Upper back pain is caused by several things, but the primary cause is poor posture. Sitting for hours at an office desk can cause you to slouch, putting strain on the muscles in your upper back. This type of pain can be caused by other factors as well. A car accident, osteoarthritis, stress and emotional tension, and sports injuries are all causes of upper back pain. Here are some common physiotherapy treatments for upper back pain, including exercises you can try at home.
The deep tissue massage technique targets spasms and chronic muscle tightness that builds up through daily life stress or after an injury. If you experience muscle spasms or tension caused by strains or sprains, a deep tissue massage may prove highly effective. The therapist will apply direct pressure and friction to release the tension in soft tissues like the ligaments, tendons, and muscles.
Another beneficial type of physiotherapy for upper back pain is hot and cold therapy. Your physiotherapist will apply heat to encourage blood flow to the target area. With the blood flow, oxygen and nutrients are brought to help heal the area. Blood circulation is also required to remove any waste byproducts created by the injury.
Your physiotherapist may alternate with cold therapy, also known as cryotherapy. It slows down circulation to reduce inflammation, spasms, pain. and discomfort. They may simply apply a cold pack on the target area or give you an ice massage.
Aside from the massages and therapies your physiotherapist will perform, they may also recommend at-home stretches and exercises to help you restore mobility and reduce discomfort. Depending on their diagnosis of your injury, it may be beneficial to perform these exercises and stretches every day until you regain your strength and comfort.
You can perform this stretch by standing in an open doorway or corner with both hands raised above your head on the door frame or wall. With your hands slightly on the door frame, slowly lean forward until you feel a stretch at the front of your shoulders. You should hold this position up to 30 seconds and repeat it three times each day.
Sit in a comfortable and stable chair and clasp both your arms behind your head. Gently arch backward and look up at the ceiling. Repeat this stretch 10 times and do it a few times each day.
To perform this stretch you can stand or sit. Place your arms at your sides and squeeze your shoulder blades together behind your back. It may help to imagine you are squeezing tennis ball between your shoulder blades. Hold this squeeze for five seconds, and perform two sets of 15 each day.
This stretch helps to increase circulation in your upper back and will stretch the muscles around your shoulder blades. Touch your fingertips to your shoulders, and lift your elbows so that each arm becomes a wing parallel to the ground. Move your elbows in until they meet or until you feel the stretch. Hold this position for 10 seconds and repeat it about five times. Try not to hunch your back but keep your shoulders relaxed and away from your ears.
When done correctly, the exercises mentioned above can reduce the tension and discomfort in your upper back. However, there are some exercises that may aggravate your symptoms. If you are experiencing upper back pain, you should avoid sit ups, which constrain the discs in your back and put stress on your neck. You should also skip double leg lifts for the same reason. Also avoid any exercises where you may accidentally slip into a bad posture and injure your shoulders, like push ups, or biking with your back rounded.
If you’re seeking upper back pain treatment from an experienced physiotherapist in Hamilton or the GTA, look no further than MedRehab Group. Our team of professionals can provide treatments to deal with your chronic pain, back pain, sports injuries, and other post-operation challenges. We serve clients in Brampton, Georgetown, Hamilton, Toronto, Richmond Hill/Maple, Vaughan, Woodbridge, and Pickering. Contact us at 1-888-409-4058 to learn more about our physiotherapy in Hamilton and book your first consultation.
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