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McKenzie Treat Your Own Neck Book

Upper Back Stretches

Exercises > Flexibility (Joints) > Upper Back Stretches

 

The following upper back stretches are designed to restore flexibility to the joints and muscles of the upper back. If you are injured, you should discuss the suitability of these upper back stretches with your physiotherapist prior to beginning them. Generally, they should be performed 3 times daily provided they do not cause or increase pain.


Upper Back Stretches Basic Exercises

Shoulder Blade Squeezes 

Begin sitting or standing tall with your back straight. Squeeze your shoulder blades together as hard and far as possible pain-free (figure 1). Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times.

Upper Back Stretches - Shoulder blade Squeezes

Figure 1 Shoulder Blade Squeezes

Extension in Sitting 

Begin sitting tall, with your hands behind your neck. Gently arch backwards and look up towards the ceiling until you feel a mild to moderate stretch pain-free (figure 2). Repeat 10 times.

Upper Back Stretches - Extension in Sitting

Figure 2 Extension in Sitting

Rotation in Sitting 

Begin sitting tall, with your arms across your chest. Keeping your legs still, gently rotate to one side until you feel a mild to moderate stretch pain-free (figure 3). Repeat 10 times to each side.

Upper Back Stretches - Rotation in Sitting

Figure 3 Rotation in Sitting (left side)

Side Bend in Sitting 

Begin sitting tall, back straight, hands behind your head or neck. Gently bend to one side, moving your elbow towards your hip until you feel a mild to moderate stretch pain-free (figure 4). Make sure you do not lean forwards. Repeat 10 times on each side.

Upper Back Stretches - Side Bend in Sitting

Figure 4 Side Bend in Sitting (right side)

Flexion in Sitting

Begin sitting tall, with your hands behind your neck. Gently bend forwards allowing your elbows to move towards your thighs (figure 5). Move until you feel a mild to moderate stretch pain-free. Repeat 10 times.

Upper Back Stretches - Flexion in Sitting

Figure 5 Flexion in Sitting


More Basic Exercises

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Advanced Exercises

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Less Common Exercises

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Find a Physio

 

  Find a Physio to assist with Upper Back Exercises

 

Find a physiotherapist who can assist with upper back exercises and rehabilitation.


Other Upper Back Exercises

 

  Other Upper Back Exercises

 


Physiotherapy Products for Upper Back Exercises

 

 Physiotherapy Products for Upper Back Exercises

 

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