Wellness Tuesday: 5 Exercises to Help Upper Back Pain

Last week I shared 5 exercises for lower back pain.  This week, let’s look at exercises for upper back pain.

Scapular squeeze

Scapular squeeze

Again, consult a physician before trying any type of exercise.

  1. Lying knee twists– Lie on your back with your legs extended straight out. Bend the right knee up and cross it over the left side of your body.  Hold for 20 seconds.  Repeat on opposite side.
  2. Yoga Cat– Start this more by kneeling on all fours with your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees directly below your hips. Exhale and gently arch your spine. Inhale, tighten your core muscles and round your back, like a cat.  Hold for 5-10 seconds.  Don’t forget to move slowly.
  3. Scapular squeeze: While sitting or standing with your arms by your sides, squeeze your shoulder blades together and hold for 5 seconds. Do 2 sets of 15.
  4. Thoracic extension: Sit in a chair and clasp both arms behind your head. Gently arch backward and look up toward the ceiling. Repeat 10 times. Do this several times each day.Thoracic extension
  5. Butterfly. Place your palms down on your shoulders. Keep your hands in place and bring your elbows together until you feel a stretch in your upper back. Hold for 5 seconds, then return to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.
  6. Bonus: Shoulder Roll. Roll your shoulders forward, slowly making large circles. Reduce to smaller circles, then reverse direction.

Each of these exercises can be done in repetitions of 8-12.


What are some upper back pain exercises you enjoy?

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