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Lots of us suffer with a stiff or rounded upper back. Sitting, computer work, driving and cycling all promote a rounded and stiff posture. This middle back stiffness is especially common in patients with neck or shoulder complaints, as mobility through the mid-back is very important to allow the neck and shoulders to move well.
- Sit in a chair and slump down so you round through your middle back and your chin pokes forward.
- Now, remaining in that slumped posture, slowly lift your arms out to your sides and above your head as far as you can.
- Then, whilst keeping your arms above your head, sit up tall.
- Now see if you can move your arms any further overhead with your middle back straight.
Notice how you gained more movement by changing the position of your middle back? Unfortunately, some people cannot extend the middle back effectively to sit up tall, due to restriction in the muscles and joints. This can place excessive load on the shoulders and overtime cause increased wear and tear.
The upper back cat is a simple exercise that helps to improve mid-back mobility and reduce the strain on your neck and shoulders.
How to perform the upper back cat exercise for shoulder pain:
- Kneel on the floor with hips back towards your heels and forearms on a chair (as shown).
- First, round your back up and breathe in. Then, as you breathe out, let it fall towards the floor in an arch shape.
- You should `feel’ this in your mid-back especially when you let your back fall to the floor.
- Make sure your arms are not too straight or pushing into the chair.
- Repeat 8-12 times, 2-3 times per day
Are you suffering from Shoulder Pain?
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- Liebenson. C., Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies
‘The upper Back Cat exercise for Shoulder Pain’ was written by Steffen Toates. Steffen is a chiropractor at Dynamic Health Chiropractic in Jersey, Channel Islands. For more infomation about Steffen click here.