10 Stretches and Exercises to Get Relief for Upper Back Pain

Upper back pain can be a very annoying experience that prevents you from doing many things you love. It can also affect the efficiency of your everyday tasks. Even sitting and lying down can feel troublesome.

If you feel like this issue is constantly holding you back, it’s time to do something about it. When you get stretched by a professional, they’ll know exactly what kind of stretches are best for reducing your back problems.

Side-Lying Thoracic Rotation

For the side-lying thoracic rotation, you’ll be lying on the right side of your body. A stretch practitioner can help you extend both of your arms in front of the chest with your palms placed together. You’ll then be turning your torso to the left while squeezing the inner parts of your thighs.


The knee-to-chest stretch is another terrific way of providing relief for upper back pain. Begin by lying down on your back.

Guiding you along the way, a stretch practitioner will bring your legs toward your chest while bending your knees, as if you’re curling up into a ball. Then, they’ll bring your legs back down and repeat the process.

Open Book

While on your side and your top leg propped up, you’ll begin with both arms stretched out in front of you. Keeping the lower arm flat on the table, a stretch practitioner will move your upper arm to the opposite side as you twist your body. Your legs will stay in their current position. They’ll repeat this several times before switching and repeating on the other side.

Scapular Squeeze

The scapular squeeze is one of the simpler stretches that can help decrease your upper back pain. For this stretch, a stretch practitioner will have you squeeze your shoulder blades toward the inner part of your body for a period of time, then release them.

Thoracic Stretch

While sitting down with your legs stretched out in front of you, a stretch practitioner will hold your mid-thighs as you begin to move forward. Your head should be curled in as you move slowly toward your belly button.

Depending on different scenarios, they’ll hold you in this position for a specific period of time before slowly bringing you back to where you started. This process will be repeated several times.

Thoracic Spine Foam Rolling

This technique is excellent for those who have tight muscles due to poor posture. A stretch practitioner will have you lie down with your hands placed behind your head. Propped up on a roller, they will begin moving you up and down from the middle of your back to your shoulders.

Cat-Cow Pose

In the cat-cow pose, you’ll start on all fours, your hands below your shoulders and your knees below your hips. Your back will be arched upward as you push down through your shoulders.

Then, your head will simultaneously be curling in toward your chest. As you gently move back toward your starting position, you’ll also be dropping the lower part of your back while pointing your chin toward the sky.

This is one of the more difficult stretches, so having a trained stretch practitioner’s assistance will help prevent the chance of injury.

Trunk Rotation

For a trunk rotation, you’ll begin by lying flat on your back with your knees bent. Your feet with be flat on the ground or table. While your knees are still bent, a stretch practitioner will gently guide them to the right. After holding this position for a few seconds, they’ll return you to the starting position and begin leaning your legs to the left.

Overhead Arm Reach

For the overhead arm reach, you’ll stretch your arms above the head while leaning to the right. A stretch practitioner may use a little extra pressure to gently pull the left arm over more, causing a deeper stretch. After returning to your starting position, they’ll mimic this technique for the left side.

Child’s Pose

This is a stretch you’ve probably heard of before, but did you know that it can help with your upper back pain issues? For the child’s pose, you’ll begin on all fours, similar to the cat-cow pose. A stretch practitioner will guide you in dropping your hips. Then, you’ll lower your chest, so it’s touching your thighs. With your forehead touching the floor, they’ll have you reach your arms out in front of you.

Looking to Find Relief for Your Upper Back Pain?

Professional trained and experienced stretch practitioners know what it takes to relieve pain through proven stretching methods. With their help, you’ll notice that moving around is a lot easier – and less painful!

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