Lower Back pain


Upper Back Stretches

Upper Back Stretches

The thoracic spine region is commonly known as upper back. It is the area located between the neck and the lower back. Some of the common upper back problems include stiffness, muscle pain, spasms, etc. There are different reasons, which can cause upper back pain. Some of the common reasons include bad posture, bending, twisting and standing in an awkward position for a very long time, carrying a heavy bag, etc. However, the most common cause of back pain these days is spending a lot of time working on the computer. This often causes tight shoulders as well. The upper back stretches help in alleviating back pain and also are useful in preventing a stiff back and shoulders

Upper Back Stretches and Exercises

Stretching the muscles in the back will also prove to be of help in increasing flexibility. If these muscles are stiff and not flexible, you will experience a lot of difficulty in pulling or in lifting loads. Doing the stretches for the upper back is also beneficial for a number of sports, like cycling, boxing, racket sports, swimming, etc. Having said that we will now turn to some stretches for the upper back

Stretch #1: To do this stretch, sit on a chair facing the wall. Your chair should be so placed, that when you extend your hands in front of you, they should be at an angle. Sit on the chair and place the palms of your hands on the wall above your head. Make sure your armpits face the wall. Now slowly round your upper spine and try to push your back up towards the sky. Hold this position for 10 counts before you release. This stretch should be repeated 3 to 5 times

Stretch #2: This is one of the simplest of the yoga stretches for the upper back, which can easily be done, when you are at work as well. Stand erect with hip width distance between your feet. Keep your shoulders down and extend your hands in front of you, so that they are parallel to the floor. Clasp your hands together and intertwine the fingers, such that the palms of the hand are facing the opposite direction. Try to stretch the hands, as much as you can. Continue to breathe regularly, when you are doing the stretch. Hold the stretch for 10 to 15 counts and release. It can be repeated 3 to 5 times or whenever you feel a slight pain in the upper back area

Stretch #3: It can easily be done, when you are at work as well. Sit on a chair and place your hands next to your buttocks. Now slowly squeeze the shoulder blade, so that the blades are closer to one another. Hold the position for 10 counts, release the stretch and repeat 3 to 5 times or whenever you feel the need for the same. This stretch can also be practiced, when you are standing

Stretch #4: To do this stretch, kneel on the ground with your buttocks resting on the heel of your legs. Extend your hands in front of you. Now drop your head and using your hands, try to push yourself backwards, so that your buttocks are not lifted off from the heels. If you do not feel the stretch, walk your hands a little forward and repeat the stretch. You will have to hold the stretch for 10 to 15 counts. Release from the position and repeat the stretch 3 to 5 times

Stretch #5: Cross your legs and sit on an exercise mat. Extend your hands in front of you, such that the palms are facing the opposite direction and intertwine the fingers. Now slowly lift your hands up, as though you were trying to reach the sky. Stretch as much as you can and try to stand tall. To increase the intensity of the stretch, keep your hands where they are, gradually bend to the right, come back to the center and then bend to the left. Hold the positions for sometime, before you release and repeat it 3 to 5 times

These were some of the effective and intense upper back stretches. It is important that the stretches be done regularly to see the effect for yourself. When you are doing the stretches, if you feel any kind of pain, stop doing the stretches immediately and consult your health care professional. At the same time, in case you suffer from any shoulder or back problems, do not do these stretches, unless you have consulted your health care professional

By Bhakti Satalkar
Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/Upper-Back-Stretches.html