Upper Back Stretches:15 Best Moves Upper Back Pain Relief

You know what I’m tired of hearing? People still suffer from upper back muscle pain and have no idea that there are upper back stretches for upper back pain relief.

What could be worse than back pain that hinders you from standing, sitting, walking or even performing your daily activities?

I guess there is a very few of that…

Are you tormented by upper back pain? There is a high probability that the pain is a result of tight muscles.

This could be as a result of sitting too long in a spot, sitting or standing round-backed forward.


If you experience higher back pain or upper back tightness between shoulder blades as a result of the listed causes, stretching your Upper back muscles can help reduce the pain.

This article highlights 15 upper back pain relief exercises.


Can I be honest with you, surgeries and medicines are not permanent solutions. However, a good exercise regime is an effective way to keep the upper back pain away within the long haul.

An exercise regime helps in strengthening the muscles and nerves that provide your body with a lift & helps to remain fit. So you can pick from our 15 upper back stretches for upper back pain relief the exercise that you feel is less stressful for you.



Upper Back Stretches:15 Best Moves Upper Back Pain Relief


What is Upper Back Pain?

The upper half of the human back includes the shoulder and ribs attached to the spine of the human chest.

Upper back pain, therefore, is a pain felt in the back region of the chest and above the abdomen.

Back pain mostly lasts for a short period of time or it could become chronic if you leave the pain to last for more than 3 months.

Upper back pain expression can be a dull pain and sudden sharp pain. This means you may feel it constantly or when exercising or working for a long time.

Sometimes, the pain could appear on one side of the neck and then extend to the other. The pain can either be mild or severe, thereby affecting your head and neck.

Particularly, severe upper back pain may spread to the shoulders and arms, and our 15 upper back stretches for upper back pain relief has outlined the best exercises for you.

Upper back pain between the shoulder blades is most likely the result of muscle variations in the muscles around the scapular area.

Just By keeping a good posture, stretching and strengthening of the muscles of the back: You are so close to back pain relief.


What Causes Upper Back Pain

Have you wondered what causes upper back pain? Let me guess, No! Don’t worry I have been there.

You should know that it is important to know what causes upper back pain so you can avoid doing them. Below are some of the major causes of upper back pain:


1. Injury or Sprain

The unusual fact of sprain or injury to the spinal cord is that you may not feel the wound immediately after impact.

It may remain dormant for a long time and start showing its presence suddenly without any other specific cause.

If you are unaware of the initial injury, you might be clueless about what caused the pain. You should know that some back pains result from old injuries and sprains.


2. Herniated Disks

Herniated disks are spine disorders which are the result of a rupture of the spine. The popular term used instead of a herniated disk is a slipped disk, which pinches nerves in the spinal cord.

Unlike the hidden nature of sprain in the spine, one can feel pain immediately if related to a herniated Disks. Most times, you discover herniated disk through X-rays or MRIs.


3. Fracture

Fracture located in the spine may be a common cause of back pain.

A word of caution; fractures may generate acute pain especially when the fracture is serious. So anytime you fracture a bone in your body, see a doctor immediately.


4. Pregnancy

During the pregnancy state, back pain is a usual experience. As a result of excessive pressure on the spine, back pain is common amongst pregnant women, mostly at the later stage of pregnancy.


5. Improper Sleeping Posture

This is strange but true. Sometimes, funny sleeping postures can lead to back pain. For instance, sleeping on the stomach is harmful to your spine, as it puts a lot of pressure on your back. Fortunately, this type of pain is temporary in nature, and will only become permanent if you do not correct your sleeping posture.


6. Prolonged Time Spent In Sitting Position

This is common amongst the office workers that spend much time sitting in the same position.

Many spend over half of the day in front of the computers at the office or at home. This can be very harmful to your spine health.


The easiest solution to this is to regularly take about 10 minutes break at a 2 hours interval and move around.


Symptoms of Upper Back Pain

Now we will take a look at some upper back pain symptoms. If you suffer from any of these symptoms, do consult your doctor at once:

  • Elevated temperature
  • Visible inflammation at the back region
  • Incontinence (urinary or faecal)
  • A backache reaching the legs
  • Numbness around the genital organ, anus, and hips


Types of Upper Back Pain

Before you decide on which exercise to adopt for back pain, it’s necessary to spot the sort of pain you’re experiencing. Back pain could be:

  • Acute: Lasts for 3 to 6 months. Its onset is always not seen coming. Its main cause is a damaged tissue.
  • Chronic Pain: Lasts for an extended period, mostly more than six months and can lead to by injury or other medical condition.
  • Neuropathic Pain or Nerve Pain: Nerves around the back region still keep feeling pain, even with the absence of damaged tissue or afterward the healing of a back injury.


