Upper Back Pain in Pregnancy

Monday, January 13

Welcome to the Second Post in my series on the common aches and pains during Pregnancy that I treat in my Physiotherapy Clinic.

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Whilst lower back and pelvic girdle pain are more common during pregnancy,  upper back pain can be a real source of discomfort. 

As your baby grows, your lower ribs have to move outwards and upwards to allow more room for the growing baby. 

Many women find that their entire ribcage gets bigger, and that their shirts, bras and jackets become too tight. Our ribs are attached to our spine via tiny joints. The displacement of these joints from the ribs moving can cause pain in the upper spine, most typically at the level of the lower part of your shoulder blades.

Going for a swim can help loosen up these joints, and this little stretch below is a real gem for helping to ease the pain.

Give it a try now even if you aren't pregnant! 

Make sure that you are standing or sitting upright, seated either in a chair or on the floor with your legs crossed.

Bend your elbows, and place your palms down onto your ribcage above your breasts.
Make sure that your shoulders are away from your ears.

Now gently tilt your upper body so that your right elbow is pointing towards the floor, and then come up gently and repeat to the left hand side. 
Do this twice each way, feeling that the movement is coming from your vertebrae  that are attached to your ribs, and not your lower back.

Now keeping your hands in the same place on your chest, and again remembering to keep your shoulders away from your ears, twist towards the right hand side so that your elbow is turning to point behind you.
Now do this towards the left hand side.
Repeat twice each way.

I hope that this helps!
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