During my research regarding the back pain and yoga, I have found 6 most effective upper back stretches that you can perform anytime anywhere. And here I am with my insights about yoga poses for upper back pain.
Are you facing back pain due to long hours of sitting job, hunching over smartphones, or driving a car for hours?
Almost 80 percent of the adult population deals with acute or chronic back pain at some point in their lives.
It is a common issue in modern times as we deal with a sedentary lifestyle, poor posture, and some bad habits.
Because of all these, your upper back becomes tight and tensed. It is a tough job to cope with the painful back when you have to balance your work life and family life.
The good news is that some amazing yoga poses will help you to ease your back pain and strengthen your back muscles.
How Can Yoga Cure Upper Back Pain?
The upper back and shoulders are the most neglected part, though it houses the most important part of your body that is the spinal cord.
It requires upper back muscle stretches to function well.
Upper back stretches can strengthen your spine and core muscles to give you better posture.
Core strength is vital to manage back pain and for proper spinal alignment. Sometimes, you can completely heal your back issues through yoga.
When you practice mindful yoga daily in a controlled manner, you rehabilitate your spine.
Various studies revealed that yoga can help in disc degenerative diseases. It is beneficial for patients with chronic back pain as well.
Now, the question is that how to stretch your upper back?
But before that, always remember, you are not supposed to introduce these poses abruptly. Some simple stretches help you to start from basics if you are a beginner.
How to Stretch The Upper Back?
The ideal way is to start from a gentle body loosening process by stretching your body muscles. Practice some easy and simple stretches like forward-bend, side bend, twist, passive backbend, and a combination of the forward and side bend.
These classic poses will systematically stretch your back muscles and increase flexibility.
It helps you to slowly jump into some difficult Yogasanas.
The advantages of having an open upper body with a strong back are maintaining proper posture, getting relief from chronic pain, and taking deeper longer breaths.
It also helps to calm your mind so that you can control your emotions. The opening up of chest and shoulder through yoga will help to reduce unnecessary tension that may lead to long term pain.
Let us now concentrate on some simple poses you can try to stretch the upper back and neck –
6 Best Upper Back Stretching Yoga Poses You Can Try at Home
1. Wall Stretch
- Stand while facing the wall almost one arm distance away from the wall.
- Keep your arms parallel and place it on the wall as high as possible.
- Slide the palms down while leaning on the wall creating an arch on your back.
- Try to bring the chin and chest both close to the wall.
- Hold this pose for about 30 seconds to 1 minute with normal breathing.
2. Shoulder Stretch
- Place your feet hip-width apart and stand upright.
- Hold your hands together behind the back.
- Straighten your arms and stretch it outside while rolling your shoulders.
- Lift your chest and try to push your arms away from your body.
3. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
- Lie on your yoga mat stomach down. Keep your toes pointing backward.
- Place both the palms on either side of the shoulder on the floor. Keep your fingers pointing forwards and elbows pointing backward. Your arms should be close to the body.
- While inhaling, lift our chest off the floor. Straighten your arms while doing so. Lift your torso till the point your pubic bone is touching the floor.
- Look up and try yourself to arch your back by pushing your pubis onto the ground.
- Your arms may remain straight or slightly bend depending upon your flexibility.
- Take normal breaths and hold the pose for about 15 to 30 seconds. Slowly come back to the initial position while exhaling.
4. Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
This is considered as a traditional forward bend yoga that provides a full stretch from head to toe.
- Bend yourself into a tabletop position where you can be on your hands and knees. Evenly distribute your weight across the whole body.
- Place your palms slightly in front of your shoulders and fingers spread widely.
- Apply pressure on the arms and lift your knees. It will be aligned with your glutes and toes.
- Your head should be down and aligned within your arms.
- Keep breathing normally and hold the pose for one minute.
5. Cat-Cow Pose (Marjaiasana)
This is the ideal stretch for your spine and muscles to get magical relief from pain. It helps you to flex the back muscles.
- Place yourself in a tabletop position where you need to distribute your weight equally on all fours.
- While doing Cat Pose, exhale and tuck your chin in. your back will form an arch towards the ceiling.
- Concentrate on your breathing and feel the tension releasing.
- Now, do the Cow Pose while inhaling. Look front and lower your belly towards the floor. Form an arch of your back downwards towards the ground.
- Keep doing the cat-cow pose for one minute while taking breaths.
6. Thread The Needle Pose
- Begin this pose in a table-top position where you need to stack your wrists under your shoulders.
- Breathe in and lift your right arm and twist it up above.
- Now, exhale and place your right arm under the left arm like threading a needle.
- Your right shoulder and temple will be resting on the mat.
- Slowly let your left fingers walk towards the front of the mat and feel the stretch that will be experienced inside the right shoulder blade.
- Hold in this position for 8 breaths.
- Now repeat the same for the opposite side.
Regular practice of these upper back yoga stretches will help you to decrease the intensity of the back pain.
Dedicate yourself 30 minutes of a yoga session in which you can focus on your upper back muscles for 10 minutes. It may not be advised for all, especially not for those who have any arm or neck injury or any other medical problem.
It is better to seek medical advice before starting anything at home.