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How To Relieve Upper Back And Neck Pain

Simple Exercises To Perform

How to Relieve Neck Pain, Easy Stretch for Upper Back & Pecs | Pain Relief with Robert

These 3 exercises will help to encourage your body to be in more of an upright posture. Its important to do these daily to combat the forward head posture position we undoubtedly get into on a daily basis.

Half Kneeling Position

The half kneeling position places the pelvis and lumbar spine into an optimal position which directly influences the neck and head to be in a proper position, relieving abnormal mechanical stress on nerves that innervate the upper trapezius. To perform, get into a half kneeling position, as shown in the picture. On the kneeling leg, you should not be putting any weight on the knee cap, instead you should be feeling slight pressure on the bone under the knee cap. Make sure your knees are bent at 90 degrees. Rotate your pelvis back . You may hold onto a stable surface to maintain good balance in the beginning. Hold this position for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times on both legs. This stretch can be progressed by raising your arm up on the side where the knee is on the ground.

Pec Stretch

Prone Scaption

Upper Back Lower Neck Pain

Back and neck pain can disrupt your life. Back pain is the second leading cause of absence from work. Most people will experience it some time in their life. Others are plagued by it for long periods of time.

Ordinarily, a good nights sleep is all your back needs to recover from the day. However, sometimes even sleeping is not enough to provide enough rest to your back and neck. The result is pain and discomfort.

Back pain can be caused by sleeping incorrectly or by sleeping on pillows or mattresses that are too soft or too hard. Support pillows and other devices such as lumbar cushions and orthopedic pillows can help. They help align your back and neck so they are in the correct position to facilitate healing.

How To Relieve Tension In Your Neck And Upper Back

Posted on February 8th, 2016 by Orthopaedic Specialty Group

Do you find yourself constantly digging your fingertips into your neck and shoulders, hoping to relieve the ongoing pain and discomfort?

You arent alone. The neck is the second-most prevalent location for chronic pain experienced by Americans, trailing only the lower back. Harvard School of Medicine estimates that seven out of ten people will experience neck pain at some point in their lives.

Why is it so normal? Take a look at some of the most common reasons for neck and shoulder pain:

  • Trauma
  • Degenerative diseases, such as arthritis
  • Abnormalities in the bones and joints
  • Poor posture
  • Sleeping in the wrong position
  • Working on a computer all day
  • Texting too much

As you can see, technology is a key contributor to our back and neck pain. Sitting at a computer for eight hours a day can wreck our spines, especially when we have poor posture. Cell phones are just as guilty looking down at your phone can put over 60 extra pounds of pressure on your neck. This has further increased the prevalence of neck pain, and even has its own medical term text neck.

The medical professionals at Orthopaedic Specialty Group have helped Connecticut residents overcome their neck pain for years. We offer a variety of pain management techniques and surgical procedures to treat any form of neck pain. If you live in Fairfield County, schedule an appointment with our neck specialists today by calling 337-2600.

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Stretching Exercises For Upper Back And Neck Pain

1. Lift arms in front of you. Do not let your shoulders droop. Keep your back straight and pull your shoulders blades back. Ensure that your elbows are not bent.

2. Then work at lifting your arms up without moving your shoulders. Do not lose out on the extension of elbows. Once the arms are up straight, interlock your fingers, turn your hands upwards so that the palms are facing the ceiling. Watch video shared below to see how Diwekar does it.

3. Now take your arms behind your ears, without pushing your head in front. Count till 5 and stay in this position.

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4. Sit sideways on a chair. Place your arms on the back of the chair by twisting your spine. Lift your chest up. Move your shoulder blades up. Try to move from your lower abdomen towards the chair. Your shoulder blades should be back an inwards.

5. Now stand in front of the chair. Put your arms on the side of the chair, lift your fingers up . Move back by lifting your arms up. Your back should be straight. Do not let your arms fall.

Try these stretches and it can help in giving you relief from muscle spasms in upper back and neck.

What Are The Causes Of Tight Muscles In The Upper Back And Neck

PT Weekly: Self

An individual can experience stiffness or tightness of muscles in the back, shoulders, and neck as a result of various activities like weightlifting, sporting activities, having a poor posture with sitting and standing, or as a result of twisting the back or neck in an awkward manner. Muscle stiffness occurs when the muscles of the body are stretched beyond their normal limits. In case if an individual feels stiffness or tightness in the neck, shoulder, or the upper back then performing gentle stretching exercises daily goes a long way in helping to loosen up the muscles and decrease the pain. Tightness of the muscles in neck is chronic and develops over time gradually becoming worse until treatment is sought. This muscle tightness does not allow adequate blood flow in the muscles and hence the muscles do not get adequate nutrition required for them to function normally thus making these muscles weaker resulting in further tightness.

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Be Mindful Of Your Sleep Positions

Dr. Bang says if your neck is bothering you, you should pay attention to your sleep positions. Sleep only on your side or on your back never on your stomach, he says.

When you sleep on your stomach, often you will end up twisting your head one way or the other for hours at a time, Dr. Bang says. Sleeping on your stomach also can affect your low back because your belly sinks into the bed if you dont have enough support.

