How to Relieve Upper Back Pain Fast?

Upper back pain is a common problem that can make daily activities difficult. The upper back includes the area between your neck and lower back. There are many causes of upper back pain such as poor posture, muscle strain, injuries, fibromyalgia, and arthritis. Thankfully, there are also many ways you can find fast relief from upper back pain at home.

Apply Heat

One of the quickest ways to relieve upper back pain is by applying heat. Heat helps relax tight muscles and increase blood flow to the area. Try using a heating pad, hot water bottle, or warm compress on the sore area for 15-20 minutes a few times per day. You can also take a warm shower or bath to allow the warm water to soothe the muscles in your upper back. The heat will help loosen up your muscles and decrease pain. Just be careful not to burn yourself.

Use Cold Therapy

Another fast option for upper back pain relief is cold therapy. Cold can reduce inflammation and numb the pain. Try wrapping some ice or a cold pack in a towel and placing it on the painful area for 15 minutes at a time. You can also roll a frozen water bottle over your upper back to massage the area and provide cooling relief. Use cold therapy a few times a day to help reduce swelling.

Over-the-Counter Medications

Medications that reduce inflammation like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve) can help relieve upper back pain fast. Follow the dosage instructions on the product. These medications can provide several hours of pain relief. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is another over-the-counter option that blocks pain signals in your brain but doesn’t reduce inflammation.

Apply a Topical Pain Reliever

Look for topical pain relief creams, gels, sprays or patches that contain ingredients like lidocaine, capsaicin or menthol. Apply these to your upper back according to the directions on the product. The active ingredients soak into your skin and help dull the pain signals from the area. This provides targeted and fast acting relief right at the source of the pain.

Stretch Your Upper Back

Gentle stretching can help relieve muscle tightness contributing to your upper back pain. Try door frame stretches by holding onto the frame and leaning forward to stretch out your upper back muscles. You can also tryupper back rotations while sitting by clasping your hands together and turning your torso and arms from side to side. Stretches like the sphinx pose and child’s pose are good options for upper back pain relief too.

Improve Your Posture

Poor posture puts extra strain on your upper back and can lead to pain. Make sure when you sit at a desk or work on a computer that your shoulders are back, core engaged, and ears stacked over your shoulders. Use a lumbar support cushion in your chair. When standing, keep your chin tucked, distribute your weight evenly, and avoid slouching. Improving your daily posture takes pressure off your upper back.

Get a Massage

A massage from a therapist or using a self-massage tool on your upper back muscles can provide quick relief. The massage helps increase blood flow, relax the muscles, and relieve tension. Focus the massage on any knots or tender spots. Alternatively, use a tennis ball, foam roller, or massage cane to self-massage your upper back against a wall.

The key is to try a combination of these methods to target your upper back pain and get fast relief at home. Pay attention to your posture, apply heat or cold therapy, take an over-the-counter medication, stretch the area, and get a massage. With some consistency using these techniques, you should gain some relief from even persistent upper back pain. See your doctor if the pain worsens or persists longer than a week.