Upper back pain stretch

This week I will give you a great upper back pain stretch for pain and one for neck strengthening.  While I use these for people at the clinic with upper back pain due to rib problems I also use if for neck pain, and other causes of upper back pain.

Last week we started a series on Upper Back pain and talked about how to decrease pain between the shoulder blades (due to ribs not moving well).  If you missed it here is the link to the blog post: https://drkarenhudes.ca/index.php/2022/08/18/upper-back-pain/

Upper back pain stretch 1

So, the first one is a true stretch, and it is called the levator scapulae stretch.  Really you want to do all stretches on both sides, but we are going to talk about this for the side of pain ok?  I will talk you through this stretch for upper back pain and below is a link to a YouTube video I made so you can follow along more easily.

Let’s pick the left side as the side of upper back pain for this example.  First drop your chin to your chest. Now rotate your head to your right armpit so your nose is pointing in that direction.  Now place your right hand over the top of your head and gently pull down. You should feel a stretch along the back left side of the neck and maybe all the way to your shoulder blade if you are doing this right.  Next take your left hand and grab the back of the seat of your chair if you want a bigger stretch. Hold for at least 20-30 seconds or longer

For the link to the YouTube video for this stretch click here

Stretch 2

For this upper back pain stretch one I am lying just a bit. It is more of a strengthening exercise, but I feel a stretch at the back of my neck, probably because I am super tight and need it. This is a doubly good one for upper back pain because it is relieving and strengthening. This one is called resisted retractions.  I do this in the car. DON’T DO IT WHEN DRIVING! I do this at a red light. Make a double chin.  Push your head back into the headrest (think of the action a pigeon does).  Hold for 10-20 seconds or longer as you get better at it

For the link to this video click here

Ok that’s it for this week.  Next week in honour of school starting (yes I know, shhhh!!!! Sorry!!!) we will talk about backpack safety and ergonomics for the kiddos (and any of us overage kiddos like me who still use backpacks sometimes).

Please share this newsletter with anyone you think it may be helpful for!  Here is the link to the blog post to make it easy to access: (add recipe?)add kubj