Are you prone to upper back pain? The following stretches provided in this article will help not only combat, but also prevent the same. Practice these regularly for best results.
The thoracic spine region is commonly known as the upper back–located between the neck and the lower back. Some of the common problems associated with this part include stiffness, muscle pain, and spasms. There are varied reasons that can lead to upper back pain–some of these include bad posture, bending, twisting, carrying a heavy bag, and standing in an awkward position for a very long time. However, the most common cause of back pain these days is spending a lot of time working on the computer. This often causes tight shoulders as well. Upper back stretches not only help in alleviating back pain, but also in preventing a stiff back and shoulders.
Stretches and Exercises
Stretch #1: To do this stretch, sit on a chair facing the wall. Your chair should be placed such that when you extend your hands in front of you, they should be at an angle. Sit on the chair and place the palms of your hands on the wall above your head. Make sure your armpits face the wall. Round your upper spine and try to push your back up towards the sky. Hold this position for 10 counts before you release. This stretch should be repeated 3 to 5 times.
Stretch #2: Stand straight with a hip-width-distance between your feet. Keep your shoulders down and extend your hands in front of you so that they are parallel to the floor. Clasp your hands together and intertwine the fingers, such that the palms of the hand are facing the opposite direction. Try to stretch the hands, as much as you can. Continue to breathe regularly, when you are doing the stretch. Hold the stretch for 10 to 15 counts and release. It can be repeated 3 to 5 times or whenever you feel a slight pain in the upper back area.
Stretch #3: Sit on a chair and place your hands next to your buttocks. Slowly squeeze the shoulder blade, so that the blades are closer to one another. Hold the position for 10 counts, release the stretch and repeat 3 to 5 times or whenever you feel the need for the same. This stretch can also be practiced when you are standing.
Stretch #4: Kneel on the ground with your buttocks resting on the heel of your legs. Extend your hands in front of you. Drop your head, and using your hands, try to push yourself backwards, so that your buttocks are not lifted off from the heels. If you do not feel the stretch, take your hands a little forward and repeat the stretch. You will have to hold the stretch for 10 to 15 counts. Release from the position and repeat the stretch 3 to 5 times.
Stretch #5: Cross your legs and sit on an exercise mat. Extend your hands in front of you, such that the palms are facing the opposite direction and intertwine the fingers. Now slowly lift your hands up, as though you were trying to reach the sky. Stretch as much as you can and try to sit straight tall. To increase the intensity of the stretch, keep your hands where they are, gradually bend to the right, come back to the center and then bend to the left. Hold the positions for sometime, before you release. Repeat 3 to 5 times.
It is important that the stretches be done regularly in order to experience positive results. While doing these stretches, if you feel any kind of pain, then stop doing the stretches immediately and consult your health care professional. In case you suffer from any shoulder or back problems do not do these stretches, unless you have consulted a health care professional.