The computer age has caused an explosion of upper upper back pain treatment. Problems are caused by the weight of the head being carried forward, in front of the line of gravity straining both the head-neck and the neck-thorax junctions. The strain increases with the forward angulation of the neck. What's so alarming is that a successful social media interaction is run at the cost of neck and upper back problems!
Using Sarah Key's BackBlock for upper back pain treatment is easy and effective. It straightens the thoracic spine, loosens the rib-to-spine attachments and stretches pectoral and arm muscles where their tightness has kept the upper body painfully bowed forward.
Using the BackBlock under the upper back usually creates a sense of release and well-being right there and then. Apart from taking the hunch out of your spine it makes you feel taller and looser in your own skin, especially when you take your arms over your head, inter-lacing fingers and turning the palms away. Tucking your chin down increases the separation of the back of the skull on the neck.
When using the BackBlock for upper back pain you are meant to feel your whole spine pulling out of your pelvis with an elongated stretch through your upper arms and down through the the ladder of your side ribs. With your arms over your head, palms turned away, there's a beautiful, business-like emancipating stretch - through your wrists, inner elbows, upper arms, chest and shoulders right through to your waist and lower back. It feels wonderful! Go with it. All normal.
When using the BackBlock for the upper back it must first be placed on its flattest side, lengthways under the long curve of the thoracic spine, so the top edge is level with the base of your neck at the top of your shoulders. The lower edge will come to about high waist level (sometimes, if you are short, it digs in here until you loosen up over the next couple of days).
As you first lie back, you may need to lower your head back to the floor carefully and slowly with your hands. When there, elongate the back of your neck by pulling your chin in. Some people feel nauseated on first putting their head back, but this passes as you get used to it. Don't panic.
Particularly with computer users the arms become pinched into your side chest, like frozen chickens' wings that won't pull out. In the process of posture correction the pectoral area, the shoulders and the elbows will also be released by the BackBlock and this will help reverse the pinched forward stoop of the arms at the shoulders. Ideally, you need to do do the angel's wings stretch too while using the BackBlock for the upper back. The stretch means business.
You do it by taking both arms in wide semi-circles from beside your hips to over your head, to 12 o'clock. At the upper 7/8 point in the arc of movement it's always painful - 'the eagle stretch' - where the upper arm seems to mount over a knob in the shoulder socket. Continuing the movement may be quite uncomfortable, but you should try to quietly persevere. Take a breath and try not to shirk it, and as much as possible try to keep the backs of your hands in contact with the floor all the way around.
Chest expansion and breathing control will improve as a side benefit from using the upper BackBlock. This is especially so with the sweeping angel's wings movement in time with your respiration. Inhale as the arms go up to above your head, take a breath or two at the top and then exhale for the return journey. Through both excursions there will usually be a stretch across the front of the chest and through the inner, upper arms.
To get off the upper BackBlock you simply roll off to the side like a log. Do not attempt to sit forward because this can strain your neck.
Using the BackBlock for the treatment of upper back pain feels really different! It's common to feel concerned and confused about exactly where to put it - and it's certainly important to get it right - to be maximally effective and to avoid strain. It's particularly important not to hurt your neck.
Ideally, you should watch Sarah doing it on video, especially since most computer users, for example, need to be doing this antidote stretch every night. Take your time and watch it. It's important - and a must to get right. It could change your life.
The upper BackBlock side-bending sweep.
Repeat left and right several times, stretching from elbow to hip bone
You can add to the stretch through the upper back by folding the arms behind the head and using the head as a weight to stretch the upper arms, shoulders and upper chest cage more. To do this, you position the BackBlock transversely across you upper back just a little lower than the base of your neck. If it is positioned too low it will be uncomfortable to lie back over - and if too high, it will squidge upwards out of place as you lie back over it.
To get in position, fold the arms at the elbows, behind your head. Make sure to pinch your upper arms together tightly, so that your head is held in the web of your forearms and does not fall through. As you lie back, let the weight of the head and upper arms give you the stretch you need, trying to allow them to 'go heavy'. In position, let you head drop back. To add to the stretch you can sweep your arms left and right in a trunk side-bending movement, creating a stretch from elbow to hip bone in a beautiful crescent-shape full, side body stretch. You can almost feel the intercostal muscles between the ribs stretching, as you sweep each way.
SARAH'S VIDEO ON PAIN IN THE UPPER BACK & HOW TO TREAT IT
In the video above Sarah explains the painful biomechanics of upper back pain and what you can do to ease it. You will be greatly empowered understanding what's wrong - and also by putting it right yourself. You can do it all yourself!
Read More about what's in the video here.
Spinal rolling through the thoracic spine is ideal after using the BackBlock for upper back pain treatment. It's like the 'equal and opposite' exercise, where you try to localise and focus the rolling over the problem spinal levels, bringing fabulous pressure changesJust 60 seconds a day makes a huge difference!
IT'S BEST NOT TO PROCEED WITH THIS REGIMEN WITHOUT THE EXPRESS
APPROVAL OF YOUR MEDICAL PRACTITIONER
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