Upper back Pain Relief Yoga Exercises, Back Shoulder Poses
Yoga for Upper Back Pain
The skeletal part of upper back comprises of the thoracic spine, the back side of the rib cage, and the shoulder blades. The major muscles which cover this bony structure are trapezius, latissimus dorsa, and the deltoids. Infraspinatus, teres minor, and teres major are the smaller muscles which cover the gaps between the major muscles of the upper back.
Nature has imparted a higher degree of sturdiness to the thoracic part in comparison to the other sections of the spine. The thoracic part of the spine is rendered immobile by the longer, overlapping, downward directed spinous processes in the thoracic vertebrae. This arrangement of the vertebrae almost locks the length of this part of the spine into a straight rod like construct, the spine in the upper back is very difficult to bend backwards, or rotate around its axis into a twist.
The ribs which form the rib cage attach at two junctures on each vertebra making the rib cage a part of the thoracic spine, this double grip further adds to the sturdiness of this section of the spine. All the 12 ribs comprising the rib cage are attached to a longitudinal bone called sternum at their other end.
Even the outer tire of the discs situated in between the vertebrae of the thoracic spine are thinker in comparison to the discs in other parts of the spine, this further arrests any possible mobility between the vertebrae or along the entire length of the spine in the thoracic region. Owing to its sturdier built the upper back region rarely has any structural, functional issues. Still sometimes the presence of any postural aberrations for long periods or any impact that causes injury can cause upper back pain.
Poor posture may cause irritation or tension in the muscles of the upper back which may result in pain, or muscle spasms, in case the head is wrongly held in forward position the muscles of the upper back, especially the trapezius muscle, stay starched upward all the time, this causes undue sprain and discomfort in the upper back region.
Degeneration of the facet joints (joints where the adjacent vertebrae come together) and the presence of herniated disc in the vertebrae of the thoracic spine can be another cause for the pain in the upper back region. Moreover bad posture can lead to the wear and tear in the cartilages, ligaments, or tendons wrapped around the thoracic spine leading to posture related upper back pain. At times the pain in the upper back, depending on its cause, begins as a local discomfort which can later flare into the shoulders and the arm as well.
The intensity of the upper back pain may range from mild discomfort which lasts for a few days to excruciating painful pangs which can completely debilitate the person. Sometimes the pain can radiate into the arms, chest, stomach or other areas in the body , this happens when the associated spinal nerves get pinched by the edges of the respective vertebrae, pressing upon them, in between of where they branch out of the spinal cord. Yoga exercise for upper back is chosen depending on the underlying cause.
Relieve Upper back pain with Yoga
Sitting at the desk for long time, cooking, bending over a computer often tightens up the muscles of the chest ( pectorals), upper trapezius ( upper back), muscles of the scapula ( Shoulder), and serratus posterior muscles which give rise to the pain related to these regions of the body.
The upper back pain relief exercises help loosen the stiffness caused by the habits of holding the body in wrong position while doing certain tasks. Our movement of the joints is balanced by a pair of muscles grabbing it from the opposite directions; agonist muscle which initiate the movement of the joint, and the antagonist muscle which relax the hold on the joint from the opposite in order for the movement to take place.
A lot of times, due to bad postural habits, the antagonist muscles become stiff and tight which forces them to resist the effort of the agonist muscle. This put strain the agonist muscles, in case this condition persists for long the agonist muscle goes weak and tired. The hunched over position locks the pectorals (antagonist muscle to the shoulder joint) which weakens its agonist muscle the rhomboids causing shoulder pain.
The yoga poses for upper back help stretch the muscle fibers which have gone out of tune with the rest of the muscle mass due to underactivity of that muscle. This helps restore the shortened muscle to its original resting length. Yoga poses for pain in between the shoulder blades relieve the associated pain by drawing the shoulder blades towards each other, and then alternately moving the scapula against and towards gravity. This action can relieve any strain on the trapezius muscle due to forward hunching habit.