Upper Back Stretches:15 Best Moves Upper Back Pain Relief

Now that you know the causes, symptoms, and types of upper back pain, let’s get started with the best upper back stretches that can provide relief for you.


1. Shoulder Blades Stretch (Eagle Pose)

To begin with, shoulder blades stretch or Eagle yoga pose is one of the most effective upper back stretches for upper back pain relief. This is an excellent stretch to unharness tight trigger points between shoulder blades.


Shoulder Blades -Upper Back Stretches:15 Best Moves Upper Back Pain Relief



  • Place right elbow on the left elbow.
  • Now take your left paw and lock it around the right arm.
  • In this position, you will be able to apply a lot of pressure to feel your upper back gap.
  • Hold the tip position for about 20-30 seconds.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.


2. Upper Trapezius Muscle Stretch

This is a notable exercise regime amongst our 15 upper back stretches for upper back pain relief. Because of bad posture, the upper traps get extremely tight.

Thus, this is often an excellent stretch to combat that hunchback posture that we all wish to conquer.





  • Begin by standing or sitting and tilting your head gently to the left.
  • Grasp over the highest of your head along with your left hand to use a light force towards the left.
  • Hold this position for 15 to about 20 seconds.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • Repeat this stretch on each side.


3. Lat Side Stretch for Back Pain

The Lats is the biggest muscle of the back and it plays a role in many daily activities, including sports, so it gets very tight in most people.



Lat Side Stretch - Upper Back Stretches:15 Best Moves Upper Back Pain Relief



  • Begin in a standing position grabbing your right hand with your left hand to start with
  • Assist with your left hand and stretch to the side.
  • Hold this position for about 20 to 30 seconds.
  •  Repeat on the opposite side.
  • Aim for 2-3 repetition of this stretch on each side.


4. The Seated Levator Scapulae Stretch

It is one of the most effective upper back stretches. The Levator scapulae muscle especially gets so tight from long telephone texting and prolonged office work.



 Seated Levator


  • Start this exercise in a sitting position and grasp the lower portion of your chair with your right arm.
  • Bring your chin in towards your chest and rotate your head towards the left shoulder.
  • Use your left arm; gently push your head down facing towards your left armpit till you are feeling a slight stretch along the right facet of your neck.
  • Hold this position for 15 to 20 seconds.
  • Repeat on the other facet.
  • Aim for three repetitions of this stretch on either side.


5. The W & Y Stretch Exercise & Retract

This exercise each strengthens and stretches all the correct posture muscles. They open chest muscles and strengthens lower traps.

The best thing, therefore, is that it is easy to practice, even in your workplace.


W & Y Stretches - Upper Back Stretches:15 Best Moves Upper Back Pain Relief



  • Start with your back straight while standing.
  • Form a “W” shape with your arms. With both arms, Bend to a 90-degree angle as you lower them to your abdomen area.
  • Then squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold for two breaths.
  • Make “Y” shape with your arms by extending each arm up. Hold for 2 breaths.
  • Hold 1 to 2 at each endpoint, repeat 10 times repeatedly.


6. Child’s Pose for Back Pain Relief

This stretch regime helps release the back muscles such as the Latissimus dorsi, which is sometimes tight from everyday activities.


Child’s Pose - Upper Back Stretches:15 Best Moves Upper Back Pain Relief



  • Begin this exercise by positioning yourself on the floor while on your hands and knees.
  • Keep your knees a little wider than your hips.
  • Flip your toes inwards to touch and while having your knees bent, push your hips backward.
  • When in a comfortable position, keep your hands forward and then let your head tilt to a relaxed position.
  • Keep at this position for about 15 to 20 seconds.
  • Gradually return to the starting position.
  • Repeat 3 times.


7. Thoracic Spine Foam Rolling

This is a good way to ease up the upper trapezius muscle that gets so tight from hunchback position, which causes upper back pain.  It is one of the best stiff back stretches.


Thoracic Spine - Upper Back Stretches:15 Best Moves Upper Back Pain Relief



  • Lie on your back, with your hands placed behind your head, and a foam roller placed under your upper-back.
  • Start to slowly roll up and down beginning at your mid-back and moving towards the top of your shoulders.
  • Pause for about 15 to 20 seconds in positions that feel tight.
  • Repeat the rolling on any areas of tightness.


8. Knee Rolls for Upper Back Pain

Knee Rolls exercise is beneficial to make the spine mobile. However, you must perform it slowly.



