Upper Back Pain and the Importance of Movement

Do you constantly feel like your upper back and neck are tight? You may even be stretching your neck out while reading this? Well if so, then this blog is for you!

As a chiropractor myself and with the majority of us working from home at the moment, I am seeing more and more fit and healthy adults complaining of pain in their upper back and neck. You may be asking yourself, “Well if I’m so fit and healthy, why am I in pain?”

Well, our bodies are very strong and durable. However, they weren’t designed to be stuck behind a desk, taking calls and working all day. When we are seated at our desks, more often than not we begin to slouch down and roll our shoulders forward. This causes a strain on the muscles and ligaments in our neck and back, and can cause a tightening of some of the muscles in the front of our chest and shoulders. This can lead to injury or muscle “imbalances” and cause a wide variety of the ‘niggles’ we feel.

You may be thinking “Problem solved! If we all get standing desks we won’t be in pain!” Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

While standing desks can be great. Spending a prolonged time in any position will start to have a negative impact on our joints. In all of our joints we have a thick liquid called ‘synovial fluid’ that lubricates them. When we move, our joints receive nourishment from the increased blood circulation going through our bodies and this synovial fluid is also pumped throughout our joints.

To promote better posture and health, it is so important that we keep moving. I would recommend that if possible, we spend no longer than 20-30 minutes in a certain position. Even something small like getting up and walking around the office can be very beneficial. I have seen an increasing number of people present to the clinic with neck pain as a result of working on their laptop while in bed.

Having a designated work space with your screen set to eye level is extremely important. Remember, your best posture is your next posture. Meaning, as great as having the “perfect setup” is, we recommend having 2 or 3 of these which you can alter through.

Yes, that means no more working on your laptop while in bed!

If you need any help with this, you can find another one of my blogs on “working from home” through this link below:


If you do experience any pain in your upper back, neck or shoulders. It is most likely going to need some specific strengthening of certain muscles and hands on treatment! I would recommend checking in with your local health professional, such as a Chiropractor or physiotherapist. They will perform a detailed examination of your unique presentation and design a specific treatment plan tailored to you.

This treatment could involve:

  • Soft tissue work on the over worked muscles
  • Dry needling
  • Manual adjustments
  • Strengthening exercises for any ‘weaker’ muscles
  • Education and advice about your condition, and how to be able to better yourself outside of the clinic.

If you would like to know more about this issue or have any questions on it. Please, feel free to reach out to me!

You can book in with Jack at Health Space Kingsford. Call us on 9663 2151 to book!

Author: Jack Worthington

Jack has had a keen interest in Chiropractic care after his first visit with a chiropractor when he was 15 years old. He is a graduate from Macquarie University, with a Bachelor of Chiropractic Science and a Masters of Chiropractic. He has loved and participated in a variety of sports growing up with a keen interest in Rugby League/Union. After sustaining multiple injuries including various knee surgeries, Jack grew a passion for how the body works, especially the rehabilitation and treatment of sporting injuries through Chiropractic care.

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