Which Upper Back Pain Exercise Will End Your Pain?

Upper Back Pain Exercise will reduce your upper back pain and help you prevent future episodes of pain and discomfort. These exercises will strengthen your upper back and increase your upper back flexibility.

Arm Slides:

This is an easy and very affective Upper Back Pain Exercise. Stand with your back flat against a wall. Lift your arms up to put your elbows and wrists against the wall with your palms facing outwards. Slowly slide your arms up along the wall as high as you can while keeping your elbows and wrists against the wall. Do sets of 10.

Upper Back Backward Stretch:

While sitting in a chair, clasp both arms behind your head. Gently arch backward and look up toward the ceiling. Repeat 10 times. Do this several times per day.

Upper Back Forward Stretch:

Sit on the floor with your legs out straight in front of you. Hold your mid-thighs with your hands. Slowly curl your head and neck toward your belly button. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds. Repeat three times.

Scapular Squeezes:

This upper back pain exercise can be done sitting or standing. Hold your arms up on the side of your body with your elbows bent and your palms facing forward. Pull your arms backwards as far as you can, squeezing your shoulder blades together. As you pull your arms back, also pull your shoulders down. Hold the squeezed position for 5 to 15 seconds and repeat 3 to 5 times.

Lying Upper Back Extension:

Lie face down on the floor. Arms can be by your sides or straight out above your head. Gently lift your upper body off the floor without using hands. Keep head in line with trunk, don’t overextend your neck.

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Mid-Trap Exercise:

Lie face down on the floor. You can put a pillow underneath your chest for comfort if needed. Place your arms straight out to your sides with your thumbs pointing toward the ceiling. Slowly raise your arms toward the ceiling and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Do three sets of 10. As you are able, hold soup cans or light weights in your hands.

Hanging stretch:

This is a great stretch for your shoulders, trapezius muscles and upper back muscles. Just find a chin-up bar or something you can hang your body weight from. It allows the spine and vertebrae to stretch into place. Keep breathing, and try hanging for 10-15 seconds.

Upper trap stretch:

Stretching the traps is an upper back pain exercise, but this stretch can also relieve middle and low back pain. Tight upper traps are always seen in combination with weak middle and lower traps. Stretching the tight upper trap will allow for stronger middle and lower traps which will relieve upper and mid-back pain. To perform the exercise, sit comfortably in a chair. Take your right arm and hold the bottom of your chair for stability. With your left arm hold the right side of your head, and gently pull the head away from the stabilizing arm. Hold for 10 seconds, and repeat on the other side.


This upper back pain exercise strengthens your entire back, shoulder and buttock muscles. It is a great exercise to help relieve back pain. Start by lying face down on the floor, legs together and straight, arms straight and extended above your head. Keep your head/neck in a neutral position. Keeping your arms and legs straight (but not locked) simultaneously lift your arms and legs up toward the ceiling to form a gentle curve with your body (looks like you’re flying like Superman.) The amount of time you hold your body up in the “Superman” position can vary from 1to 30 seconds depending on your fitness level. Don't hold your breath! Try to keep breathing steady and even.

Pectoralis stretch:

If you are standing straight with your hands at your sides and notice your thumbs are turned in, you need the Pectoralis stretch. Stand in a doorway or corner of a room. Place both your arms up on the wall slightly above your head. Lean body weight onto both hands for 15 to 30 seconds. Keep nice straight posture through the neck and back. Feel the stretch in the front of your chest. Repeat 2-3 times.

Exercise Ball Stretch:

One of the greatest tools for stretching your entire back and working on core stabilization is the exercise ball (fitness ball). Just lying on your back on an exercise ball is a fabulous stretch for many of the muscles in your upper body that tend to get short.

This is also a great mobilization for the vertebrae in your back. With age your spine tends to become stiff, so stretching and mobilizing here can prevent years of unnecessary Upper, Middle, and Lower Back Pain.

Remember, short muscles are weak muscles. So for your back to be healthy and pain free, these low back pain exercises, stretches and flexibility exercises are worth their weight in gold.


Swimming is a very good upper back pain exercise because it strengthens all of your upper back muscles without stressing your body because it is a non weight bearing exercise.

Thank you for your interest in back pain exercises and back pain relief. I hope you have learned a few techniques that will bring you the relief you long for.

If your pain doesn’t go away:

When upper back pain results from injury, or home upper back pain exercise fails to relieve your pain, see your health-care provider. Sometimes what you thought was a muscular problem turns out to be more complex. Whatever you do, don’t just wait and hope the pain will go away.

Click here for a list of all the pain relief products that I use, or that I recommend to patients, family and friends.

Get My Single Best Idea For Getting Back Pain Relief Without Drugs Or Surgery by watching this Youtube video.

To your Best Health,

Dr. Cliff

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