Upper Back Pain Exercises & Stretches – Ask Doctor Jo

Upper Back Pain Exercises & Stretches – Ask Doctor Jo


Hey everybody, it’s Doctor Jo. As you can
see, Bailey had a late night last night. But anyways, I’ve had a lot of questions asking
about some more upper back exercises fro stretching and strengthening. I have a video of Ys , Ts
and Is on a Swiss Ball, but if you don’t have a Swiss ball, here’s some exercises and stretches
for you. Let’s get started. The first stretch is just gonna be a thoracic upper back stretch
with a chair. This one might be slightly too high, you might want something a little lower,
it’s gonna work ok for me, but just put your hands kind of behind your back, and lean back.
Just kind of stretching it out. Try to relax it if you can and hold it for about 30 seconds.
Once you get that 30 seconds in, come on back up. ANd do that 3 more times. Just stretching
out and coming back up. The next ones are gonna be on the floor. So next you’re gonna
stretch out your chest or your peck muscles. If you have a foam roll, that works great.
You can get it at probably Walmart, Amazon anything like that. Just kind of get it underneath
your back just right along your spine. Come down a little bit so you can rest your head.
And if they’re really tight, just doing this you might feel your stretch. If you don’t
feel much stretch with that, you can kind of straighten your arms all the way out. And
don’t let Bailey jump on you. Aww she’s coming in for a kiss… now that Bailey’s gone we
will proceed. So as I was starting to do, if just the elbows aren’t enough, then you
can straighten your arms all the way out. And just let it stretch. Hold it there for
about 30 seconds. If that’s still not quite enough for you, bring your arms up behind
your head and then just let your elbows drop down. This is a pretty big stretch, so if
it’s actually painful, don’t quite go to this step yet. If it’s not painful and it just
feels really good, then you can hold it here for 30 seconds and then come back up and then
drop it back down again. Next you’re gonna roll over onto your tummy. If you have a towel
or something, this is good to kind of protect your forehead so you don’t get “carpet forehead”
when you’re lying down. This is just gonna be a Ts in prone, this is the one where I
have a video on the Swiss Ball. So if you wanna be a little more advanced than this,
you can get a Swiss ball and check out that video. Just put this right here on your forehead
and put your arms straight out. And then bring them up, squeezing your shoulder blades together.
Hold it there for about 2-3 seconds and then slowly come back down. Try not to go quick
and just drop them down, but come slowly up, hold it there, and then come back down. So
just doing about 10 or 15 of those, hold, hold, hold. Come back down. And then work
your way up to 2 to 3 sets. And the next one, like to call the snow angels. This was shown
to me from a PT friend named Phil when I was rehabbing my shoulder. So what you want to
do, is you want to have your elbows bent just a little bit. Lying out flat, almost like
you;re getting ready to make a snow angel. You can put your legs all the way down, or
bend them up, but try and push your elbows and your hands down into the ground, and you’re
just gonna slide while you’re pushing down, up as far as you comfortably can without either
one of them coming up. Once they start to feel like they’re trying to come up, then
come on back down. So pushing down, trying to keep your back down and everything nice
and flat against the floor. Only do about 10 of these, maybe 2 sets of ten, but don’t
push these too much. The next one, another stretch. We call this long sit, with your
legs out in front of you and straight. Your gonna roll your chest in and down, and then
just punch your shoulders forward. Taking the fists and reaching as far as you can,
and curling, you want there to be a curl in your back. So dropping everything down, stretching,
holding it for about 30 seconds, and then coming back up. The last exercise is bird
dog or quadruped. A lot of people call these bird dogs because it looks like a dog pointing
at the bird. So basically you’re just gonna do your opposite arm and opposite leg, keep
your back nice and flat here. No arching down or up, and bring one arm out and one leg out
so opposite sides. Nice and slow. Try and keep it controlled. Going out, and coming
back in. If you have to, if you feel like you’re coming down, and dropping really quickly,
or having to move quick to come back down, you’re probably not quite ready for these
yet. So just start with about 5-10 on each side and then work your way up from there.
So there you have it. As you can see again, Bailey’s worn out from all the exercises we
just did. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments section, and if you’d
like to check out some other videos, and more pictures of cute Bailey, go to AskDoctorJo.com.
Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Twitter, and remember be safe, have fun. and
I hope you feel better soon!

65 comments on “Upper Back Pain Exercises & Stretches – Ask Doctor Jo

  1. Kang Yuyeong Post author

    It is really helptul to me =)
    actually, I'm physical therapy student, and it help me so much.
    Thanks ! Dr. Jo !!

    Reply
  2. PA Cordner-Webster Post author

    These exercises by Dr Jo are ace! I use quite a few of them, every day to keep me limber…or so I hope! Her bubble and squeak makes them fun!! More please and thanks!!!!

