Upper Body Stretches for Back Pain

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 34,154
    Founder of King Chiropractic Dr. Neil King demonstrates upper body stretches to help with back pain.

    Dr. Neil King: Hi, I am Dr. Neil King, founder of King Chiropractic. Now I promised you that we were going to wipe out that low back pain. Interestingly enough, we are actually going to start with your upper body today. I am going to go over three simple exercises that are going to be designed to orient your upper body to the posterior or to the back because what happens is if you don't have proper upper body mechanics you tend to take this forward posture on and that puts excessive pressure into your low back particularly if your head is forward. So here is what I am going to do. I am going to give you three simple exercises that you need to do once to twice a day. Now look, I know we are working on your low back but believe me, stick with me. We are going to get to that, but first we are going to have you standing up better, taking pressure off your back.

    The first exercise has been around for centuries and here is how it starts. Very simply, both your arms are straight overhead and all you are going to do is reach for the ceiling, one, two, three, one, two, three, very simple, just an overhead stretch, one, two, three, one, two, three. I am going to show you that from the back. So you can see I am actually elevating my scapular or my shoulder blades and here is how we do it, one, two, three, one, two, three. You are going to do that five times with each arm once to twice a day. We never do anything in our life that stretches us out like that exercise.

    Next exercise very simply, we stretch both of our arms straight out to the side, palms up, you are going to pinch your shoulder blades together and then I want you to just do reverse circles 15 times just like that. You can tell they are not huge circles. They are very subtle circles. That stretching out the front of our shoulder blades what we call the anterior deltoids in the front and also the pectoralis and what its doing is in the pinching which I am going to illustrate now, we pinch our shoulder blades together to start the exercise and then reverse circles. That works the rhomboids, those muscles between the shoulder blades. Again, 15 times twice a day to reiterate nothing we do in our life really works to open up our shoulder blades like that exercise.

    Last exercise of this group for the upper body is very subtle. You stand like this. Your shoulders are oriented with your arms parallel to the floor, I want you to pinch those shoulder blades together and slide your arms back. You are just sliding your arms back. You will hold it to one, two, count, relax, one, two count, relax. It works those rhomboid muscles between the shoulder blades and it also helps to rotator cuff which starts in the back and comes around to the front. We are just like this one, two relax. One, two, relax. I want to show you that one more time. Just like this, arms oriented, one, two, relax, one, two, relax. You are going to do five of those, quick review - overheads, circles, sliding the arms back. That wraps up that section of the upper body. We are going to actually work with you on some standing low back exercises that are really going to wipe out that low back pain.