How to crack the upper back

Written by ehow contributor
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Back pain afflicts millions and millions of Americans. Most of the time lower back pain is the culprit, but in many cases people also suffer upper back pain. Tight muscles and misaligned vertebrae between the shoulder blades can lead to upper back discomfort. For temporary relief, you can try cracking your upper back yourself.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Stretch and loosen the muscles of your upper back. Raise your arms over your head, roll your shoulders and loosen your neck muscles. Have someone massage the upper back area if possible. It is easier to crack your upper back if your muscles are not tight.

  2. 2

    Stand or sit as straight as possible. Pull your shoulders back as if attempting to have your shoulder blades touch.

  3. 3

    Place your hands on your back as high up as you can. The closer your hands are to being between your shoulder blades, the better.

  4. 4

    Push on your back while you lean back and draw your shoulder blades together. You might hear a few small popping sounds. If so, you have successfully cracked your upper back.

Tips and warnings

  • Lie facedown on the floor and have someone push on your upper back between your shoulder blades, if possible. Take a deep breath and exhale as the person pushes down on your back. This is a great way to crack your upper back.
  • Relax and try again after several minutes if you do not get a crack on the first attempt. Stop after a few attempts if your upper back will not crack.
  • Do not overextend your muscles or crack your upper back too often. Doing so can lead to injury.
  • Do not ignore constant upper back pain--seek medical or chiropractic attention.

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