Would you like your upper back to actually move?

It is possible to get rid of your upper back stiffness. Just remember it takes work. Upper back stiffness can be restricting to your breathing, tear apart athletic performance and almost be more frustratingĀ  than low back pain.

what can cause upper back tightness?

UpperĀ  back stiffness and tightness comes from a combination of joint dysfunction and muscle dysfunction. If the muscles don’t work correctly then you lack movement. If the joints don’t work correctly then they cannot move the way you want.

Thoracic spine mobilization

The thoracic spine is the bones in your upper back where the ribs attach. We need the thoracic spine to move correctly to eliminate the stiffness and tightness. Posture is a great indicator if your thoracic spine needs some work. If you have any level of hunching or bad posture you will have some degree of upper back stiffness or tightness.

Muscle tightness

Muscle tension makes thoracic tightness worse. The upper back muscle tension can also create pain patterns in the upper back, shoulders, neck and headaches. Working with the muscle tightness may give you immediate results.

Things to do at home

To overcome upper back tightness you need to both receive treatment from the right providers and a good at home program. You will never get success with overcoming upper back stiffness by doing only one. Here are a couple things you can add to your at home program that can help.

Foam roller

This is a passive stretch of the upper back. For this stretch you can get a foam roller at any sports store.

  1. Put the foam roller on the floor.
  2. Lay your back on the roller so that you can roll your back on the roller.
  3. Put your feet on the floor and pick your pelvis up off the floor.
  4. Then roll your back on the roller.
  5. Don’t let your head drop down, this will put extra stress on your neck.

Make sure you don’t go too low when you roll your back. You will know when you go too low because it will won’t feel right.

Exercises: spine extension and trap exercise

The two main muscle groups to increase endurance in are the spinal extensors and the mid to low traps.

Spinal extensors exercise

  1. Lay face down on a comfortable but supportive surface.
  2. Lift your head and shoulders slightly off the ground. Just enough to activate your back muscles.
  3. Lower your shoulders and head to the ground.

Trap exercise 1

  1. Lay face down on a comfortable but supportive surface.
  2. Have your arms out so that your body resembles a “T”
  3. Raise your arms above your back then lower them back to the ground

Trap exercise 2

  1. Lay face down on a comfortable but supportive surface.
  2. Have your arms up and out so that your body resembles a “Y”
  3. Raise your arms above your back then lower them back to the ground

Things to get help with

To overcome upper back stiffness and upper back tightness you will need help from other people. There are two main professions that you can use to get these lasting results from

Chiropractic: Thoracic mobilization

You need to get the bones in your upper back working correctly. There is no better profession than Chiropractic to achieve this. Chiropractic adjustments may be a little tender at first but after the joints begin to work better the adjustments will feel better and you will get more mobility in your back.

Massage Therapy: Bodywork

A great massage therapist can take the tight muscles of a stiff upper back and loosen them up. The hardest part is finding a great massage therapist. You may get results with a relaxation massage but you really need a massage therapist that can get some real bodywork done.

Is your back stuck and you need some help?

If you have low back stiffness and would like to find resolution once and for all give us a call to see how our methods can help. If you know someone who has upper back stiffness or upper back tightness share this article with them.