    Reply
  3. AskDoctorJo Post author

    Got upper back pain? Check out my new video for some stretches and exercises to help ease the pain. And you don't want to miss the sneak attack by Bailey as she plants a few doggie kisses on my chin 🙂

    Reply
  4. Bianca-Stefana Sofronie Post author

    Please… I need some recommendation for rheumatic pain…. Some exercises.

    Reply
  5. Evelyn Friday Post author

    Watching your knee stretch /exercises have helped my pain level decrease.  Love all the videos.

    Reply
  6. Abbad Ali Post author

    hi i have upper back pain for 3 months doctor gave me Naproxen for that and i m using it for 2 weeks now my pain is on and off because of my delivery job when i work harder it comes back .. are these streches will help me to get rid of that and give some strenghth??

    Reply
  7. Anush Shrestha Post author

    i have upper back tightness since 4 months. after check up from orthopedist, he said rhomboid spasm and told to see physiotherapist. i did physiotherapy ( ultrasound therapy) as suggested. i had all those muscle relaxants. m still having tightness. not feeling normal. does these exercise completely cure the spasm? how long does it take? m frustrated.

    Reply
  8. Kim Happy Post author

    Hi Jo iv got osteoarthritis in the top of my spine and I'm noticing im stooping forward so when I started myself up I then get tingling and numbness in that area of my spine I'm also in pain with it, could you help me in any way please I'd be so greatfull, thank you x

    Reply
  9. M Audi Post author

    Good morning Doctor Jo – I love the videos you upload and would really like to promote them by sending your links to my co-workers; however, I am no allowed to send links that imply existing pain. Is there any way I could obtain a link to these videos without the wording "pain" included? Thanks!

    Reply
  10. Hiren Kotadiya Post author

    Is it same exercise for men to ?? please if you know any other exercises please let me know,,Thank You

    Reply
  11. Heather Post author

    Hi Dr. Jo, what diameter and length yoga noodle do you recommend? I ordered one on Amazon but it seems to be wider, shorter and less squishy than the one you use in the video. In the meantime I've been using long couch pillows sort of folded up and it still helps. Thank you!

    Reply
  12. Art Sanchez Post author

    hi doctor jo, I have had a bad muscle strain in the middle by the rhomboids for about 5 months due to poor posture. streching the pecs and shoulder relieves pain but can i do these excersices if my muscles still feels strained most of the day?

    Reply
  13. Sumaira hameed Post author

    Dr Jo. i had severe back pain.and i did these exercises its really work.thanks a lot.loads of love.just want to ask u how many time a day i need to repeat it. got worse pain that go through my head.

    Reply
  14. 4ever16c 4ever16c Post author

    I have pain in one spot in my right back … Do you recommend me to do this exercise?

    Reply
  15. Rickey BeThyName Post author

    Lol the dogs straight face is awesome 🤔😂😂😂

    Thanks for this btw 😅 Sub ! 🙏👁👁

    Reply
  16. optimus prime Post author

    Hello i am a medical student from india…i have severe interscapular+trapezius+neck pain..will u please help me??thank you

    Reply
  17. Zeba Rashid Post author

    I saw your videos and exercises first time and I love the way you conducted and wanted to join your web page.with Regards .Mrs Zebarashid .

    Reply
  18. Hafiz Muhammad Farooq Post author

    Im 34 years old, I feel needles like feeling on touching the back muscles around the spinal cord, and and I feel much much pain in back and tired in minuts in any doing work
    Please help mmmmmmeeee

    Reply
  19. Abhay Sharma Post author

    doc.. i was having shoulder front side pain and now i m having upper right back pain and itz not going away.. can i do these exercises??

    Reply
  20. Sumeet Dhatrak Post author

    Awesome instructions Jo ! Could you pls tell whether I should use an ice pack or hot water bag/compress for my severe upper backache and movement of left shoulder restricted ?

    Reply
  21. WhutDuPho999 Post author

    Wow, I've been dealing with upper back pain for 7 years now (since around 13) and after doing these stretches for around 15 minutes it feels like a massive amount of stress and tension has been lifted. Obviously I have no idea if this is long term but if it feels this great after the first time then here's to hoping it'll only get better. Thanks!

    Reply
  22. priyanka sahoo Post author

    Mam… good morning… upper back is swelling..n it's pain ..so I can't sit more time ..so can I do this excrise …plz mam tell me…

    Reply
  23. Tom Thumb Post author

    Thank you for the video. I have added these to my afternoon routine. I don't have upper back pain but I believe working the upper back will help keep it pain free, do you agree?

    Reply
  24. Lieutenant BaconWaffles Post author

    How about sitting-only back stretches for elderly, disabled, or obese people who cannot stand or lay on the floor?

    Reply

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