal-shaped area between your neck and upper back. The top portion of it can get tight when you’re continuously looking down at your phone. To stretch your upper trapezius, you’re going to tilt your head to one side until you can get your ear as close to your shoulder without straining it. Your stretching coach will be there to ensure you keep your shoulders square. After holding the position on one side, you’re going to do the other.
Supine Back Twist
The supine back twist is great for opening your chest and improving spine mobility. You’re going to begin on your back with your arms stretched out on either side of you. A stretch coach will take one leg, bend your knee, and cross it over your body. Your shoulders should remain on the floor, and the stretching coach will gently push your lower back for a deeper stretch before doing the other side.
Why Stretching Your Back is Important
Untreated upper back pain can affect your overall health. When your back is tight, it causes other areas of your body to work harder and cause even more pain. This is one of the many reasons why stretching your back is good for you. You will also notice the following when you regularly stretch.
It Keeps You Limber
Tight muscles make it harder to move. Making it a routine to stretch your back will keep you limber so you can function like normal. You can finally perform your daily tasks pain-free!
It Helps Relieve Overall Body Aches
As we previously mentioned, untreated back pain can lead to discomfort in other areas of your body. You’ll notice fewer aches in places like your neck, shoulders, and hips when you stretch your back. This is because those muscles aren’t working harder to support your body due to a stiff back.
It Reduces the Likelihood of Injury
When your muscles are well stretched, your chances of getting injured significantly decrease. Stretching not only strengthens the muscles in your back, but it also loosens them so they can be prepared for certain kinds of movement. If you bend down and feel a twinge of pain in your back, that’s a sign you need to stretch!
It Strengthens Your Back
When you stretch your back, the reduced tension, increased range of motion, and better mobility can all aid in strengthening those muscles. Having a strong back can also help improve your posture.
How Often Should You Perform These Stretches for Upper Back Pain?
Stretching every day will keep your back in good shape, and visiting a professional stretch coach at least once a week can help even more. You no longer have to let pesky back pain prevent you from doing what you enjoy the most. With these stretches, along with guidance from a stretch practitioner, you should be on the right track for a pain-free life.