Best Stretches To Get Rid Of Neck Tightness And Get Neck Pain Relief

by | Aug 10, 2021 | Neck Pain |

Approximately 80% of people experience neck pain during their lifetime, and 20% to 50% deal with it annually, Harvard Medical School writes. According to the National Institutes of Health , 20% of people all across the globe suffer from neck tightness or pain at any given moment. An awkward sleeping position, straining your neck to look at your phone, overuse, or improper form during exercise can all result in neck tightness and pain. Its critical to learn the best stretches for neck tightness and neck pain relief.

Ease tension and get some much-needed relief with some of the best stretches for neck tightness. Check out the video below.

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What Are The Treatments For Tight Muscles In The Upper Back And Neck

If an individual experiences tightness in the muscles of the neck and upper back, then he or she should seek a consultation with a physical therapist for routine massage to keep the muscles relaxed and well toned. Maintaining a good posture when sitting or standing is also extremely vital. One can also do strengthening exercises for the back to strengthen the back muscles. Ultrasound therapy can also be used so as to help the tight muscles of the neck and the upper back.

Quick Relief And Prevention

How to Relieve Upper Back and Neck Pain

Chronic upper back and neck pain can become a very serious problem. However, some general soreness in your back and neck area is quite common. There are a few measures you can take for quick relief when this discomfort arises, and some things you can do to try to prevent it altogether.

Use a cold pack and anti-inflammatory pain relief for the first three days after the pain starts. After that, alternate applying heat and cold to your injury. Upper back and neck pain usually erupt suddenly, but healing can take a long time. If youre still in pain and your movement is limited after a month, its time to see your doctor.

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Tip : Do Some Easy Stretches

If you have a desk job, chances are your shoulders and upper back will be tight when you get up from sitting all day. Doing a few easy stretches before going to bed is an excellent way to reduce the pain and tension in these areas so that it doesnt carry over into the next day.

The best way is to start with simple arm circles, which you can move forward and backward depending on what feels better for your body. From there, you can also stretch out the neck by moving it in circular motions clockwise and then counter-clockwise to help reduce the tension that builds up throughout the day.

You can also stretch out your shoulders and upper back by bringing them in and up towards the ceiling, holding for a couple of seconds, and bringing them down. That should be done in three sets of 10 repetitions each to get optimal results over time.

About Upper Back Pain

Whether it occurs due to trauma, injury, or through strain, upper back pain is something almost everyone has lived through. In the vast majority of cases, the cause is one or both of the following:Muscular irritation This is when the large muscles of the upper back , develop an irritation. It can be extremely painful and difficult to resolve.Joint dysfunctionThis occurs due to underuse or overuse of muscles around joints. So, injury occurs when an area that lacks strength, is suddenly used, or a specific area is used for a prolonged period of time usually in the form of repetitive motions. Muscle strains, sports injuries, car accidents, or other injuries can all result in pain from muscular irritation.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Tight Muscles In The Upper Back And Neck

The main symptom of tightness in the muscles of the upper back and neck is aching discomfort in the upper back and neck area with diminished range of motion of the neck along with tenderness around the neck and shoulder blades. The affected individual may get relief with gentle stretching of the muscles and application of heat to the affected regions.

How Can You Get An Upper Back Pain Diagnosis

6 Exercises For Neck Pain Relief

When you go to a doctor for your upper or mid back pain, youll start with a conversation. Expect the doctor to ask you about any events that may be directly responsible: A fall, a car accident, or any changes or increases to your fitness routine.

You might be asked to rank your pain on a scale of 0-10. You should also be prepared to talk about how your pain does, or does not, interfere with the activities of your daily life. Can you cook dinner, get dressed, take a shower?

Then comes the physical exam: the poking and prodding part of your visit. The doctor wants to see how your upper back pain affects your movement. Expect to sit, stand, reach, and bend in the exam room. After that, youre likely to get an X ray.

If symptoms persist or you have red flags such as a progressive weakness or bowel or bladder control problems, you may get more advanced testing, Dr. Knight says. He explains that MRI would be the likely choice.

Heres a look at several types of advanced testing for upper back pain.

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Easy Tips To Relieve Stress

Stress affects the body in a variety of ways,from mood swings and headaches to weight fluctuations. However, an often overlookedside effect of stress is neck and back pain. Over time, repetitive bouts ofstress can cause musculoskeletal issues in these regions of the body.

When we get stressed out, the body naturally releases certainhormones. Adrenaline is associated with the ancient fight or flight phenomenonthat heightens our blood pressure, increases our blood supply, and causes themuscles around our spine to tense and spasm in case we need to flee the sourceof the stress. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone it interferes with avariety of functions. Elevations in cortisol can lead to loss of muscle massand increases in fat accumulation.

“Stress affects the body in a variety of ways, from mood swings and headaches to weight fluctuations. However, an often-overlooked side effect of stress is neck and back pain. Over time, repetitive bouts of stress can cause musculoskeletal issues in these regions of the body.”

