Upper Back Stretches

Upper back stretches are recommended for preventing upper back pain. Before we go on to talk about upper back stretches, let us describe what makes up the upper back. The thoracic spine region is known as the upper back region.

There are many problems that people face with the upper back. These include muscle pain, stiffness, and spasms and so on.

Upper Back Stretches For Pain


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Upper Back Stretches For Pain

Upper back stretches for pain help to alleviate back pain and also help to prevent a stiff back and stiff shoulders as well. Upper back pain and stiffness in the shoulders and back can be addressed quite easily, and here’s one method that just might help.

  1. Place a chair so that it is facing a wall. The chair should be placed in such a position that when you have to extend your hands in front of you, they are at an angle.
  2. Now sit on the chair and then place the palms of your hands on the wall above your head.
  3. Your armpits should be facing the wall. Now try to round your upper spine.
  4. Do this by trying to push your back up, as if towards the sky. Hold this position for 10 counts.
  5. Repeat this stretch about 5-10 times for best results.

Upper Back Stretches For Back Pain

There are many upper back stretches for back pain. These include the Standing stretch, Sitting Stretch, Arms Slide and so on. The best feature of these stretches is that they can be done sitting in one place. You can even practice them at work while sitting at your desk.

  1. Start the stretch by crossing your arms behind your head. Bend forward as this puts pressure on your head.
  2. Do not bend from your neck and head but from the upper back.
  3. Hold this position and then follow it by arching your back. Gradually return to your original position.

Yoga Upper Back Stretches

Yoga is a well known form of alternative medicine that can help with many health problems. Upper back pain is just one of them. There are several yoga upper back stretches. Some of them are Bharadvajasana (Bharadvaja Twist), Sethu Bandhasasana ( Bridge Pose) , and Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose), Cow Pose and so on. The Dolphin Pose is another pose that is recommended for upper body strength. This pose is performed in the following way.

  1. Go down on your hands and knees. Keep your palms pressed together.
  2. Now lower your forearms to the floor.
  3. Raise your knees up from the floor while curling your toes under.
  4. Your knees should be slightly bent in this position.
  5. Now raise your hips and tailbone and lengthen your spine.
  6. Keep your head steady between your forearms.
  7. You can straighten your knees if you want an extra stretch.

This pose should be held for 30 seconds after which you can bring your knees down to the floor again. Back pain is a common problem for pregnant women. There are some upper back stretches for pregnancy as well. These include a Backward Stretch, Forward Bend, Trunk Twist, Back Press, and so on.

Types of Upper Back Stretches

There are many types of upper back stretches. One well known stretch is the Egyptian Stretch. This stretch is performed in the following way.

Egyptian Stretch:

  1. Stand straight on an exercise mat. Ensure that your back is straight.

  2. Now place your left hand in front of you.
  3. Your other arm should be twisted around the left hand from under.
  4. Now hold your thumb.
  5. Keep the hand extended in the position mentioned in the second step, while doing so.
  6. Now bend both arms from the elbows.
  7. Stop when they point towards the ceiling and hold this position for 2 minutes.
  8. At this stage of the stretch you should be feeling a strong stretch. This stretching feeling will be between your shoulder blades.
  9. Release the position and change hands.

Heels Over Head:

It is another type of upper back stretch. This stretch stretches your back, neck and shoulders. The steps are as follows:-

  1. Place a yoga mat on the floor and lie on it.
  2. Keep your legs straight and slowly lift your feet off the floor.
  3. Now bend your head and swing your feet backward.
  4. At this stage of the stretch, your toes should touch the floor behind you and your back should be lifted off the mat .
  5. Ensure that you support your back with your hands. Keep your balance and support yourself by pushing your elbows into the mat.
  6. Breathe deeply throughout this pose.
  7. Hold this pose for about 20 seconds.
  8. Repeat 2-3 times.

Relaxing Swiss Ball Upper Back Stretch:

It stretches your abdomen, neck and entire back.

  1. Start by lying face up on the Swiss ball. The ball should be under the middle of your back.
  2. Now bend your body carefully and let your body sink into the ball.
  3. Relax your neck.
  4. Now try to let your entire body fall towards the floor and trust the ball to support you.
  5. Get more support while doing this by opening your legs and arms slightly.
  6. Hold this stretch for 2 minutes.

An important point to keep in mind while practicing Neck rolls is that you must stop the stretch immediately if you feel any pain or if it just does not feel right. This is in the interest of your own safety.

Butterfly Wings Stretch:

This is an upper back stretch that can be performed while seated in a chair.

Upper Back Stretches : Do's & Don’ts

Do's :

  • Do be sure to stretch for at least 8 minutes before and after your work out.
  • Do take it easy before your workout as well
  • Breathe deeply between your stretches.


  • Do not cut down on the amount of time you need to hold the stretch.
  • Do not bounce into your stretches – this will not help you in any way at all.
  • Do not continue the stretch if you feel any pain or discomfort.
  • Pushing your body past what it can do is not advisable at all.

Upper Back Stretches Benefits

  • They help to ease tension, improve your body posture, and prevent the body from hunching forward.
  • They are also beneficial in easing stiffness and pain in the tissues surrounding the upper spine.
  • Keep in mind that a healthy back means a healthy spinal cord.
  • It ensures strong bones and good health as well.
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