The upper back is the region from the base of the neck to the mid-spine area. It includes the shoulder blades too. Upper back stiffness is prevalent in seated jobs with a prolonged duration of sitting involved. With more and more time spent by everyone on smartphones and laptops, upper back stiffness and discomfort are relatively frequent. It can cause changes in spine alignment if continued. A few simple stretches of the upper back are helpful in the long run to prevent these discomforts and get relief from any existing stiffness.
- Shoulder Retractions-Sit up straight and bring your fingertips below your neck with your elbows pointed out to the side. Now, slowly pull your elbows together backward as far as you can. Hold for five seconds and come back to the starting position. Do ten reps.
- Prone Y’s and Prone T’s-For Prone Y’s, lie facedown on the floor and extend your arms in front to form a Y shape with thumbs pointing up. Lift your arms, hold for 5 seconds and return to starting position. For Prone T’s exercise, lie on the floor face down and extend your arms out 90 degrees to your sides. Lift your arms from this position, hold for 5 seconds and slowly return. Do ten repetitions each for Prone Y’s and Prone T’s.
- Backward Shoulder Rotations-Stand with your arms by your sides. Raise your shoulders and roll them back and down in a circular motion ten times.
- Horizontal Abduction -Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lift your arms in front of your body till shoulder level, with palms facing each other. From this position, move your arms horizontally away from each other. Hold for five seconds and return. Repeat ten times.
- Wall Angles-Stand with your back flat against a wall. Now, move your arms out to create a T-shape against the wall. Then bend your elbows at an angle of 90 degrees. Lastly, move your arms up and down while lying flat against the wall. Repeat ten times.
- Shoulder Blade Squeeze-Stand with arms by your side and pull your shoulders back by squeezing your shoulder blades together. Hold this stretch for five seconds and repeat five times.
- Cobra Pose of Yoga– Lie down on your belly with your hands beneath your shoulders. Now lift your chest off the ground while your forearms are still touching the ground. Hold for 10 seconds and return to starting position. Repeat five times.
- Chair Rotations– Sit straight on a chair. Now turn your neck and twist the upper back to the right to look behind your right shoulder. Hold for five seconds, and repeat it on the left. Do five reps on each side.
- Lateral side stretch-In standing position, lift your arms overhead. Grasp the right wrist with the left hand. Now lean to the left by gently pulling on the wrist.
Incorporate these stretches into your daily routine to prevent upper back pain and stiffness.
STAY INFORMED! STAY FIT!