Top 6 Yoga Exercises for Upper Back Pain

If you suffer from upper back pain, consider incorporating yoga exercises into your daily routine.

Practicing a few yoga exercises each day can help release tension from the back muscles, keeping them strengthened and engaged. Additionally, yoga can also relieve upper back tension and pain while strengthening your abdominal muscles, which can improve your posture.

Yoga poses can improve your overall awareness of your body, increase your muscle strength, and be great preventative therapy.

Yoga exercises for upper back pain

Try the following six yoga exercises every day to relieve back pain and the discomfort that accompanies it:

1) Downward facing dog

The downward-facing dog is a classic yoga exercise that includes a forward bend and helps relieve upper back pain. This yoga pose helps correct imbalances in the body and works multiple muscles, including the hamstrings, quads, triceps, and glutes.

To do this pose:

  • Get on all fours with your hands and knees on the mat or floor.
  • Press firmly in your hands; raise your knees and tuck your toes in as you lift your sitting bones toward the ceiling.
  • Make sure to lengthen your tailbone and spine and keep your knees bent.
  • Press down between your hands and shift your weight evenly between both sides of your body.
  • Hold this pose for up to a minute and release. Repeat.

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2) Thread the needle laying

The Thread of the Needle pose in yoga helps stretch and open the upper body muscles. This is a restorative pose that opens up the upper back muscles and gives the shoulders the room they need.

To do this pose:

  • Start in tabletop position and move your hands forward until they come under your shoulders.
  • Keep your arms straight and your body steady.
  • Bring your right arm under your left arm while rotating your torso to the left. Keep the back of your right hand on the floor with your palm up.
  • Lower your right shoulder while placing the right side of your head on the floor.
  • Stay in this pose for a few seconds and push up with your left arm to return to start.
  • Repeat on the other side.

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3) Fish Demilord Pose

The Half Lord of the Fishes is a twisting pose that provides energy to your back and spine. It also provides a gentle stretch for your shoulders, neck, and hips.

To do this pose:

  • Sit up straight and bring your left foot towards your body.
  • Bring your right foot to the outside of your left leg and stretch your back while rotating your body to your right.
  • You can put your right hand behind you for extra support.
  • Hold the pose for a few seconds and release.
  • Switch sides and repeat.

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4) Sphinx Pose

Sphinx Pose is a gentle back bend that strengthens your buttocks and spine. This yoga exercise helps stretch your abdomen, shoulders and chest and relieves stress.

To do this pose:

  • Lie face down with your legs behind you. Engage the muscles of your lower back, buttocks and thighs throughout the movement.
  • Move your elbows under your shoulders and keep your forearms on the floor with your palms down.
  • Raise your head and upper torso, then lower abdominal muscles to support your back.
  • Make sure to lift your head and spine and not lean into your lower back.
  • Keep your gaze forward and relax.
  • Stay in the pose for a few minutes and release.

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5) Grasshopper Pose

The Grasshopper Pose is a calming yoga posture that relieves upper back pain and also stretches the legs, torso, and arms.

To do this pose:

  • Lie comfortably on your stomach, arms at your sides and palms facing up.
  • Place your feet hip-distance apart and place your head on the floor.
  • Slowly raise your head, arms, and chest as far as you can.
  • For a deeper stretch, raise your legs as you raise your upper body.
  • Stay in this pose for a minute and release.

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6) Seated forward bend

The seated forward bend is a classic pose that helps relieve upper back pain and also provides a gentle stretch for your hamstrings.

To do this pose:

  • Sit down with your legs straight out in front of you.
  • Reach your arms above your head and bring them towards the ceiling.
  • Stretch your spine and step into a bend. Make sure to keep your spine elongated as you bend forward.
  • Stay in this posture for a few seconds and keep your feet bent throughout the exercise.
  • You can also hold your ankles for a deeper stretch.

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Although the aforementioned yoga exercises work wonders when it comes to relieving upper back pain, do not try them if the pain is severe.

Consult your doctor or physical therapist to determine if the poses are safe for you. Also, if you’re pregnant, avoid forward bending yoga poses and talk to your doctor about safer exercise options.

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