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Monday, March 27, 2023

5 Pain-Relief Exercises for a Tight Upper Back

Most people earn their income by sitting in front of a computer. They spend more than 7+ hours a day fixated on a screen. If you are in the same position, you shouldn’t be shocked to have a tight upper back.

Let’s be real, people did not evolve while sitting. As the human species, we are used to being on our feet and being alert. However, how do modern times look like? Humans are always immobile and stay put in their comfort zone. As you can see, you having a tight upper back have a deeper reason.

So, what can we do about this? Should we accept our fate and keep living with pain? No, there is a lot you can do to alleviate the pain and change your life. In this article, we’ll take a look at the 5 pain-relief exercises for a tight upper back.

Tips on How to Relieve Tight Upper Back

Tips on How to Relieve Tight Upper Back

Stretch Every Day

We used to stretch our muscles at school, that’s for sure. However, the stretches were limited to our legs and arms, but not to the upper back. You should implement back stretches in your everyday stretch routine.

Sit up Straight

This is something you should start doing from a young age. If your mom ever scolded you for slouching, she was right on spot. It puts unnecessary pressure on your spinal column and intervertebral discs. Correct sitting position involves supporting your lower back with a good cushion and keeping your spine in a neutral position throughout the day. Adopting this position in the morning will make you feel better throughout the day.

Twist & Turn Every Day

Twisting and turning are advised for people with a tight upper back. It will help to ease discomfort, as well as maintain your vertebral column health. One of the best ways to do this is to work out while driving home from work or while watching TV at night.

Get a Cushion for Your Office Chair

Working on a computer involves a lot of sitting, which often leads to stiffness in the neck and shoulders. To prevent that you can get a cushion for your office chair or have some wiggle room under your desk. This will make your days better and relieve stress off your tight upper back.

Stretch at the Office

Do you need some relief from that tight upper back? Here is what you can do! Take a heavy book, place it on your lap and lean forward. Put your head to the floor and stretch out. Hold it for a few seconds and release. Repeat this exercise for a few minutes at least twice a day.

Use a Foam Roller

If you have some space in your house, you should get a foam roller. It looks like an elongated bar with small round bumps on its surface. It’s used to massage muscles and ease discomfort by breaking scar tissue down.

Check the article below to see what you can do with a foam roller:

21 Foam Roller Exercises for Back, Hip and Neck Pain – Foam Roller Guide

Add Yoga to Your Life

It’s not only for women; men can enroll as well. Yoga is a perfect way to keep your body in good shape. It involves stretching and countering the pressure with deep breathing. As a result, you’ll be more flexible and get rid of aches and pains, thus leading to a better day overall!

We have a lot of content on yoga, check the articles below:

8 Amazing Poses in Yoga for Posture

9 Poses For Losing Fat – Yoga Asanas for Weight Loss

7 Poses in Yoga for Neck and Shoulder Pain

5 Solid Reasons Why You Need Yoga For Strength And Flexibility!

9 Incredible Benefits of Yoga for Mental Health

7 Best Yoga for Asthma Poses – Increase Your Lung Capacity!

Begin Yoga for Belly Fat Reduction – 10 Best Poses for Weight Loss!

5 Pain-Relief Exercises for a Tight Upper Back

Exercises for a Tight Upper Back

1) Thoracic Extension

A thoracic extension is an effective way to mobilize your upper back and reverse the rounded-over posture often seen in desk workers or people that sit or drive for long periods of time. Tightness in the upper back is extremely common and causes pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion.

Step by step: Lie face down on the floor with your arms under your chin (or behind your head). Keeping your head flat on the floor, push up using only your lower body to create an arch in your upper back. You can go as high as you can without moving other body parts. Return to start position and repeat 10 times.

2) Cat-Cow Stretch

The cat-cow stretch is great for lengthening the muscles in your back and neck. This simple yoga pose stretches the front of your upper body as well as the sides of your mid-back.

Step by step: Kneel on the floor, hands resting flat on the floor in front of you, shoulders relaxed, head in line with the spine. Tuck your pelvis under, arching your back towards the ceiling while looking towards your belly button. Tilt your head back slightly and look up at the ceiling. Hold briefly then return to a neutral position.

3) Overhead Arm Reach

Reaching overhead is an essential movement pattern to keep your upper back healthy and pain-free. This exercise helps strengthen the muscles that support the thoracic spine and opens up the chest and shoulders.

Step by step: Stand tall, with feet hip-width apart, arms hanging down by your sides, palms neutral facing forward. Lift your arms up alongside your head, keeping them straight and parallel to each other. Don’t let them pull in or out to the side. Keep your shoulders relaxed, then return to starting position and repeat 10 times.

4) Wall Stretch

This stretch helps open the upper back and elongate the muscles in your upper back that are often tight due to poor posture.

Step by step: Stand with both feet on a wall with your arms extending straight out in front of you. Place your palms flat on the wall, aligning your shoulders parallel to the floor. Lean forward until you feel a stretch in your upper back and tight shoulders. Hold briefly then return to start position and repeat 10 times.

5) Face Pull

The face pull works the muscles in your upper back, just below your neck. These are the muscles that are tight from slouching and help maintain a straight posture.

Step by step: Stand tall holding a resistance band with your hands hanging down in front of you. Pull your hands towards your face maintaining an erect posture with shoulders back and down, keeping the resistance at shoulder height throughout the exercise. Repeat 10 times for 3 sets.


The 5 pain-relief exercises for a tight upper back, done correctly, can be very useful. They help improve flexibility and strength in the muscles that support your upper body. In addition, they can also reduce the pain and strain caused by muscle spasms or tightness in the upper back.

It is important to note that you should always consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program to ensure it is safe for you and perform them with caution if you suffer from any neurological disorders or other conditions.

Also, you should know that upper back pain can be related to shoulder pain too. Check the article below:

Best Shoulder Impingement Exercises

Thank you for reading.

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5 Pain-Relief Exercises for a Tight Upper Back

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