Two exercises physical therapy specialists use for upper back pain

Physical Therapy for Back Pain

Spend long hours slumped over your laptop? Constantly bending forward while you check your smartphone? If you answered yes, then you’re someone who is at risk of developing upper back pain. 

Upper, or thoracic, back pain isn’t quite as common as lower back pain, but it still occurs frequently in Americans. Medical researchers report that thoracic back pain affects up to 51.4% of people in any given week. There are many ways that physical therapists can help you treat upper back pain, and one frequently used technique is therapeutic exercises. Here are two exercises you may find yourself doing during physical therapy for upper back pain: 

  1. Corner stretches

One type of exercise physical therapists use for upper back pain are chest stretches. Tight chest muscles can stress the upper back, which can contribute to upper back discomfort. A commonly used therapeutic exercise that stretches the chest is the corner stretch. 

How to do the corner stretch

  • Stand up straight and face an open corner of the room. 
  • Stand with your feet together about two feet from the corner.
  • Place a forearm on each wall. Make sure your elbows are slightly lower than shoulder height. 
  • Keep good posture in your lower back and lean forward until you feel a stretch across your chest. 
  • Hold this stretch for 30 to 60 seconds. 
  • Try to perform this stretch between three and five times per day. 
  1. Cat stretch

Another exercise that your physical therapist can use for upper back pain is the cat stretch. This stretch is designed to reduce tension in the upper back muscles, which can help decrease your pain. 

How to do the cat stretch

  • Get down on the floor on your hands and knees. If you need to, you can place a yoga mat under you for comfort. 
  • Position yourself so that your lower back and neck are in a neutral posture. 
  • Slowly round your lower back toward the ceiling and tuck your chin into your chest. Be sure you’re contracting your abs during this movement. 
  • Stop when you feel a moderate stretch in your upper back. 
  • Hold this position for five to 10 seconds. 
  • Take a break and then repeat the stretch. Continue repeating it until you’ve done at least three reps. 

Border Therapy Services offers top-notch physical therapy for upper back pain

Ready to find out more about what physical therapy can do for your thoracic back pain? At Border Therapy Services, our team is primed to help you get the effective therapy you need. We’ll begin by doing a free screening of your back that can help pinpoint the underlying causes of your pain. Next, our specialists will build you a customized therapy plan that can include: 

Contact our team today for more information about how we can help treat your upper back pain or to schedule your initial appointment.