6 Stretches for Upper Back Pain That Are a Must

6 Stretches for Upper Back Pain That Are a Must

The Chirp Wheel is an amazing tool when it comes to some upper back pain relief. Whether you need to reverse damage from poor posture or reach deep into muscles between your shoulder blades, these 6 stretches for upper back pain relief will do the trick. 

Bear hug

  1. Lie back against the wheel, lifting your glutes off the floor. 
  2. Start to gently roll back and forth to loosen up the muscles along your spine. 
  3. Stop the wheel when it is between your shoulder blades. 
  4. Inhale as you open up your arms, and exhale as you hug your body, drawing your shoulders forward with your hands. Reach as far as you can to grab your shoulders. The more you reach the greater the stretch. If using the Chirp Wheel+ while bear hugging is too much, just simply stand and hug yourself for a stretch.

This stretch for upper back pain reaches deeper in the rhomboids and trapezius muscles of your upper back, helping to ease upper back pain that comes from poor posture.

Child’s pose with wheel

You can do this with or without the Chirp Wheel+. Use the Chirp Wheel+ for a deeper stretch.

  1. To begin, get on your hands and knees. 
  2. Bend your knees to put your butt to the heels of your feet, and reach your hands forward. 
  3. For the regular pose, let your hands rest on the ground. If you want a deeper stretch, let your hands rest on the top of the Chirp Wheel+. 
  4. Let your body sink into the ground.
  5. For this pose, you want to try and get your butt to touch your heels. If that is too much of a stretch for you, try it without the Chirp Wheel+ or just go down as far as is comfortable.

If your lower back is tight, you will feel a stretch in the muscles that need it the most. This pose also helps relieve tension in your upper back, shoulders, and neck.

Fish pose

  1. While rolling out on the wheel, stop when the wheel is resting between your shoulder blades for an upper back stretch.
  2. Open your arms outwards, letting them fall to the ground. 

This opens up your chest and might even give you a few pops.

Easy reclined pose

  1. Sit down on your yoga mat crisscross applesauce style.
  2. Place the wheel at the base of your back and lean back.
  3. If it’s easier on your back, lift your knees up and place your feet on the ground as you lean back.

In addition to a gentle stretch for upper back pain, this pose provides a nice stretch for the whole spine and hips. 

Upward-facing two-foot staff pose

  1. While rolling out on the wheel, stop when the wheel is resting between your shoulder blades. 
  2. Grab onto the wheel with both hands by bending your arms and reaching back so your elbows cover your ears. 
  3. Slowly roll back until your elbows and head touch the ground.

This upper back stretch deeply opens up your chest and increases flexibility in your spine. 

How to use the Chirp Wheel+:

Sit and lean back.

    1. Sit on the ground with knees bent and feet firmly planted. 
    2. Place the Chirp Wheel+ against your back in alignment with your spine. Take some time to center yourself and find balance even on the ground.
    3. Lean back gently to transfer your weight to the wheel. Relax and find balance in this position before lifting your hips.

Lift hips.

    1. Rest your hands on the ground, the wheel, or your chest for balance. Do whichever feels the most comfortable for you.
    2. Lift your hips upward while relaxing your back. Find balance with your hips lifted before rolling on the wheel. 
    3. Don’t tense up! The more you relax your back, the better it will feel.

Roll back and forth.

    1. Begin to roll back and forth on the wheel by bending and straightening your legs. Use your hands for balance. If one spot on your back needs an extra massage, stop rolling to put pressure on that spot. Or switch to a smaller wheel.
    2. Roll out for 3 to 5 minutes. Length of preferred use will vary by individual.
    3. Relax your head back to avoid neck pain.