Top 8 Easy & Effective Exercises For Upper Back Pain

exercises for upper back pain

8 Effective Exercises For Upper Back Pain 

Yes, our discussion is all about exercises for upper back pain. People with constant upper back pain might be looking for some healthy ways to cure the situation. What can be a better solution than easy and effective exercises for upper back pain?

The thoracic spine is another name for the upper back. The upper back can be painful anywhere between the base of the neck and the bottom of the rib cage. Lower back and neck pain are less common than upper or back pain because of the rigidity of the bones. In contrast, these bones work with the ribs to stabilize the back and protect vital organs such as the lungs and heart.

There are three stages of upper back pain.

Mild: It’s just a minor ache that can be overlooked.

Moderate:  Quite a bit stronger than mild. Doing something can make you feel it.

High: It’s so high that you can feel its pain even while doing the simplest of tasks.

Upper back pain hits everyone differently. That’s because everyone has different reasons for causing upper back pain. So, first of all, start with identifying the leading causes of upper back pain.

What Are the Root Causes of Upper Back Pain?

Soft tissue injuries or poor postures usually cause upper back pain. Below are some common causes of upper back pain.

#1 Muscle Overuse

Upper back pain is commonly caused by overusing the muscles of the back. This could typically happen due to repetitive motions over time, overuse of muscles, tightness, irritation, and muscle stress in the upper back.

#2 Poor Posture

It is possible to condition the upper back to be strong, but it is much easier to decondition it. A person can do it by sitting on a chair in front of the desk and just working and working. 

In the long run, the muscles become weaker and become the cause of the upper back pain. It is also possible to condition the muscles by continuously taking breaks from work, stretching out the muscles, moving around, and continuing.

#3 Traumatic Injury

A traumatic injury leads to back pain. A traumatic injury is may be caused by a car accident, falling, lifting incorrectly, doing an excessive workout, and any other accident.

#4 Herniated Discs

These cushions between the vertebrate are called discs. A herniated disc occurs when a disc pokes through the spine and puts pressure on it. It doesn’t take much pressure to cause significant pain. The resulting symptoms can also include arm or leg numbness.

#4 Pinched Nerve

When a herniated disc slips so far that it pinches its nearby nerves, this can cause numbness and pain in the legs and arms and weakness in the legs. The treatment of the pinched nerve from herniated disk is similar to the treatment of herniated discs.

#5 Spinal Infection

There are several types of spinal epidural abscesses caused by the buildup of pus and germs between the spinal cord and the spinal bone. Back pain can result from growing abscesses and swelling. It is rare for an infection to cause back pain. It is mandatory to do early treatment. To prevent serious complications, the doctors will administer the treatment quickly.

#6 Excess weight

Though the back carries the weight of the middle section of the body, if the weight is too much, it can hurt the soft tissues in the upper back section, causing the upper back pain, and reducing the weight will obviously relieve the pain. 

#7 Stress

Researches have shown that upper back pain also occurs due to stress. Scientists are not sure that why this is so. Instead, some experts say that the more stressed people are more likely to get the worst back pain.

How to Prevent Upper Back Pain?

Some steps can be taken to prevent upper back pain, but it might not avoid all of the causes.

  • Heavy workers and people who lift heavy objects should avoid twisting or lifting with their backs.
  • Do not wear heavy backpacks and purses.
  • Give yourself some time to stretch out the muscles before doing any activity.
  • While working at a desk, take regular breaks and stretch the muscles. Sitting continuously or lying down for a long time will lead to muscle pain, so move around frequently to relieve it. 
  • Correct your postures. Sit upright, walk upright, and use a back support if necessary.
  • Go to the physician to help your muscles get stronger and to correct your postures (if needed).

Few Exercises for Upper Back Pain

Complaints regarding upper back pain and neck pain are common when working in front of desks or when people are sad or stressed.

Here we will suggest some exercises to help you relieve your upper back pain and continue your work with ease.

#1 Cat-Cow Pose

To perform the cat pose, here are some of the tips

  • Keep your hands underneath your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. This pose is known as the table pose.
  • Now, move the back a little upward while pushing down through the shoulders and dropping your head towards the chest. This is known as the cat pose. Spend a few seconds doing this.
  • Now, move to the starting position, but this time, move your lower back slowly towards the floor and slowly move your head upward so that your head and nose are upward. Do this action for few seconds.
  • Now, go to the start and repeat this whole process for few times.

#2 Child’s Pose

To perform the child’s pose, here are some of the tips.

  • Put the big toes together and repeat the table pose.
  • Now, slowly lower the hips towards the floor and the buttocks placing on top of the feet.
  • In the next step, put your palms on the ground and stretch your arms outward.
  • Hold this position for as long as you are comfortable, and then slowly return to the sitting position by pushing through your arms.

#3 Wall Stretch

For wall stretch, here are some of the tips.

  • Face the wall with your right side touching it.
  • Now, bend the right arm to the elbow, and make your forearm touch the wall straight.
  • The arm should be straight so that there is a 90-degree angle between the arm and the forearm. 
  • Slowly move your right foot forward by twisting it towards the left so that your upper back and shoulders can feel the stretch.
  • Go back to your starting position after holding the stretch for a few seconds. Do this step a few times with both sides.

#4 Shoulder Roll

For doing shoulder roll, you should stand up straight. Gently move the shoulders forward, lift them, and down continuously in a circular motion. After about 30 seconds, repeat the activity in the opposite direction. Your arms should be straight and relax during this whole process.

#5 Trunk Rotation

Here are a few tips for doing trunk rotation.

  • Keep your feet flat, bend your knees, and lay on your back.
  • Take the knees to the center and move them the same way towards the left.
  • Now, slowly move the knees to the right, keeping them bend. 
  • Repeat this step several times on both sides. 

#6 Thoracic Extension

For thoracic extension, we need to follow some steps.

  • To do this exercise, sit on the floor and place a roller behind the body.
  • Now, slowly move back so that your upper back can touch the roller.
  • Ensure your neck and head are supported by your hands behind the head. Take a deep breath.
  • For more stretch, raise your hands above your head, take few more deep breaths and relax your back.
  • Repeat this step several times.

#7 Knee-to-Chest

Lie on your back. Gently lift the legs with the bent knees. Touch the knees to the chest and hug them. After that, take deep breaths and then release your feet and let them touch the floor. Repeat this exercise as needed.

#8 Overhead Arm Reach

To do this exercise, stand in the up straight position. So raise your hands above the head and gently lean towards the right with both hands raised. Whenever you feel any difficulty, pull the left hand gently to the right with your right hand. Now, come to the starting position and repeat the same step on the left side. 

Repeat this exercise several times.


It is not so common to have upper back pain, but there are more chances of getting it due to carelessness. Because upper back pain can cause some critical situations, it is essential to know what causes it. Exercises can be done if you have upper back pain, as discussed above. It’s crucial to see a doctor when the pain worsens.

Read Also: Avoid these Gym Mistakes

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