How do we Mobilise our Upper Backs? Here at the clinic we have been showing a lot of patients how to mobilise their upper back with the use of a Foam Roller. Foam rolling has really increased in popularity recently and here is why. The roller helps mobilise the spine with simple but effective movements and is something that everyone can do. The exercises also take very little time to do and so squeezing them into your busy day should be easy.


Foam Roller Exercises for Mobilising the Upper Back –

  • Start by placing the foam roller length ways around the mid back (roughly T12).
  • Give yourself a hug, holding each shoulders
  • Now start to gently rock forward and back in very small increments (see pictures below). It doesn’t have to be a big movement like a sit up.
  • Do around 6 forwards and back before moving just a little bit higher onto the next vertebrae.  You might hear clunks or cracks but don’t think you need these to be effective. It is more about mobilising each vertebrae so it moves better.
Foam-Roller-Upper-Back-Health            Foam-Roller-Upper-Back-Exercise
  • Keep working your way up the spine until you reach your shoulder blade area.
  • Here, if your shoulders allow, you can reach your arms over the top of your head.
  • Take 6 nice smooth breaths here as your chest opens. You can even wiggle up and down a few times here as well. Stop before you reach the base of the neck.
The entire sequence should only take a few minutes and you can do it once a day. It is very good after working out or a day in front of the computer.
When the upper back (thoracic spine)  is mobilised in this way it can improve posture therefore helping with neck and lower back pain. For best results couple this sequence with the chest opening stretch against the wall pictured below.

For more information on lower back pain and how osteopathy can help you read here

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