Like all regions of the spine, the upper back consists of a series of interlocking blocks (vertebrae), each linked on either side by a facet joint. Each vertebra also has a disc connecting the body of one vertebra to the next. With so many different elements, there are many places where things can go wrong.
Just as one or more discs may cause pain, a single facet joint may be stiff, on one or both sides and several may be involved. So pain may be confined to a small area, or it may restrict a number of different movements.The upper back muscles, specifically the rhomboids and trapezius muscles are responsible for pulling the shoulder blades together and elevating the shoulders. Their development is critical to counterbalance the chest and anterior shoulder (front) muscles.This helps prevent andquot;rounded shouldersandquot; which is caused by overdevelopment of the chest and front shoulders, and can help improve posture and reduce the risk of injury.These exercises aim to introduce early mobility into the upper back, while encouraging muscle control of the movements and ensuring adequate flexibility in the soft tissues. Do not do any of these exercises to the point of pain, and do not force yourself to do anything that is not comfortable.Work gradually and steadily through the exercises there is not benefit to be gained from pushing your body to do things for which it is not ready.