Before you start doing the exercises, prepare a towel, yoga mat, or blanket. Roll it up and put it on the floor. If your yoga mat is quite thick, roll only a part of it. Now lie on the floor with the mat placed underneath the bottom of your shoulder blades, which is close to the middle part of your back.
If you possess special yoga blocks, put one block under your shoulders and the other one under your head – it will promote even a deeper backbend. Your head should be elevated in order to support your neck.
If you don’t feel comfortable or relaxed in this position, you can place one blanket under your head. Stay in this position for as long as you can. Focus on your breath, which should be long and deep.
9. Seated Twist
According to yoga specialists twists can help you to detoxify your internal organs by squeezing them. What’s more, this wonderful exercise will release the tension in your middle back and make your body more flexible.
Twists can fantastically stretch your spine, but it’s very important that you hold your back straight during the exercise. Otherwise, when your back is rounded, the turning movements may compress the vertebrae.
Some people try to hunch over for a deeper twist, but it’s not a good idea. The exercise is truly beneficial only when you hold your spine straight during the whole exercise.
Sit on the floor cross-legged or if you aren’t able to do that, just sit in a chair. While you breath in, put your right hand behind you and at the same time bring your left hand close to your right knee.
While you breathe out, try to move your heart to the right, but with a gentle move. You should feel that the tension releases your middle back. Your back should be open, but don’t act too aggressively and don’t over-twist as that can only lead to a strained muscle.
At the same time try to look over your right shoulder, but be gentle and do it only as far as your neck allows you to do it. Hold for a few seconds and move back to a starting position. Repeat the exercise on the other side.
10. Stick Exercise
This exercise will wonderfully stretch the upper part of your body. To perform it you need a straight and light-weight stick. Optionally you can use a towel or a band.
Stand up with your body straight. Put your hands up and stretch them holding the ends of the stick, towel, or band. You should keep it at the back and under your neck. Now slowly try to twist to the right side. Stay in this position for thirty seconds and repeat the exercise with your other side.
After some time you can hold a heavier stick or even a barbell. This way you will also stimulate your muscles. It’s important, though, to do the exercise regularly.
Some Extra Comments
Pain in your upper and middle back does not have to mean a serious disease. In fact, if you aren’t physically active, it will finally affect you at some point of your life. Our joints and muscles simply get stiff due to the aging process, bad posture and our bad, daily routines. As a consequence, we experience pain in different parts of our back.
Stretching and motion exercises are helpful because they loose up the areas which are too tight. The described exercises are simple, they don’t require from you much time, and some of them you can perform even during your lunch break.
At the same time, however, they are extremally effective. You must understand and face the fact that best solution to back pains is not taking another painkiller, but exercising regularly. If you are afraid that you don’t perform the exercises correctly, have a few sessions with a personal trainer who will explain you everything and check if you do it right.
Apart from the above described exercises it is recommended to do also different types of sporting activities. The perfect combination would be some stretching exercises, some cardio workouts, and some weightlifting.
However, if you are not into more intense exercises, try to expand the exercises explained in the article. You may take up yoga classes or try Pilates, which is quite similar but more varied. The most important is if the exercises are relaxing and beneficial to you.
Remember, though, that you should always observe and listen to your body. If despite the exercises, you feel that the pain and stiffness get worse, stop and consult your doctor. When the stretching exercises don’t bring you any relief, it may mean that your pain in the upper or middle back results from some medical condition.
If you suffer from sharp pain, or you’ve had some spinal injury recently, stretches might not be such a good idea. Also, you shouldn’t do stretching exercises if you deal with the condition known as hypermobility, which results in too much motion in the spine. In this situation, stretches may only make your problem worse.