Relief From Upper Back Pain When Breathing

Upper back pain when breathing can be alarming if you don't know why it's there.
World renowned physiotherapy expert Sarah Key explains the causes and provides some simple solutions.

Relieve Your Upper Back Pain From Breathing With These Quicklinks

Stretching With The BackBlock Is The Best Remedy

Sarah's recommendation
Getting rid of a nasty stabbing pain when breathing usually involves decompressing, or pulling the thoracic spinal segments apart.

The best way to do this is using a BackBlock.

The opening out backwards may be slightly uncomfortable but the process is VERY effective. It pulls more fluid into the intervertebral discs, stretches tight intercostal muscles and relieves the crowding on the head of the problem rib. 

Use The BackBlock For These Breathing Relief Exercises

  1. Stretch tight intercostal muscles (between the ribs)
  2. Inhibit the accessory muscles of respiration (in the neck)
  3. Give the diaphragm room to descend (into the abdomen)

Why A Strained Rib Can Cause Your Breathing Pain

Each rib moves like a bucket handle lifting up and down off the rim of the bucket as we breathe in and out. The synchronous movement of all the ribs inflates and deflates chest and brings about gaseous exchange in the lungs.

Each rib must be fully mobile and springy so that breathing can be as free as possible. 

Being tired, unfit, physically overwrought, or in some other way below par, can make it easier to 'rick' a rib and give you upper back pain when breathing. 

See A Short YouTube Clip of One Of The Best Exercises

Why Do People Get Upper Back Pain When Breathing

intercostals of the rib cage

If you inadvertently twist or jar a rib, the intercostal muscles will develop an automatic protective clench to hold the rib still. This is known as muscle spasm. If the muscle stays switched on for too long it makes the problem rib more rigid, so that it feels a hard prominent ridge. You will feel the rib is 'caught' and if you take a deep breath you will get a sudden grab of pain. 

There Are Many Ways You Can Strain A Rib!

  • Strenuous pushing exertion through the arms
  • Repeated coughing as part of a chest infection
  • Raised muscle tone (muscle spasm) caused by a stiff thoracic vertebra
  • Poor posture making it difficult for the ribs to function properly

See Sarah's Treatment Video Explaining Upper Back Pain -
And More Importantly - All About Fixing It Yourself

Sarah's  downloadable video has valuable information about the anatomy of the thoracic spine, including how the ribs work. In it, she explains all about the biomechanics of upper back pain - and its treatment.
Download this video here.   

  • the workings of the thoracic spine, the chest and ribs.
  • the complex notching of the ribs into the sides of the vertebrae
  • how you can stretch the most important soft tissues - including the nerves!
  • how you can mobilise the chest cage and ribs
  • how you can strengthen your upper back yourself to maintain posture correction 

Most upper back problems can be fixed this way!

Choose from Sarah's videos and books

You can choose from many different videos and packages here.

Sketch of man holding lower back in pain with product relief information using exercise

Order your book and BackBlock packages from the Online Store

We recommend you buy individual books from Amazon. Please choose your selection below.