If you experience a stinging sensation along your spine, you’re probably experiencing upper back pain. It can be unbearable, but the good news is that you can relieve it. There are exercises you can do while you’re hard at work at the office.

What Is Upper Back Pain?

According to the National Institue of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, back pain is the second most common neurological ailment after headaches.

Upper back pain happens anywhere from the bottom of your neck to the base of your rib cage. This area, known as the thoracic spine, has 12 vertebrae or bones that join with the rib cage. Discs separate each vertebra and absorb the impact of your movements.

Muscles and ligaments hold the thoracic spine together. Your ribs connect to a long bone called the sternum and wrap around the back. Injury to the nerve in this area causes sharp pain.

What Are the Causes?

Upper back pain has various causes, and it may surprise you that they are preventable.

1. Poor Posture and improper lifting.

First of all, sitting hunched or with a rounded back puts stress on the back muscles. Such an ungainly posture is one of the top causes of upper back pain. Many of us make the mistake of bending over to lift objects, which causes slipped discs. The proper way to carry an object is to squat before raising it.

2. Heavy backpacks

Also, carrying heavy backpacks will put stress on the thoracic muscles. Lifting The pack on one side will as well.

3. Injury

Injury to the thoracic area causes pain for a few possible reasons. You might have fractured your vertebra or pressed on a spinal nerve.

4. Infection

Furthermore, abscesses in the spine may compress the spinal cord, causing pain.

5. Osteoporosis

This condition affects the bones and makes them brittle. They may not carry your weight well. If you have weak bones in your thoracic area, you may develop upper back pain. Vertebral fractures may cause you to form a rounded back, a phenomenon commonly associated with the condition.

6. Kyphosis

Moreover, if you look at your spine from the side, it should curve outward. Kyphosis happens when the spine curves too much. Osteoporosis is one of the top causes of this condition and therefore, pain in your upper back.

7. Scoliosis

Another reason for back pain is Scoliosis. Scoliosis describes unwanted curves in the spine. A curve may look like an S or C. Such a curve affects spinal nerve muscles, therefore causing pain in your upper back.


You may have upper back pain if:

1. you feel a sharp pain in your spine.
2. the pain is over a large area of your back.
3. the pain worsens gradually
4. the pain comes and goes
5. intensifies when you do some activities, like carrying objects.

Exercises you can do to ease the pain

You can keep upper back pain at bay without going to the gym or doing aerobic stretches. Take care of it while you’re sitting on your chair at the office.

1. Neck Rolls

First of all, are neck rolls. To do them, sit up straight, relax your shoulders, and put your hands in your lap. Lean your right ear over your right shoulder. Move your chin down, dropping it toward your chest. Then, raise your head until your left ear covers your left shoulder. Bring your head over your right shoulder again.

2. Shoulder shrugs

Consider these push-ups for the shoulders. Keep your feet on the ground and straighten your back. Allow your arms to hang by your sides. Breathe in and hold your breath. Bring your shoulders up and squeeze them tightly for roughly two seconds.

3. Shoulder rolls

These resemble shrugs, but you roll your shoulders back and forth instead. Pull your shoulders over your ears, then backward and down in a circular movement. Repeat this in a forward direction.

4. Butterfly Wings

This exercise complements neck rolls. To do it, sit upright and touch your fingertips to your shoulders with your elbows pointed to the side. Keep your fingers in place. Breathe out and pull your elbows in front of you. Move your arms to their original position.

5. Standing exercises

Finally, get out of your chair and do a few squats once in a while. To do them, sit as you usually would, but stop before you sit on your chair.

In all, you don’t have to put up with upper back pain. Rein it in with these simple but effective suggestions.


  1. https://healthfinder.gov
  2. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Vanessa Gray

    Upper back pain is as common as lower back pain it is one of the most common pains, it happens because of constant sitting and stress. You can prevent yourself just by avoiding those things that are causing it. On the other hand, there is chiropractic therapy that can also heal it that is totally a natural therapy but only with expert hands.

    1. Michelle L

      Thanks for the feedback, Vanessa.

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