Upper Back Pain Relief Exercises


Upper back pain may be the result of poor posture or the result of a strain or injury. Shoulder and neck pain may accompany upper back pain. Whatever the cause of the pain, exercise may help to alleviate it in many individuals. It is always wise to consult a doctor before starting a new exercise routine.

Shoulder Shrug

  • Simply stand naturally with arms at the side. Raise and lower shoulders 10 times.

Thoracic Extension and Stretch

  • Thoracic Extention-Sit in a chair with both arms clasped behind your head. Then, arch your body backward gently 10 times while looking up.

    Thoracic Stretch-Sit with your legs stretched out on the floor. While holding your thighs, curl your neck and head toward your navel and count to 15. Release and repeat 3 more times.

Rowing Exercise

  • For this exercise you will need exercise bands. You will need to anchor the bands and hold one band in each hand while sitting in a chair. Forearms should remain vertical and elbows should be bent 90 degrees and level with your shoulders. Then, pull the bands toward you while also pressing your shoulders together. Do 3 sets of 10.

Pectoralis Stretch

  • While standing in a doorway with both arms above your head and on the wall, lean forward just enough until a you feel a stretch in the front part of the shoulders. This stretch should be held for about 15 to 30 seconds and repeated 3 times.

Arm Slides on Wall

  • For this exercise, you may choose to either stand or sit against the wall. Your wrists and elbows should touch the wall throughout the movement. Slide arms slowly up as high as possible. Do 3 sets of 10.

Scapular Squeezes

  • Again, you may either sit or stand for this exercise. Let arms rest by your sides as you press your shoulder blades together. Hold each squeeze for 5 seconds and do 3 sets of 10.

Mid-trap Exercise

  • While lying on your stomach with your arms out to each side, raise and lower your arms slowly as you press shoulder blades together. Also, you should place a pillow under your chest. Do 3 sets of 10.

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