Is upper back pain affecting your daily routine? Typically, it starts as a small annoyance and slowly transforms into something that will restrict you from easily completing tasks in your daily life.
The key to healing upper back pain is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Regularly exercising, maintaining a healthy weight, and eating nutritious foods all play a significant role in prevention. However, what can you do if you’re already experiencing discomfort?
A professional stretch practitioner understands exactly what it takes to decrease the discomfort you’re feeling and possibly get rid of it completely.
What Can Cause Upper Back Pain?
Stretching can help relieve your aches, but how did it originate in the first place? Identifying the cause is extremely important to finding the solution. If you continue to do a harmful activity while working toward healing, you may not recover in the way you’d hoped.
At multiple points in your life, you’ve probably been told to sit up straight. Poor posture is being a bad habit. Nothing good comes from slouching. When you sit in a slouched position, you are putting an unnecessary amount of pressure on your neck, discs, and spine. This extra weight being unevenly distributed can result in weakened muscles and upper back pain.
Sometimes upper back pain is just something that comes from an unfortunate circumstance. Whether it be a nasty fall or car accident, back pain can come rapidly and unexpectedly. Furthermore, it can even be a result of lifting weights or working out.
If it does originate from exercising, consider toning down your workout routine to avoid the possibility of injuring your body. Taking on too much weight too fast can shock your muscles and lead to injury.
Repeatedly Using Your Muscles
Consistently using your muscles can also bring on upper back pain. This tends to happen a lot with athletes who use their bodies in the same way repeatedly. While this can often be hard to avoid, you can decrease the chance for excessive pain by recognizing the signs and knowing when to take a step back.
Some other common causes of upper back pain include:
- Herniated disc
- Pinched nerves
How Assisted Stretching Can Help
With assisted stretching, you won’t have to worry about the chance of further injuring yourself while trying to do stretches on your own. An expert stretch practitioner can guide you through the best possible stretches that can help ease your pain.
Arm Across Chest
For the arm across chest stretch, a stretch practitioner will be guiding your arm across your chest to target the middle and posterior deltoids –pulling it just enough to feel the work without overstretching. Upper back pain often originates in an office setting as it’s easy to slump down and slouch your shoulders. The cross-body motion will loosen tension and make you feel free and comfortable.
To set up for a trunk rotation, you’ll have your knees bent while lying on your back. Keeping both knees bent, a stretch practitioner will move them over to one side, or as far as they can go without the chance of injury.
This stretch is meant to improve your flexibility, leading to an improvement in your range of motion, as well as better rotation in your spine.
Side-Lying Thoracic Rotation
Sometimes upper back pain can suppress your body’s ability to rotate. We tend to become stiff since movements to the side can bring on more pain and discomfort. The side-lying thoracic rotation is a terrific way to ease the discomfort, while also increasing mobility.
While on your side, your arms are going to be positioned straight out in front of you while your knees are bent. If you’re on your right side, a stretch practitioner will begin by bringing your left hand over to the opposite side of your body as your upper body and head rotate with it, bringing relief to that built-up tension.
When you’re completing this stretch, your body will look like someone is opening a book, which is why this stretch is often nick named “the open book.”
Overhead Arm Reach
This stretch is great for your upper back as well as your shoulders, so if you are experiencing any type of shoulder pain as well, it is a good two-for-one stretch.
With one arm pointed above your head, a stretch practitioner will guide it to the opposite side of your body as you simultaneously bend your torso. You should immediately feel the stretch in your latissimus dorsi, which is one of the largest muscles in the back.
Upper Trapezius Stretch
For the upper trapezius stretch, you’ll start out by sitting up with your back straight. With your head tilted to the left, a stretch practitioner will place their hand on the back of your head and gently pull it down.
This stretch will provide great benefits to those who are typically sitting all day, especially if they have poor posture. The movement of your head in the downward position will affect the trapezius muscle, which travels from the thoracic spine up to the skull.
Relieve Your Upper Back Pain with Assisted Stretching
Back pain is never easy to deal with, so why pass up an opportunity to ease that pain? Friendly stretch practitioners make it their mission to decrease, and hopefully stop, the discomfort you’ve been experiencing.
Image Credits: Becca Matimba