Learn how to loosen and relax tense upper back muscles (scroll down for videos). Visit also our video library, and get 100% access to every single relaxation and self-massage exercise you´ll ever need.
At some point in your life, you will feel some form of pain originating from your upper back muscles. These muscles are called the trapezius muscles. When you put too much strain on your body or when you push your body further than it can withstand, the muscles in your upper back can become tight. You’ll feel some form of pain from this area which could last anywhere from two days to one week. There are ways for you to relax tense upper back muscles to get rid of the pain sooner.
The trapezius muscles have many different functions. They hold up your head and your neck and they assist in the movements of the head and the shoulders. When they feel strained, your whole body could be affected. Your posture could suffer and you may get headaches due to the strain.
Getting the strain out of upper back muscles can happen over time. With enough rest and lessened use of the trapezius muscles, you could feel better in no time. But if you want to speed up the process, and relax your upper back muscles faster (or prevent muscle strain from happening), these are the things you can do.
How To Relax Tense Upper Back Muscles
1. Use a massaging device
Find a device that can reach the upper back area and massage it effectively. You can also use a simple tennis ball and roll it along your upper back for instant relief.
2. Have a relaxing bath or massage
One of the best things you can do to relax tense upper back muscles is to get a massage or a warm bath. The warm water can help ease tight muscles and does not cost very much. A massage can remove the tightness that your upper back feels.
A massage is one of the most effective ways to relieve upper back pain. If you cannot go to a proper masseuse because you have no time or if you feel that a massage simply cannot fit your budget, you can just do it yourself.
Learn more: Top 6 Health Benefits Of Self-Massage
3. Relax tense upper back muscles with self back massage
Here are three at home self-massages you can do to relieve the pain and relax tense upper back muscles.
Video: The special place (pressure point) to relax tense upper back muscles
Sit comfortably on a non-slip mat or on a sturdy stool. Place your right hand on your shoulder with your thumb on your neck. Press on the middle portion of your shoulder using your index finger until you feel a slight pain. Do not press longer if the pain feels intolerable. Place your left hand under your right elbow to support your arm and prevent it from feeling numb. If your right hand feels tired, rest for a while and do it again. Place both hands in front of your and take a deep breath then repeat the process on your left shoulder.
Video: A special method for relieving tension in the upper back – the dragging technique
Sit comfortably again on a non-slip mat or sturdy stool. Place your right hand on your left shoulder and slowly inch your way down to your lower back. Make a fist and add pressure on your upper back with your fist. Slowly pull your fist from your upper back, to your shoulder and to your clavicle. Keep the pressure steady. If you feel tired, you can rest for a while and then start again. Do the same exercise on your right shoulder using your left hand.
Video: A very effective self upper back massage to relax tense upper back muscles
Lie on your side with your right leg bent in front of you and your left leg extended. Place your right palm on the floor in front of you and your left hand on your upper back. Slowly inch your way to the middle of your back as far as you can reach. Squeeze your upper back as hard as you can until you feel a slight pain. Do not overdo until you feel intense pain. Face the other way and do the same massage on your left shoulder.
This self-massage can be done in the evening or early in the morning. If you’ve had a really intense day you can use this self back massage to feel relief.
Some notes on massaging your upper back:
- If you get tired from massaging and squeezing your back you can try pounding on it instead. Pound as hard as you can without going over your pain threshold.
- Your back should feel warm after massaging. This means that blood is circulating properly again in your upper back area.
- You can do these massages any time you feel your upper back in pain. If your upper back does not feel relieved after a few days, check with your doctor.
4. Practice proper posture
Slouching, too much bending in the neck area and other improper posture practices all make the body feel contorted. These unnatural body poses can strain the upper back area. Make sure to always sit-up straight and practice proper posture at all times.
Learn more: 5 Tips to Sit Properly at Work
If you, like many other office workers, stay on your desk for an entire day, you must make time to stretch and relax your muscles. Long periods of sitting can make muscles feel tight. This affects not just your upper back but also your lower back, thighs and legs.
Upper back pain can be a nuisance. It can hinder you from doing a lot of things that you normally do. Avoid upper back pain by exercising and stretching often. Keep moving even when in the office. Stand to get water or talk to a colleague face to face instead of sending an instant message or an email. Exercise proper posture and avoid heavy lifting as much as possible. Do exercises to relax tense upper back muscles. Your upper back will soon feel better when you keep these in mind.