With the enormous number of activities that involve our backs, back discomfort or pain cannot be prevented. There are many available reliefs out there, however, more people prefer the more natural way of alleviating upper back pain and that is by stretch exercises. Here are the five best upper back stretches you can perform anytime in the comfort of your home.
- Shoulder Blade Squeeze
The shoulder blade squeeze as a form of stretch to ease upper back pain is very easy and convenient to do. Whether you are on your seat or on your feet, make sure your back is in an upright position. To execute the shoulder squeeze, slowly pull your shoulder back towards each other. In doing so, you feel your chest open as your back muscles are stretched. One should remember not to pull the shoulders up when you stretch. Go back to the original position and repeat.
- Restful Pose
As to the second pose, it will help you relax your body especially your back to ease any discomfort after a long day of work. Begin with your hands and knees on the floor, the latter being a little wider than the hip distance apart. Keep your toes inward so that they touch each other and direct your hips backward. Extend your arms forward and let your head fall so you end up in a comfortable position. Hold this pose for about 15 to 20 seconds before you slowly go back to the starting position. If placing the arms forward is difficult for you, you can keep you arms by your side.
- Sitting Extension
You can also stretch your upper back while seated thru the sitting extension exercise. It is recommended to sit on a chair with hard-backed chair. Sit upright with head erect, arms by your side, and feet flat on the floor. Now, place your hands behind your head. Arch your back as you tilt your head up towards the ceiling. Feel the stretch for about 10 seconds before you return to the starting position. Repeat.
You can use back stretch machine is an another way to stretch your back.
- Sitting Rotation
Apart from the sitting extension, another effective stretch to relieve pain is the sitting rotation. The sitting rotation begins with same starting position as that of the sitting extension. From the default starting position, proceed by crossing your hands over the chest. Rotate your torso to the right and then hold for ten seconds. Rotate to the left and hold. As you perform the sitting rotation, make sure that your feet rest flat on the ground.
- Use a medicine ball
This last stretch exercise to relieve upper back pain will need a medicine ball or yoga ball chair. There are many things you can do with a medicine ball to stretch different points of the upper back. By simply sitting down on the medicine ball, with back straight, you can perform lateral neck flexions. Another stretch possible is by simply rotating your head down. From the starting position, look down in a diagonal angle and hold for two seconds before pulling your head back. Lastly, you can search the entire back by slowly lowering into a back bend over the medicine ball for 8 to 10 seconds.