Get Rid Of Upper Back Pain Between Shoulder Blades
How To Get Rid Of Upper Back Pain Between Shoulder Blades is one of the most common questions we get in clinic.
Below you’ll find our favourite exercises to help you with your upper back pain between the shoulder blades. Plus instructional videos. But first a little anatomy . . . The Thoracic spine is the bit of your back between your neck and your lower back. It’s the place in your spine where your ribs wrap around to. And it’s the place in your back that can cause a lot of pain and is almost always tight. It is can also be a common reason you get shoulder pain.
Did you know that your shoulder joint is the second most commonly injured area of your body behind lower back pain? If you didn’t then maybe you should check out my previous post. Fun Fact: The shoulder joint is also the most commonly dislocated joint in the body.
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What Does My Upper Back Pain Have To Do With My Shoulder?
One of the leading causes of shoulder pain can be traced back to poor movement in the neck or upper back. When you sit down all day, how often do you catch yourself slouching or falling into a “bad posture”? Are you sitting down whilst reading this? Try this simple little test:
Slump down in your chair and try and get your chest as close as you can to your thighs. Now try and lift your hands up over-head, pretty hard isn’t it? Now sit up nice and tall, neck long and chest proud. Repeat the same movement with your hands. You get a lot more movement don’t you?
When you limit the movement in a bunch of joints in your body that are made to be mobile (your upper back). You make the joints next to them have to work harder to pick up the slack (the shoulders, neck, lower back). As you already know the lower back is the most commonly injured area in our body, followed by our shoulders and guess what the third is. . . . the neck.
To reduce the risk of pain and tightness you should be working on your upper back everyday, or at least every time you stretch, foam roll, or do yoga (however you like to keep limber).
Here’s how I like to keep my upper back loose and healthy:
- Lay on a foam roller so that it is perpendicular to the spine.
- Give yourself a nice big hug (this will get your shoulder blades out of the way and give you greater access to the thoracic spine.
- Roll up and down on the roller, from the base of your neck to the bottom of your rib care 5-10 times depending on how you are feeling.
- Place your hands behind your head and bring your elbows together, and slowly arch your back over the foam roller. Do this 3 times each for the upper, mid, and lower sections of your thoracic spine.
- Begin laying on either side with one knee up, the other down in a neutral position, and the head supported by a foam pad.
- Take the hand of the arm that is in contact with the ground and grab the knee that is flexed up at belly button height.
- Take the other hand and grab the ankle of the leg that is behind the back, if it is too difficult to grab the ankle then use a towel or strap.
- Begin to inhale and on the exhale start to rotate to the side of the up leg.
- Cycle through this progression a couple times until the shoulder is in contact with the ground.
- If it is too difficult to get the shoulder down, then elevate the flexed leg with towels or another object such as a step.
- Ensure the bent hip is above 90 ° to protect the lower back.
Quadruped rotation with externally rotated shoulder:
- Begin on all fours and place one hand on the back of your head.
- Keeping your core braced and with minimal movement in the lower back. Rotate your upper back downwards.
- Bring the elbow of your elevated arm down towards the elbow of your bracing arm.
- Slowly reverse the movement and rotate your upper back and arm upwards. So, that your elbow now points towards the ceiling (or as far as you can comfortably get without rounding or hyper-extending the lower back).
- Lower the elbow back to the starting position.
- Repeat 8 times and then switch sides.
So now you know a little bit more about your back. And how to get rid of any stiffness in there. Plus you’re on the way to helping treat any shoulder pain. As well with my favourite exercises to get rid of upper back pain between the shoulder blades.
- Foam roll
- get more movement
If you would like more help with your shoulder pain why not check out: Do You Want Superman Strong Shoulders? or you can give us a call or visit us in clinic.