Stop! If you suffer from upper back pain, make sure you check out this book. It details exactly how to get rid of all your pain with just a tennis ball and a foam roller.
I see people complaining of upper back pain and stretching and massaging this area. Although you may actually have tight muscles in this area the cause is often something completely different. In fact, stretching this area might actually cause you more discomfort in the long run. Let me explain.
Majority, and let me stress, not all of us, just most of us will have tight pec muscles. We sit at a desk most of the day, we hunch our shoulders, and we have our pecs in a constantly shortened position. This is bad on so many different accounts. Then we head to the gym and want to improve our bench press. Great intentions, but you might be doing your body more harm that good. Take a look at the average person now standing, their shoulders will be hunched forward, due to tight pectoral muscles. Do a pec stretch and it feels like you might be ripping your pecs apart. So, what in the world do tight pecs have to do with not doing upper back stretches? Well, imagine again this hunched forward posture. Not only will it cause you shoulder problems in the long run, because your are making the space in your shoulder much shorter, but you are also rounding out your upper back. This means your upper back muscles, rhomboids, traps etc, are all in a lengthened position. The dull ache that you feel in your upper back, which is a common complaint, is because you constantly have these muscles on stretch. They become weak and tight, the worst possible combination. You get trigger points in the area, but nothing will change, because your posture is horrific and you will constantly have them on stretch. If you stretch the area, it will only make the symptoms worse. Let me make this more visual.
So What Do I Need To Do?
Simple, you need to loosen the front of your body, i.e your pecs, and you need to strengthen the back. Stretching the upper back area is only exacerbating the pain further and making the problem worse. It is highly likely that you need to do a standing pec stretch
You will also benefit from some trigger point work in your pec area, try this with a tennis ball, for more self massage info check out this ebook.
and a lot of upper back strength work.
- Seated Row
- One Arm Row
- Lat Pull down
…are just some examples.
Before you go to stretch away your upper back pain….do a pec stretch, and look at yourself in the mirror. If you have rounded shoulders, your pecs are tight, and you don’t do twice as much upper back work as chest work in the gym, then you probably suffer from this condition, and need to get stronger at the back, and looser at the front.
Some Upper Back Stretches!
If you are in absolutely perfect condition and you do in fact have a tight upper back, here are a couple of good upper back stretches that you can do to help your pain and discomfort. Just be aware that you might need to combine them with some strength training work, self massage therapy on the upper back and pectoral stretches.