Stiff upper back? Sometimes itís not the spine!

Sometimes our upper back can feel stiff, especially when we talk about overhead activity limitations.

When the lats become restricted they prevent the arms from fully raising above the head. This can give a false feeling of tightness or restriction in the upper back as you are not able to fully get your arms up overhead to do presses or other movements.

One of my favorite exercises to increase lat range of motion is end range strengthening exercises. In this case the foam roll takes the lats into a stretched position. Then the lift off acts as a form of reciprocal inhibition. This means when one muscle contracts, the muscle that does the opposite motion must relax. In this case this exercise can cause the lats to relax and improve their range of motion. This increased range can reduce the feeling of a tighter upper back.

As always, you need to assess before you try this one.

Stiff upper back? Sometimes itís not the spine!

Sometimes our upper back can feel stiff, especially when we talk about overhead activity limitations.

When the lats become restricted they prevent the arms from fully raising above the head. This can give a false feeling of tightness or restriction in the upper back as you are not able to fully get your arms up overhead to do presses or other movements.

One of my favorite exercises to increase lat range of motion is end range strengthening exercises. In this case the foam roll takes the lats into a stretched position. Then the lift off acts as a form of reciprocal inhibition. This means when one muscle contracts, the muscle that does the opposite motion must relax. In this case this exercise can cause the lats to relax and improve their range of motion. This increased range can reduce the feeling of a tighter upper back.

As always, you need to assess before you try this one.