Exercises for the Upper Back and Lower Neck

Upper back and lower neck pain can be quite the hassle when dealing with it everyday. A frequent question we receive is, “Doc, what could be causing all of this pain?”

“Hunchback” and Your Pain

The main reason this happens is because the curve in the upper back is over-accentuated, or more frequently referred to as “hunchbacked”. This is when the shoulders are rolled over towards the front and your neck and head are not in line with your spine or shoulders. The goal of the following exercises is to improve your posture in order to reduce the pain caused by the unnatural curvature of your spine.

Exercise 1

In a seated position, clasp your hands behind your head and curve your lower back so that you are in a tall and straight posture. Then, simply lean back, holding your gaze towards the ceiling. This works best when seated in a chair with a short back. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times to extend the thoracic spine.

Exercise 2

Roll up a towel and while laying down, position it underneath the sharpest point of your spine. For most, this is your third or fourth vertebrae. Lay on the towel for 3 to 5 minutes. The towel will help push your curve forward.

Exercise 3

Similar to the previous exercise, lay on the floor with a foam roller vertically in line with your spine. By laying on the roller, your shoulders will move to each side of the foam roller offering some separation and relief to the spine and muscles surrounding it. Then, extend your arms to the side and bring them up and down in a repeated motion. This will help with flexibility and mobility in the upper back and shoulders.

Exercise 4

Stand with your heels, sacrum and back flat against a wall. Then, tuck your chin to make sure your head is against the wall. Lift your arms into a “W” position, with your elbows and wrists touching the wall. From that position, pretend like you are making a snow angel, moving your arms up and down against the wall. This is a great way to work on flexibility and mobility in the upper back.


For more ways to treat upper back and neck pain, visit your local Greensboro chiropractor at Club Chiropractic.


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