Knee Rolls for Upper - Upper Back Stretches:15 Best Moves Upper Back Pain Relief



  • Lie flat on your back together with your arms stretched at either side.
  • Your knees should remain bent, but together.
  • Gradually move your knees towards a side, followed with your pelvis.
  • Move as far as possible till it is comfortable.
  • Hold, repeat from the starting position.
  • Repeat with the opposite side.


9. Trigger Purpose Unleash in Between Shoulder Blades Using a Massage Ball

Self-massage is great for your bone. The first issue you wish to try is to relieve the trigger points which will have shaped in and around your shoulder blades.

By employing a massage ball you’ll be able to notice a young spot and apply pressure within the precise spot that you simply feel pain.


Trigger Purpose Unleash



  • Begin lying on your back.
  • Put a massage ball in between your shoulder blades.
  • Once you discover a young spot, simply hold the ball therein place and apply a lot of pressure together with your weight.
  • Hold the pressure on its spot for a minimum of thirty seconds (Don’t roll back and forth).
  • Find a subsequent spot and repeat identical method.




10. Door Frame Stretch for Shoulder

This stretch helps to unharness tight chest muscles that will contribute to your poor posture, and also to bone pain. It’s necessary to stretch pectoral and minor muscles to bring the rear into correct posture.


Door Frame Stretch - Upper Back Stretches:15 Best Moves Upper Back Pain Relief



  • Begin inserting a pair of arms on each side of a door frame at a 90-degree
  • Now lean on the door with one leg and apply pressure.
  • Avoid stretching your head forward.
  • Hold this stretch for thirty seconds.
  • Aim for three repetitions of this stretch.


11. Butterfly Wings Stretch

This stretch makes a pleasant compliment to the neck rolls exercise regime and helps to strengthen the rhomboid and pectoral muscles.


Butterfly Wings Stretch - Upper Back Stretches:15 Best Moves Upper Back Pain Relief



  • Sit up straight.
  • Make your fingertips touch your shoulders.
  • Make your elbows point out to the side.
  • Keep your fingers in place, exhale and slowly pull your elbows together in front of you until they touch.
  • Breathe in and allow your arms to move to their original position.


12. Chair Rotation Exercise for Upper Back Pain

Chair stretch regime is one of our 15 upper back stretches for upper back pain relief. One chair stretch that you can do anywhere to release tightness is a chair rotation.


Chair Rotation Exercise -Upper Back Stretches:15 Best Moves Upper Back Pain Relief




  • Sit forward at the edge of your chair; not so far so you don’t lose balance.
  • Place both hands on the back of your head, with elbows pointing outward, in a sit up straight position.
  • Your shoulders directly placed over your hips, with your feet planted on the ground.
  • Once you are in starting position, gently twist your toe to one side until your upper body is facing it.
  • Your hips still facing forward.
  • Hold for 5 to 10
  • Reverse the process and repeat for the other side.


13.Pectoral Spine Foam Rolling

This is a good way to lighten up the higher skeletal muscle that gets very tight from hunchback position, which is sometimes a result of poor posture.


Pectoral Spine



  • Lie on your back, with your hands placed behind your head, and a foam roller placed below your upper-back.
  • Begin to slowly roll up and down starting at your mid-back and moving towards the highest of your shoulders.
  • Pause for about 15 to 20 seconds in places that feel tight.
  • Repeat the rolling on any areas of tightness.


14. Neck Stretch for Upper Back Pain Relief

You should perform this stretch while in a standing position, and it includes 3 moves.


Neck Stretch for Upper - Upper Back Stretches:15 Best Moves Upper Back Pain Relief




  • While standing with your feet flat on the ground and slowly tilting your head forward, move your chin to your chest.
  • With ease, move your head towards the left in a way that the chin aligns with the left shoulder.
  • Then, slowly move your head towards the left side in a way that the left ear is above the left shoulder.
  • Repeat to the other side.


15. Upward Facing Plank

This is another upper back stretches that can help you get rid of upper back pain fast as long as you do it right of course.




  • Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat.
  • Put your hands 6-12 inches at your back. Stretch your fingertips forwards if possible.
  • Breath in, raise your chest.
  • Breath out then pull your shoulders back & squeeze your shoulder blades together.
  • Stay in this position for 5-10 deep breaths through your nose.



15 Best Upper Back Stretches for Pain Relief



We have made mention of 15 upper back stretches for upper back pain relief to give you a pain-free and productive life.

Believe it or not, incorporating these upper back stretches for upper back pain relief into your daily exercise regime will ensure that you reduce your risk of upper back pain for years to come. So take the next step.

Let us know in the comment box below if you know any other upper back stretches for upper back pain relief that is not on this list. And don’t forget to share this post with friends.

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