How to Prevent Upper Back Pain

Updated at: Jun 11, 2018
How to Prevent Upper Back Pain

Exercising, eating a healthful diet and maintaining right postures are general considerations for prevention of upper back pain.

 Onlymyhealth Staff Writer
PainWritten by: Onlymyhealth Staff WriterPublished at: Jun 11, 2018

Upper back pain isn’t as common a complain as lower back pain, but poor posture, prolonged hours of sitting at work, age, poor diet and lack of physical activity can contribute to chronic upper backache. Modifying your lifestyle practices and managing stress levels can prevent upper back pain. To eliminate the risk of upper back pain, you have to be extra vigilant towards some of its risk factors.


To prevent upper back pain, strengthen your back muscles that support the spine and hold the entire frame. Begin strength training. For the few first days, practice warm up exercises and then switch to rigorous exercises. Ensure that you do not cause any injury to your back. Perform exercises under the guidance of a physical trainer to avoid the risk of injuries. Exercises that strengthen the back muscles include wall push ups, cat stretches, side stretch and protraction and retraction.

Read: How to Avoid Back Pain


Watching what you eat and maintaining your weight are two requisites to avoid putting strain on your upper back. Lack of nutrition will make you weak, increasing your risk of muscle strain or back injury. The type of food you eat directly affects your muscle strength and bone health. Eat power foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains and poultry items to increase your muscles’ vigour and protect your spine against injury. Abstain from indulging in binge eating and limit consumption of fast foods, ice cream, alcohol, soft drinks and other foods high in saturated fats.

Read: Lifestyle Changes for a Healthy Back

Right Postures

When lying on bed: Mattresses that are too soft add to your upper back woes. Support your back by placing a sheet of plywood under the soft mattress. Air mattress can relieve your discomfort to a certain extent. Your sleep position may also cause back stiffness. Do not lie on your stomach and when sleeping on either side, get up with the help of support. Try to sleep head-up though it may be difficult to maintain this posture all night. The back is most vulnerable to strains and injuries in the morning when it is time to wake up and therefore, stretch before you leave your bed.

Read: Posture Causes Back Pain

When driving: Pull your seat closer to the steering wheel to avoid overstretching your back. Your knees should be bent and not straight. If you travel a lot, change your seating position after a while to avoid back stiffness.

When at work: Prolonged hours of sitting makes the back prone to muscle strain, pain and stress. Request your office staff to provide ergonomically designed chairs. Ensure that your desk has a footrest. Do not slouch on the chair and lean against the support. After every few hours, take a break to move around. Visit your friend in the next department or just roam around for a few minutes.

Lifting isn’t the only what puts stress on your back, mental stress too contributes to upper back pain. Control your emotional stress levels to avoid back injury.

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