3 Exercises for Upper Back Pain During Pregnancy

Sunny Pregnant Sitting GrassI have been practicing Physical Therapy for many years so one would think I am completely prepared for dealing with upper back pain during pregnancy . Unfortunately, I found that I learned very little when it comes to a child kicking my wife’s ribs, spine, lungs, bladder, stomach and guts every hour during her 3rd Trimester (32 weeks!). He loves hanging out under her right ribs. I can help her sleep at night however I’m not always around when my son does a roundhouse kick to the back. Instead I taught my wife every exercise, stretch, and self massage technique I knew (around 20 things). Here are 3 she said gave her pain relief during pregnancy .

Doorway Stretch

Stand in front of a open doorway in your home and stretch out your arms to your sides so your elbows are against the doorway. Your arms should be raised 90 degrees and your elbows should be bent 90 degrees. Gently lean forward to feel a nice stretch through your chest and in your upper back. Do this for 1 minute 3 times a day.
This helped my wife regain upright posture since her baby belly makes her slouch all day.

My wife said it felt good on her back.

Low Back/Rib Stretch

Lie on your right side in bed and bend the left leg onto a pillow. Rotate your upper body left bringing your left shoulder to the bed. Your legs and hip should not move. Breath slowly as you gently twist and stretch. Repeat on the other side. Do this for 1 minute 3 times a day.
This will help stretch the back and some upper back and shoulders!

Wife said this helped her sleep better and feel looser.

Wall Squats with an exercise ball

Stand leaning on an exercise ball against a wall. Legs should be shoulder width apart. Squat down as if you are sitting onto a chair (if your knees hurt, spread the legs a little farther apart). Only go down the height of a chair. Do this 20 times, 3 times a day.
This helps strengthen the core and butt muscles.
Wife said it felt good and was easy to do.
That’s all the exercises for now. I’m sure everything will change in a couple of weeks when 3 new exercises will feel good so be sure to check in for more articles for upper back pain during pregnancy.

Michael Wang

DPT, MBA, DN Cert.
Dr. Wang earned his Physical Therapy Degree from Emory University School of Medicine and has been practicing Sports Physical Therapy for the past 5 years.