How to Get Rid of Upper Back Pain– Carex icon

How to Get Rid of Upper Back Pain

Is upper back pain preventing you from a healthy and comfortable life? Try these tips and exercises to reduce your pain.


Upper back pain and soreness are typical complaints, especially among stressed persons or those who spend a lot of time slumped over desks or computers. Neck, shoulder, and upper back stretching exercises can help reduce pain and release tight muscles.

Shoulder muscle strain can also cause neck stiffness and migraines, so it should not overlook upper back pain. Stretching regularly can help reduce present back pain and prevent it from returning. Most people can safely try to fix upper back pain on their own if it starts without any signs of an emergency. There are several self-care options for upper back pain. It may require a combination of one or more physical therapy treatments in some circumstances to relieve pain. 

As per the American Chiropractic Association, half of all working Americans experience the ill effects of back torment. More than 60% of Americans would not tell a clinical expert if they were in ongoing agony, as per another study. Having upper back mobility is vital to your well-being. This article offers ways to help upper back pain.

Upper Back Pain Treatment and Self-Care

ThermiPaq Hot/Cold Pain Relief Wrap

Ice or Heat Therapy

Within the first couple of days, ice may be used to minimize swelling after the pain begins, and heat is usually indicated within the first 48 hours. Other suggestions allow patients to pick whether they want ice or heat for treatment. Regardless of whether the temperature is favored, remedies should be limited to 20 minutes at a time, and the skin should be checked frequently to avoid tissue damage.

Is heat or ice better for upper back pain?

We recommend using both by alternating hot and cold. Heat is effective in improving circulation and relieving cramping while cold helps reduce swelling. Both heat and cold are great for relieving pain and alternating between each helps prevent potential side effects caused by the other.

Learn more about alternating hot and cold therapy for back pain.

Massage for upper back pain


If you're not sure how to fix a sore upper back, a massage might help. Many people found that massage treatment can be helpful for upper back pain relief and prevent future injuries. A lymphatic massage helps loosen tight muscles and get more circulation circulating to the sore location, even if the effects are just brief. Self-massage using a foam roller or ball, having a willing friend or family member perform a massage, or seeking out a physical therapist professional are all choices for massaging the upper back. 

Over-the-counter medication

Over-the-Counter Medication

Various pain medications are available at stores and shops for use without a doctor's prescription. The majority of over-the-counter pain relievers operate by lowering inflammation in the body or blocking pain signals from reaching the brain. Aspirin (e.g., Bayer or Bufferin), ibuprofen (e.g., Advil or Motrin), naproxen (e.g., Aleve or Naprosyn), and acetaminophen (e.g., Aleve or Naprosyn) are all OTC drugs that may help relieve upper back pain (e.g., Tylenol). 

Even though some medications do not require a prescription, reading and following the label's instructions is critical to avoid significant adverse effects.

Relax and rest

Relax and Rest

A short rest time of a day or two may assist if the discomfort grows worse with particular movements or activities, such as doing home chores or participating in hobbies and activities. If working in the garden, for example, aggravates the pain, avoid it rather than pushing through the discomfort. It is recommended that you try to become active again after a period of relaxation. Resting over an extended period can cause back muscles to weaken, resulting in increased pain. 

Exercises To Reduce Upper Back Pain

Upper Back Pain Exercises

Exercise is essential for upper back and neck health because it stimulates blood flow, which helps the discs in your back stay healthy. You can also strengthen the muscles in your upper back with particular exercises. 

  • Arm Reach: Get down on your hands and knees with your neck and back parallel to the ground. Lift one arm at a time for five seconds without raising your head. Repeat each arm ten times. 
  • Arm Slides: Stand against a wall with your back, elbows, and wrists. Raise your hands as high as you can while keeping your arms and wrists against the wall, then return to the starting position. Repeat ten times more. 

Stretches for Upper Back Pain

Because tight muscles are likely the source of much of your pain, stretching is perhaps the most obvious method to remove upper back pain. Always warm-up before any exercises or stretches that you may perform for pain relief. 

  • Shoulder Roll: Roll your shoulders forward, forming smaller circles as you go. Ten times in a row, then ten times in the opposite direction. 
  • Butterfly: Your left palm should be on your left shoulder, and your right palm should be on your right shoulder. With your elbows together, hold for five seconds until you feel a stretch in your upper back. Repeat ten times more. 

Yoga for Upper Back Pain

Yoga to help upper back pain combines the best of both worlds: it strengthens weak muscles while also stretching them. Taking a yoga class may be beneficial since the instructor may assist you in getting into the proper poses. You don't have to spend a lot of money to get your back and neck fixed. While yoga helps relieve tension on occasion, it is most effective when practiced daily, just like any other exercise or physical therapy treatment. 

Upper back pain usually improves on its own over time, especially with rest and gentle stretching. Furthermore, leading a healthy lifestyle that includes eating well-balanced food, getting enough sleep, and managing stress will help lower the risk of experiencing back discomfort. 

About the Author

Samantha does not have a personal blog but has been writing on the healthcare industry since a decade for now. She is excellent at conveying thoughts and tips through storytelling.

About Carex Health Brands

Carex is your one-stop shop for home medical equipment and for products that assist caregivers with providing the best possible support and care for their loved ones. Carex Health Brands has been the branded leader in in-home, self-care medical products for over 35 years. Our goal is to improve the lives of our customers by bring them quality products that bring dignity back to their lives. With our three nationally distributed brands, Carex Health Brands serves national, regional and independent food, drug and mass retailers along with wholesalers, distributors and medical dealers.

related posts

How to Use a TENS Unit

Using a TENS unit can be confusing. This guide simplifies the process by explaining everything you need to know to properly use a TENS unit. This includes the best settings for your pain, pad placement, step-by-step TENS machine instructions, and more.

Light Therapy Lamp Reviews and Mentions

It's one thing to say you have the top therapy lamp, but it's another thing to back it with "best light therapy lamp" reviews, articles, mentions, and more. In this article, you'll find links to publications including the New York Times, CNN,, and more ranking our lights as the best light box therapy lamps.

The 2022 Ultimate Guide to Bright Light Therapy

During the winter, the days get shorter, and our contact with the sun becomes even more limited. Many of us leave for work just as the sun is rising and don’t return home until after it has set, not getting any sunlight at all. While the amount of sunlight we need varies widely depending on our skin tone, age, and other factors, this lack of exposure can inhibit the healthy production of essential hormones. This could disrupt our sleep schedules and contribute to conditions like insomnia, depression, and seasonal affective disorder. Bright light therapy lamps, also known as sad lamps or happy lights, provide an artificial alternative to natural light that can help solve this common problem.

1 comment

  • Abdullah KhanSep 23, 2021

    Wow, such a nice article.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published