Kavita Trivedi, D.O.

Data suggest that adults know stress affects their spines. Online survey participants ranked the No. 1 perceived cause of their neck and back pain as follows:

  • Stress: 29 percent
  • Spinal disc herniation: 21 percent
  • Sitting at a desk at work: 20 percent

How Are Back And Neck Pain Managed

Acute back pain usually gets better without special treatment. Using acetaminophen or ibuprofen as directed will decrease pain and help you rest. Surgery and special exercises are generally not used with acute pain.

For severe, disabling, or chronic back and neck pain, rehabilitation programs can be designed to meet your needs. The type of program will depend on the cause and the type and severity of your pain, injury, or disease. Your active involvement is key to the success of rehab programs.

The goal of back and neck rehab is to help you manage disabling pain. It’s also important to return you to your highest level of functioning and independence, and improve your quality of life. The focus of rehab is on easing pain, improving movement. It also focuses on limiting any additional damage, and increasing your functional ability.

To help reach these goals, back and neck rehab programs may include:

  • Exercise programs to improve range of motion, increase muscle strength, improve flexibility and mobility, and increase endurance
  • Help with assistive devices that keep you independent
  • Education and counseling
  • Gait and movement retraining
  • Stress management
  • Ergonomic assessments and work-related injury prevention programs
  • Job counseling

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What Causes Back And Neck Pain

Even with today’s technology, the exact cause of back and neck pain is hard to find. In most cases, back and neck pain may have many different causes. They include:

  • Overuse, strenuous activity, or improper use, such as repetitive twisting or heavy lifting
  • Trauma, injury, or fractures
  • Breakdown of vertebrae, often caused by stresses on the muscles and ligaments that support your spine, or the effects of aging
  • Infection
  • Problems of your vertebrae and bones that you were born with
  • Abdominal problems, such as an aortic aneurysm

Simple Movements For Neck And Upper Back Pain Relief

Neck Pain Relief Video! Stretches to relieve Tension and Stress in Your Upper Back and Neck

Therapydia physical therapist Aaron Page, DPT gives us a couple of quick tips to alleviate neck and upper back pain. These simple exercises can be performed almost anywhere and can help you break out of that slouching position that is so easy to fall into. Sure, you may get a couple of odd looks in the office but these stretches will keep your neck and back moving to decrease pain associated with poor posture.

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Exercises For Tight Muscles In The Upper Back And Neck

Some of the exercises which an individual can do to relax or loosen the upper neck and back muscles are:

Back Rotations: These exercises help to loosen up the muscles which facilitate rotation of the spine in either direction to include the erector spinal muscles and the deep spinal muscles. This exercise is especially beneficial for individual who feel stiffness before embarking on sporting activities like golf that requires powerful torquing motions. To do this exercise, stand inside a door frame with the back about a foot away from the side without hinges. Keep the feet flat on the floor and rotate to the left and grab the door frame with both hands. The individual should maintain normal breathing and maintain the same position for about 10 seconds. One can also press against the frame so as to deepen the stretch. Now, repeat the exercise in the opposite side.

Shoulder Stretching: This exercise loosens the deltoids, which is one of the most used shoulder muscles and prone to stiffness and tightness, along with rhomboids and trapezius muscles of the upper back. To do this exercise, one should stand straight with the feet kept about a foot apart. Now, cross the left arm over the chest such that the fingers point away from the right shoulder. Once can also hold the left elbow with right hand and pull the arm closer to the body so as to deepen the stretch. Maintain this position for about half a minute and repeat the stretch with the other arm.

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Symptoms Of Upper Back Pain

Symptoms can vary from person to person and depend on whats causing the pain. The pain can be mild or more severe. You might have sharp pain in one particular spot or a general achiness that comes and goes. Back pain that doesnt have a clear or known cause is called non-specific back pain.

If your back pain is significantly affecting your daily activities or stopping you from getting a good nights sleep, see your physiotherapist or GP.

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How Can I Relieve Upper Back Pain


Exercise is one of many conservative treatments that helps combat upper back pain. Rowing exercises are among the best for strengthening the muscles of your posterior chain and improve upper back strength.

In order to reduce upper back pain, it is important to stretch the muscles of the anterior chain and strengthen the muscles of the posterior chain , says Kin-Charlton. Consider adding standing cable rows, high face pulls, and rear cable flys to your strength training program. It is just as important to stretch and lengthen the muscles of your anterior chain.


Stretching often or doing yoga can improve posture and back strength to relieve upper back pain. You may notice this discomfort more at night after your body reaches a deep stage of relaxation. Meditation before bed can release stress brought on throughout the day and can help put back pain at ease.

Along with stretching, Kin-Charlton says the head-chest stretch is another move that can help ease upper back pain. Seated or standing, interlock your fingers, bend your elbows, and raise your arms above your head. Gently squeeze your shoulder blades together and move your elbows and hands backward.


After a massage, patients experience less back pain and increased mobility, however, Lee points out that just one massage wont take away all of your upper back pain problems. For longer and more effective results, she recommends a seven-week massage treatment plan to massage your pain away.


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