How to Massage Upper Back Pain: Complete Guide

Do you feel a dull ache in the upper back area regularly? Are you finding it difficult to shrug your shoulders, or are they feeling restricted while doing so? If this is the case with you, then you must be suffering from upper back pain. Whether it is because of stress at work, sitting in an awkward position while working or driving, being hunched over your laptop for hours, improper lifting technique while moving objects, sleeping awkwardly or even genetics – 


There are many reasons as to why one might develop this type of pain. However, don’t worry; there are some simple techniques that can help ease the tension in your upper back and help relieve the pain brought about by this condition.

What You Should Know About Upper Back Pain


There are a number of factors that can trigger upper back pain. The main causes are a strain or injury to muscles or ligaments around the upper back area, poor posture, sleeping incorrectly, and stress. If the pain is acute, it is likely due to an injury, either at work or at home. It can also be the result of sleeping in an awkward position or due to stress, as one of the symptoms of stress is muscle tension. 


If the pain is chronic, it may be due to an underlying condition, such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, scoliosis, spondylosis, or even herniated discs. This can happen if you are doing repetitive movements or have lifted something incorrectly.

How to Massage Upper Back Pain?


One of the best ways to relieve pain in the upper back area is through massage. A back massage can help ease the tension in your muscles, ease joint pain, and reduce stress. There are many massage techniques that can be used to soothe the upper back, such as:


  • Hot stones – Hot stones are great for triggering blood flow to the muscles. They are known to relieve muscle fatigue and ease joint pain due to their high levels of magnesium.
  • Ice cubes – Applying ice to the upper back can help reduce inflammation and swelling of the muscles due to the sudden rush of blood to the area. This is particularly good for people who lift weights.
  • Gentle shoulder shrugs – You can also try doing shoulder shrugs to release the tension in your upper back muscles. This is particularly good for people who sit a lot at work.


If you have never done a massage before and want to relieve pain in your upper back, then these three simple steps will help you out.

  1. Prepare your massage area –  Find a relaxing space where you won’t be interrupted. Create an atmosphere that is conducive to relaxation. Get yourself some music to listen to and dim the lights.
  2. Choose your massage oil – Select an oil that is infused with aromatherapy oils, such as cedarwood, rosemary, or ginger.
  3. Massage your upper back – To massage your upper back, start at the base of your neck and work your way up to your shoulders. You can use a circular motion, or you can apply pressure to your muscles.

Benefits of Aromatherapy For Upper Back Pain


Aromatherapy is another way to help relieve upper back pain. Essential oils have therapeutic properties that can help ease stress, reduce joint pain, and promote relaxation and restful sleep. Some oils that can help relieve upper back pain are basil, cedarwood, eucalyptus, ginger, peppermint, rosemary, and turmeric. If you want to try aromatherapy for upper back pain, you can either use essential oils in a diffuser or you can apply diluted oils to your skin. If you are applying the oils directly on your skin, it is best to dilute them with coconut oil.

Tips to Relieve Upper Back Pain Through a Massage


If you have been diagnosed with a medical condition such as scoliosis or spondylosis, you might want to speak to your doctor before trying out these massage techniques.

  1. Massage your upper back daily – If you are experiencing recurring upper back pain that is brought about by long hours at work or a stressful job, then you should massage your upper back daily. This will help ease the pain and keep it under control.
  2. Apply a warm compress to your back – Applying a warm compress to your upper back can help ease the pain and swelling. You can use natural ingredients like lemon, turmeric, or ginger.
  3. Consult a doctor if the pain doesn’t subside – If the pain in your upper back doesn’t subside even after a few weeks of regularly massaging your back, then you should contact your doctor.


Upper back pain can be quite irritating, as it can make it difficult to do even the simplest tasks such as doing the dishes or cleaning your home. Luckily, there are a few ways to ease this pain through massage, aromatherapy, and more. If you want to prevent this pain from getting worse, it is best to try to manage it through these massage techniques as soon as you start feeling the pain. With these methods, you can ease the aches in your upper back and go on with your day without any issues.




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