Upper Back Stretches 


Upper back injuries are incredibly common. When the tissues comprising the shoulders, neck and spine experience undue pressure alongside consistent poor posture or as a result of injury, ligaments and tendons can become misplaced and place stress on the spine and upper back. When spinal discs or joints press on nerves it is usually exceedingly painful. 

Upper back pain is classified into five different categories: 

  • Burning or sharp pain 
  • Aching, throbbing pain, 
  • Muscle tightness or stiffness 
  • Radiating pain along a nerve 
  • Tingling or numbness 

As mentioned above, these sorts of pain can be experiences if a person spends too long in an uncomfortable sedentary position or injures themself while exercising. 

The following stretches are used to provide some relief for upper back pain, however, it is always best practice to consult a physiotherapist if you are experiencing severe muscular pain. In an emergency, though, these stretches can help to reduce pain long enough to be able to call for help and attend a consultation. 

Lower Neck and Upper Back Stretch 

  1. Stretch your arms out in front of you. Clasp one hand on top of the other. 
  2. Gently reach out until you feel your shoulder blades stretching away from each other. 
  3. Gently bend your head forward. 
  4. Hold for 30 seconds. 
  5. Repeat 3 times. 

Mid Back stretch 

  1. Kneel on the floor, and sit back on your ankles. 
  2. Lean forward, place your hands on the floor, stretch your arms out in front of you and rest your head on your arms. 
  3. Gently push your chest toward the floor, reaching as far in front of you as possible. 
  4. Hold for 30 seconds. 
  5. Repeat 3 times. 

Shoulder rolls 

  1. Sit on a chair with your feet shoulder-width apart. 
  2. Roll your shoulders up, then back, and then down in a smooth, circular motion. 
  3. Repeat 3 times. 

Wall push-up 

  1. Stand against a wall with your feet an arm’s length away from the wall. 
  2. Place your hands on the wall slightly wider apart than your shoulders, and lean forward. 
  3. Gently lean your body toward the wall. Then push back to your starting position. Keep the motion smooth and controlled. 
  4. Repeat 10 times. 

Resisted shoulder blade squeeze 

For this exercise, you will need elastic exercise material, such as surgical tubing or an exercise band. 

  1. Sit or stand, holding the band in both hands in front of you. Keep your elbows close to your sides, bent at a 90-degree angle. Your palms should face up. 
  2. Squeeze your shoulder blades together, and move your arms to the outside, stretching the band. Be sure to keep your elbows at your sides while you do this. 
  3. Relax back into the starting position. 
  4. Repeat 10 times. 

Call Erko Physio if you Sprain Your Upper Back 

With over 10 years of experience treating upper back injuries, Erko Physio are the local experts when it comes to treating upper back pain. Our Alexandria physiotherapy is easily accessible from Erskineville, Newtown and Marrickville too. If you need your upper back seen to in Alexandria, Newtown or Marrickville, trust the experts at Erko Physio to diagnose your injury and provide appropriate treatment right away.